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Current Sociology

http://csi.sagepub.com/ From the streets and squares to social movement studies: What have we learned?
Tova Benski, Lauren Langman, Ignacia Perugorra and Benjamn Tejerina Current Sociology 2013 61: 541 originally published online 17 April 2013 DOI: 10.1177/0011392113479753 The online version of this article can be found at: http://csi.sagepub.com/content/61/4/541

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CSI61410.1177/0011392113479753Current SociologyBenski et al.

Conclusion

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From the streets and squares to social movement studies: What have we learned?
Tova Benski

Current Sociology 61(4) 541561 The Author(s) 2013 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/0011392113479753 csi.sagepub.com

The College of Management-Academic Studies, Israel

Lauren Langman
Loyola University, USA

Ignacia Perugorra
Rutgers University, USA

Benjamn Tejerina
University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Spain

Abstract In the editors introduction they noted how the various mobilizations starting in 2011 raised important questions for social movement scholars. The various articles in this issue have explored the emergence, dynamics, and significance of the social mobilizations, contestations, and confrontations that started with the Arab Spring mobilizations and continue to this day. This concluding article is focused on three main aspects that emerge from the editors dialogue with the different contributions. The first is the context, beginning with a political-economic account of neoliberalism, the various crises of legitimacy that it has fostered over the last three decades, and the role of new media (ICTs) in engendering these mobilizations, their coordination, and globalization. The second aspect focuses on some of the characteristics of this cycle of contention, mostly the actors and their networks, identities and the new practices of occupying public space. The third and last part represents an attempt to evaluate the general trajectory of these mobilizations over the last two years.
Corresponding author: Tova Benski, School of Behavioral Sciences, The College of Management-Academic Studies, 7 Rabin Blvd, POB 25073, Rishon Lezion 75190, Israel. Email: tovabenski@gmail.com

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Keywords Crises of legitimation, horizontalism, identity, Internet, neoliberalism, Occupy, precariat, space

Introduction
This monograph issue of Current Sociology has explored the emergence, dynamics, and significance of the social mobilizations, contestations, and confrontations that started in December 2010 with the Arab Spring mobilizations and continues to this day. We wondered whether these mobilizations represent the leading edge of a major world historical transformation that is now in process or are they simply expressions of momentary frustrations that will soon fizzle out and fade. In this monograph, we have brought together scholarly studies of mobilizations from the Middle East, including Israel, Southern Europe, and the United States. At this point, we would like to draw some tentative inferences from this work and draw out some implications for the study of social mobilizations. In what follows we offer some additional analytical dimensions to understand these mobilizations. These dimensions are organized around three main aspects that emerge out of the dialogue with the different contributions. The first is the context, beginning with a political- economic-account of neoliberalism, the various crises of legitimacy that it has fostered over the last three decades, and the important role of new media (ICTs) in engendering these mobilizations, their coordination and globalization. The second aspect focuses on some of the characteristics of this wave of contention, mostly the actors and their networks, identities, emotions, and the practice of occupying space. The third and last part represents an attempt to evaluate the general trajectory of these mobilizations over the last two years.

Prelude
From the very earliest moments of capitalist industrialization, people, especially workers, have organized to contest its adversities and seek reforms, if not revolutions that might end its inequality, its immiseration, and its dehumanization. From the revolutions of 1848 to the Paris Commune to communist revolutions, we have seen various waves of contention. As national capitalisms morphed into a global system, there were many conflicts and contestation over land, resources, pollution, working conditions, etc. In many cases union organizers were harassed and even murdered. But in the advanced countries, there was little note of such struggles. Prior to the 1980s, mobilizations and protests in developing countries were given little attention in the media of the advanced countries. But this would change in the 1990s, especially when the Zapatistas of Chiapas first used the Internet to denounce the injustices inflicted by the Mexican state, which was typically tied to the ruling economic classes. The messages and demands of the Zapatista movement were widely circulated; they became one of the first mobilizations to gain international notice via the World Wide Web. By the end of the 1990s, it was evident that there was a large and growing alternative globalization movement involving an increasing number of transnational activist organizations, INGOs, and NGOs from labor unions to church groups to environmentalists, feminists, etc. (Keck and Sinking, 1998). Little known outside activist

