Memories of the Revolution and Opposition to Austerity in Portugal, 2010-2015

Friday, July 14, 2017
Gilbert Scott Building - Room 253 (University of Glasgow)
Tiago Carvalho , Sociology, University of Cambridge
Pedro Ramos Pinto , Economic History, University of Cambridge
Portuguese democracy has been deeply marked by the revolutionary transition to democracy between 1974-75, which left deep imprints in political cultures, institutions and contention. Such marks become particularly salient in periods of social and political conflict such as the recent anti-austerity cycle of protest (2010-2015), when the memory and example of the revolution was constantly evoked by social movements, trade unions and left-wing political parties.

This paper analyses how political actors from this ‘arch of opposition’ mobilized the memory of the Revolution. It proposes that three framings emerged particularly strongly across the period: (i) as a tool to shape collective political identities and their legitimacy; (ii) by articulating a series of rights and institutions as ‘conquests of the revolution’ now under threat; (iii) by framing the work of the revolution as ‘unfinished’, i.e. requiring an overhaul of existing institutions. This paper concludes by exploring the dynamic uses of these frames across this period and how this connects with recent political developments in Portugal, particularly the creation of an unprecedented governmental alliance across the left following the 2015 elections.

  • Carvalho Ramos Pinto.docx (93.4 kB)