The talk will show that political parties incorporated many of the claims raised by the 1970s ‘participatory revolution’, and that they did so to a greater extent than it is conventionally acknowledged.
The independent and spontaneous mobilizations of social movements in the late 1960s challenged political parties on the level of their fundamental function of political linkage, and has often been deemed a symptom of the crisis of political parties as representative agents. For the first time, ‘politics’ extended to other spheres of civil society, beyond the traditional party channels. The talk is based on Daniela Piccio’s newly published book Party Responses to Social Movements. Challenges and Opportunities (New York/Oxford: Berghahn Books Publishers) that aims to examine the ways in which political parties have responded to the emergence of these mobilizations in Italy and the Netherlands, two countries considered at opposite poles in terms of the institutional strategies for dealing with challengers, which experienced similar processes of citizens’ detachment from political parties. The analysis concentrates on the responses of both the left wing and the center parties. The major questions that it attempts to answer are: do political parties actually respond to the emergence of social movements? What types of responses do they engage in? What factors explain the variation in responses of different parties?
The talk will show that political parties incorporated many of the claims raised by the 1970s ‘participatory revolution’, and that they did so to a greater extent than it is conventionally acknowledged. Political parties performed a crucial role of citizens’ integration by channeling movements’ demands within their political discourse and organization. Additionally, the talk will focus on the challenges and opportunities that the party-social movements relationship entails and on the inevitable tensions between their respective roles and aims. Despite being geographically and temporally specific, therefore, the book aims to overcome the compartmentalization of research fields between institutional and non-institutional politics, and provide a reflection on the role of political parties, social movements, and their interaction in contemporary democracies.
Journal Article - 2019
Journal Article - 2019