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communities, but various social movement organizations (SMOs) quickly embraced the Internet to inform, mobilize, and coordinate mobilizations. Then came the massive World Trade Organization (WTO) protests in Seattle and the importance of the Internet was evident when the meetings were cancelled. With subsequent confrontations, followed by the birth of the World Social Forum in Brazil, there was not only a rapid growth of global justice movements, but thanks to the Internet, mobilizations in one place could inspire others, activists could share tactics and even coordinate actions across the globe such as when 20 million people protested against Bush and Blairs invasion of Iraq. Within a short time, massive protest demonstrations in Genoa and Toronto publicized the growing adversities of neoliberal globalization. The symbolic coming of age of these global justice movement mobilizations was the emergence of the World Social Forum in Brazil where thousands of social movement organizations gathered, and continue to gather to share ideas, tactics, and strategies and develop global networks to contest the varied adversities of neoliberal global capitalism. The wave of protests of 2011 that spread from the Middle East to Europe and to the USA can be seen in terms of the culmination of accumulated grievances, many of which that had fueled earlier protests and/or actions seeking economic, political, social, and/or environmental justice.

The context: Political economy and crises of legitimacy Neoliberalism and its discontents
While each of the current movements has had its own unique national context, cultural traditions, history, and course of development, there are a number of common trajectories which need to be considered to advance the theoretical understanding of the 2011 2012 mobilizations. The starting point for such considerations is the nature of current capitalist globalization in which a seamless, deterritorialized world market embraced neoliberalism as its legitimating economic ideology. As Harvey (2007) put it, neoliberalism is a theory of political economic practices that presuppose that human well-being can best be advanced by liberating entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within in a society that strongly embraces the rights to private property, free markets, and free trade. In the last three decades neoliberal ideology has led to major reductions in state intervention and/or regulation of the economy, major retrenchments from government-provided services and resources, and above all, the reductions if not curtailments of various benefits, entitlements, and obligations of the state that provide for the welfare of its citizens (e.g., daycare, health care, education/retraining, and/or retirement pensions). Instead, the primary emphases have been on servicing foreign debts and privatization of various government services and/or utilities that are vital to every societys development (such as water, oil, waste disposal, communications and electricity). But while the retrenchments and/or privatization of services may indeed adversely affect some people in the short run, the global elites believe that in the long run the rising tide of the free market will raise all ships. The results of infrastructure building supported by the World Bank, the lending policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the neoliberal trade policies of the World Trade Organization (WTO), encouraging the unrestricted flows of goods, services, and capital, have not confirmed this prediction.

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The increased permeability of national borders enabled massive exodus flows of manufacturing jobs from the high-wage, unionized workforces of Europe and the United States to far lower waged workers throughout the Far East and Southeast Asia. The direct consequences of deindustrialization have included precarious conditions for workers, alarming levels of unemployment, part-time intermittent employment, rapidly growing inequality, and widespread poverty in many of the worlds developed or developing economies. Meanwhile, the rich elites of this new global economy have accumulated unimagined wealth. Neoliberalism promised prosperity for all, but when the tide rose, many of the ships were chained to the bottom and wound up sinking. As the global economy became increasingly integrated over the last few decades, and production moved to Asia, there was a major shift from the production of goods to financialization as the basis of profits. This shift has unavoidably led to financial speculation as a major form of profit maximization and to what has been called casino capitalism (Strange, 1986). As a result, the global economic system has become even more prone to various fiscal crises. Thailand, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina are but a few examples of economic meltdowns that resulted from the implementation of neoliberal adjustment policies and the financialization of economies that took place under the umbrella of what in the 1990s was called the Washington Consensus. In many ways, these earlier crises can now be seen as dress rehearsals for what would come about in 20072008 with the implosion of the US financial system that subsequently led to the sovereign debt based euro crisis of today in which massive austerity programs that displace many state workers, and those dependent upon them, are making bad situations far worse. In the articles in this collection, it is evident how the neoliberal, global economy created and/or amplified socioeconomic inequality, blocked social mobility, and led to a growing precariat facing increasing costs of living from basic commodities such as bread or rice to cooking oil to cottage cheese not to speak of housing or health care. As we have seen, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions this inequality, coupled with indifferent, authoritarian governments allied to global capital, initiated the massive protests in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, etc. see articles by Moghadam, Desrues, and Grinberg in Current Sociology 61(4). These mobilizations in turn inspired the mobilizations of Spain (Perugorra and Tejerina), Greece (Sotirakopoulos and Sotiropoulos), and Portugal (Baumgarten). Finally, after a massive mobilization and occupation of the Wisconsin Capital to protest the union busting of the Tea Party Governor, media coverage of Tahrir Square, and a call for action by Adbusters and inspiration from Egypt, the Occupy Wall Street movement erupted and eventually spawned about 1600 more occupations.

