Born to Die? the Rise and the Death of Alternative Actions Organizations in Europe

Thursday, July 13, 2017
East Quad Lecture Theatre (University of Glasgow)
Angelos Loukakis , Dept. of Sociology, University of Crete
Johannes Kiess , University of Siegen
Maria Kousis , Sociology, University of Crete
Christian Lahusen , Sociology, University of Siegen
Alternative Forms of Resilience often emerge during hard times, allowing citizens to meet increasing needs, or fostering alternative participatory initiatives. To this end, citizens organize in alternative actions of formal and informal organizations (AAOs). Recent studies showed that the economic crisis was a trigger for the founding of a wide variety of new AAOs especially in the countries affected by the crisis most, such as Greece, Spain etc. One aspect of AAOs untouched so far is their lifespan. This paper aims to offer a comparative analysis of the age and the death rate of AAOs in nine European countries (Greece, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, UK, Poland, Switzerland, and Sweden). Moreover, by providing socio-political profiles of these AAOs, the paper investigates factors that impact on AAOs life expectancy.

The paper offers fresh empirical data collected with an innovative content analysis approach, namely Alternative Action Organization Analysis (AAOA). This method was created for the needs of the EC FP7 research project “LIVEWHAT — LIVING WITH HARD TIMES*, How Citizens React to Economic Crises and Their Social and Political Consequences” (WP6, Alternative Forms of Resilience) and builds on protest event and political claims analysis.