Performing and Re/Defining Democracy in Post-Austerity Spain: Political Communication and Discursive Practices of the Podemos Party-Movement

This thesis explores the Spanish Podemos party-movement in its attempt to both undertake and to some degree ‘live’ a certain democratic experiment in the context following the 2007-2008 global economic crisis. More specifically, the ‘Podemos experiment’ is considered part of the wave of new left-wing parties that emerged in Southern Europe – namely, SYRIZA in Greece, the Five Star Movement in Italy, and the Front de Gauche in France – as a reaction to the implementation of austerity measures and the legitimacy crisis of representative democracy. Podemos is therefore perceived as performing and re/defining democracy as part of undertaking political action and of building a political identity. Both the performance and re/definition of democracy are thus inherently discursive, i.e. conceptualized and enacted in political discourse and in a variety of (mediated) contexts.

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