Crises of legitimacy
The neo-Marxist legacy of critical theory has allowed us to bring political economy back in, while duly noting that these mobilizations were not classical worker-based contestations over wages and benefits organized by unions or socialist parties. One common theme of these various movements is that in each case, the mobilizations were the consequences of crises of legitimacy (Habermas, 1975). As Benski and Langman (this issue) have argued, for Habermas, legitimation crises occur when there are failures in the

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objective steering mechanisms of the systems of advanced capitalist industrial societies that provide (1) adaptation, namely the economy that produces and distributes goods and services, and (2) social integration, secured by ideology and the state. While system integration depends on mechanisms of domination (e.g., the state and the mass media), social integration draws on normative structures value systems that express norms and identity as well as secure loyalty and cohesion. Each form of integration possesses distinct logics and, in turn, a different kind of rationality. Social integration comes through socialization and the creation of meaningful life worlds, namely a culture/ideology that legitimates the social system and provides individuals with personal meaning. In contemporary societies, the instrumental logics of states and markets have migrated into the subjective realms where they have colonized the life worlds. As a consequence, crises at the level of political economy impact the subjective, and its hermeneutic logics of identity, desire (motivation), and values (Habermas, 1975, 1985). At times of structural crisis, as previously noted, people often withdraw their loyalties and commitments to the existing social order and/or its elites. This in turn creates spaces for alternative, if not critical discourses, views, values, understandings, and even new identities.

From emotions to mobilization


The structural contradictions and implosions that disrupt an actors life world elicit intense emotional reactions, moral shocks (Jasper, 1997). Such emotional reactions were not much considered by Habermas and his privileging of Reason. For Standing (2011), the dominant emotions of the growing precariat are anger, anomie, anxiety, and alienation. As the articles by Perugorra and Tejerina and by Benski and Langman in this monograph issue show, structural crises do not simply foster social movements per se. These crises need to elicit emotional reactions that in turn can be easily interpreted within existing frames of understanding, or perhaps, people can negotiate and construct new frames that resonate with actors social/network locations, identities, character structures, and values. Thus emotions such as anger joined with powerlessness may impel actors to claim or reclaim agency by joining/ creating networks where alternative visions can be negotiated and actors engage in collective struggles to work toward social change. The humiliated and denigrated might seek recognition and dignity. But to attain these goals, there needs to be socioeconomic transformation. While social movement theories have given little attention to emotions, an important aspect of the contemporary movements is the extent to which crises of legitimacy insinuate themselves within the realms of subjectivity, identity, and motivation. Most of the current studies in this issue have shown how such emotions have clearly played an important role. In each of the movements analyzed in this monograph, we have seen how the political economic crises fostered basic reflex emotions (Jasper, 2011) such as anger, fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. Thus it is no accident that in the article by Perugorra and Tejerina we have seen that the protestors of Spain define themselves as Indignados; Baumgarten noted how the Portuguese demonstrators called themselves the Gerao Rasca (the desperate generation), or as Sotirakopoulos and Sotiropoulos pointed out, the Greek activists of Syntagma Square called themselves the Outraged. While many social

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movements claim to express anger and indignation, few create an identity based on their emotions. We must note in this context that constellations of emotions, groupings such as anger and hope, anxiety and joy, were also among the primary factors motivating people to first participate in and then sustain activism through continued involvement in demonstrations and direct actions. Furthermore, participants were evidently experiencing joy, efficacy, and empowerment derived from their encounter with others in a similar situation amid these protests (Perugorra and Tejerina, this issue). These socially constructed constellations of emotions that might join humiliation and hope, or anger, while not among the primary factors driving people to participate nevertheless often provide participants with a number of emotional gratifications such as solidarity, agency, recognition, meaning, and empowerment derived from their encounter with others in similar situations. In addition, most of these mobilizations were marked by groundbreaking displays of humor, irony, and parody that could be announcing the inception of a new type of ludic activism, with pleasure, play, and creativity at its core.

Social media
As we have pointed, most of these movements were responses to the adversities of global capitalism. But as many commentators have highlighted, globalization has also meant a time and space compression in that with jet aircraft and high speed railroads, people can quickly move across the globe. But today, with the Internet, people can not only communicate with vast numbers of people all over the world, but can communicate and coordinate protest activities in real time, and broadcast live images of protest activities throughout the world. What must be noted is the increased fluidity of our age, what Bauman (2000) called liquid modernity. There has been a move from a world that is solid and heavy (like the Gutenberg Bible) to shifts and flows of what is now quite liquid, light and easily flows like Internet-based information. If Marx said all that is solid melts into thin air, today we would note that upon melting, almost everything people, goods, and information quickly flows and moves about unhindered by traditional barriers such as time, distance or national/social boundaries. In this way, the movements that began in Tunisia quickly became the catalyst, inspiration, and model for other MENA mobilizations that in turn spread to Southern Europe, Israel, and eventually the United States. The control, coordination, and communication between actors of the current global economy, especially its manufacturing, transportation, banking, and financial markets, have depended on the Internet. But at the same time, given the adverse consequences of globalization, that very same Internet, together with the cellular phone, has become useful, indeed crucial to the many social movements that would contest the adversities of globalization. This was evident when the Zapatistas first gained notoriety. The protests against the WTO in Seattle gave rise to Indymedia (www.indymedia.org/en/), which pioneered the use of the Internet to disseminate alternative frameworks to counter the misinformation from the corporate controlled media and inform other activists, if not media, about protest activities. Since that time, Indymedia has become a major source of information for progressive activists throughout the world. Their volunteer-based

