Global movements, national grievances. Mobilizing for “real democracy” and social justice
Tejerina Montaña, Benjamín
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In the ashes of political and socio-economic collapse, social movements sometimes rise like a phoenix. Little more than a year has passed since the Tunisian uprisings, the spark that ignited a series of “mobilizations of the indignant” that spread like wildfire around the world. Many observers have reported on these unprecedented global protests. They have portrayed citizens who declare feeling marginalized if not scapegoated, and who reject the increasing inequalities between rich and poor, the declining mobility of most, and the “disclassment” of many. They have shown, as well, massive protests against governments and politicians that are perceived as indifferent at best, duplicitous at worst, and in any event as blatantly closed to popular concerns. Many journalists have indeed asked what took so long for people to protest given this fatal combination. For the social scientist, however, the questions of who, why and how mobilizes are not so simple. There are specific problematics of mediation between structure, culture and individual or collective agency that need to be addressed.