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information is free of the distortions of the mainstream corporate-controlled media. This was especially clear in 2009, when there were massive protests against the rigged election in Iran that kept the fundamentalists in power. But thanks to Indymedia and Al Jazeera, these protests, and their brutal repression, were seen across the globe. The Internet has thus enabled the emergence of virtual public spheres where information could be disseminated, adversities could be recognized and debated, and actors became involved in various Internetworked social movements (Langman, 2005), provoking a qualitative change in the constellation of social movements to such a degree that according to Castells the networked social movements of the digital age represent a new species of social movement (Castells, 2012: 15). As Mason (2012) has put it, the 2011 movements were planned on Facebook, organized on Twitter, broadcast on YouTube, and then amplified and distributed by Al Jazeera or Indymedia that spread news of these events all over the world often in real-time coverage. The Internet has not simply enabled speaking truth to power, but widely disseminates those truths, counter-hegemonic discourses, to vast multitudes adversely impacted by the power of neoliberalism. At moments of crisis, people become more open to such critiques. One of the important points that we must now consider is how the transnational nature of the recent mobilizations depend on the use of ICTs, the Internet, and social media. The self-immolation of the Tunisian student was the starting point for many of the events in the MENA and Europe. Some contagion effects were also engendered by the spread of information on the Internet. It does not only provide activists with a toolkit for organizing and real-time coordination of protest demonstrations, but by making information widely available, it serves an educational function that also promotes greater democracy. Indeed, the proliferation of smart phones and tablets has represented a quantum leap in the use of technology. In the present mobilizations it has been used to disseminate information, link between different networks and social media users, enhance the process of meaning construction, organize protests in advance, coordinate protest activities in process, and globalize the movements. In the last few years, with the proliferation of smart phones, etc., social media sites have become an integral part of movement activity, especially in organizing protest. Indeed, although the use of the Internet (ICT), social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, as well as cellphone videos posted to YouTube or pictures to Flickr are relatively recent, these tools have been used long enough to provide us with the beginnings of a history. Prior to the Tahrir Square mobilizations, three Egyptians set themselves ablaze and again the news, via television, the web, and social media went viral. One of the interesting contributions of the Vicari article (this issue) is the excellent history of the use of mass media by activists from television to the Internet. Another contribution is the use of Twitter as a platform for sharing alternative information, connecting activists and the public, and meaning construction in the Italian mobilizations. Indeed, in the cases of Greece and Israel, the protests began with Facebook postings. The Occupy Wall Street movements began with an online call from Adbusters magazine to occupy Wall Street. Soon hundreds, tens of hundreds, and eventually tens of thousands joined the protests and occupations. The nature of global capital has fostered a globally based geopolitics of resistance dependent on the Internet, cell phones, and social media.

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However, the use of the Internet and social networks still find some limitations. As previous research has noted (Kwak et al., 2010: 10), and the contribution of Vicari has exposed, Twitter influences the traditional and dominant media, as a new alternative medium to share information, but it does not encourages long-lasting conversational processes. It appears as a tool centered on domestic protest events, conversations are not durable or interactional, most of the top players in the stream were individual twitterers, the analysis of usage dynamics showed that public reasoning around social contention on micro-blogging platforms is more likely to enact news media mechanisms rather than real networking processes, it does not foster dialogical interactions among users (via replies), and Twitter and the like seem to work more as news media rather than as truly interactional platforms for dialogical public sphere dynamics; in conclusion, individuals interested in discussing social contention use micro-blogging platforms to engage in the mediatization of dissent, that is, they enhance the debate of specific protest issues and develop protest themes aligned to, or diverging from, those covered by the mainstream media (Vicari, this issue). In this sense, as the full use of social media is still being assimilated by society, it is desirable to begin to introduce nuances in the analysis of their role in the emergence of virtual social networks.

Some characteristics of the 20112012 wave of mobilization Actors and networks


As most of the articles in this issue have shown (see, for example, Grinberg, Moghadam, Sotirakopoulos and Sotiropoulos, Langman, Desrues, Perugorra and Tejerina, and Baumgarten), these mobilizations generally consist of coalitions of diverse groups who come together to oppose the political and/or economic elites. But the overwhelming numbers of the participants in the 20112012 waves of mobilizations have been the young and often middle classes, many of whom can be thought of as members of the new classes of cultural workers. As the articles in this issue have shown, there are several reasons why the young form the bulwark of the current movements. First and foremost, it is the young that have borne the brunt of the economic crises and retrenchments. This is especially true for recent college graduates who played by the rules but were then unable to find work or at least work commensurate with their levels of education. And these youth are especially savvy in the use of the Internet, social media and cellular phones. In some places in Southern Europe like Spain, Portugal or Italy, a significant number of youth, almost 50%, are unemployed. And when employed, these young men and women have tended to fill the ranks of the growing precariat, that is, the workers with insecure and often intermittent jobs, and few if any social entitlements that are being urged to be flexible and employable (Standing, 2011).1 Second, given a general distrust, if not disdain of the economic and political authorities, young and often not so young activists tend to be highly anti-authoritarian in general; and the horizontalism of their movements and encampments stresses a direct, participatory democracy of equals. The young are both more prompted by the dire economic conditions they face, enabled

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to mobilize, and free of the social anchors such as work or family of older cohorts which is not to ignore the diversity of actors. As noted in earlier, many of the core actors in the present collective actions had been involved in earlier progressive mobilizations and, as a result, submerged networks of experienced activists were already in place to form the nuclei of activists (Melucci, 1989). The articles on the Middle East, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and the United States noted activist participation in earlier movements. This paved way for the various movements of our concern. In the United States, one of the largest movements to ever take place was the occupation of the Wisconsin State Capitol to protest the anti-union actions of the governor. These massive protests and occupations of public space (the State Capitol building) anticipated and inspired the Occupy Wall Street mobilization. It might also be worth noting that in some European mobilizations, like the Greek case, organized workers and leftist parties played important roles, especially insofar as these mobilizations often did engage in political actions (Sotirakopoulos and Sotiropoulos, this issue). In the Spanish case, in turn, squatter movements in large cities, and several social movement organizations (Real Democracy Now, Youth Without Future) also had considerable input in the shaping of the 15M. In the case of Portugal, Baumgarten indicates a low level of internationalization of the groups of activists and their dominant local orientation, differentiating between two types of components: classical groups oriented towards the state and the PPA groups platforms of actors and collectives that practice a bottom-up democracy and seek alternatives that do not pass through the state. Though little known outside the region, it should also be noted that there were a number of social movement organizations, civil society organizations, and organizers that had been active in various protests and mobilizations in the Middle East before the Arab Spring. Thus, as Moghadam (in this issue) suggests, given the many feminist organizations in the MENA countries, it is no accident that women were highly involved in the protests, joining with other aggrieved factions. The current movements that include large numbers of the precariat, intermittent workers without real connections to unions, or work or worker organizations, are much more likely to embrace horizontalism. They are much more likely to engage in participatory democracy and decision-making than traditional labor and/or political movements, headed by various leadership cadres. This was first seen in the factory reclamations movements in Argentina that embraced horizontalism (Sitrin, 2006). Horizontalism is a social relationship that implies, as it sounds, a flat plane upon which to communicate. Horizontalism requires the use of direct democracy vs -hierarchy and anti-authoritarian creation rather than reaction. It is a break with vertical ways of top-down organizing and relating, but a break that is also an opening (Sitrin, 2006). The same pattern of participatory and direct democracy, and often direct action, unlike the parliamentary democracies, was repeated in most of the other mobilizations, particularly in Greece (Peoples Assembly), Spain, Israel, and the Occupy Wall Street movements in which the general assembly included all participants convened to discuss strategy, tactics and goals, and all voices were to be heard. The analysis presented here agrees on the dual orientation of participating actors (local versus global), the multiple composition of networks of resistance and mobilization (classic versus new), the creation of new platforms, the articulations around the

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occupation of public space and the intensive use of connections enabled through the Internet and social networks, the diverse origin of participants with a broad presence of youth, professional, and middle classes, as well as womens groups and cultural and religious minorities. This diversity and pluralism of diverse groups complicated the task of creating community; a community based on being together and sharing identity traits (Castells, 2012: 10).

Ideology
One of the common themes of these movements was the rejection of traditional political ideologies and indeed, a distrust of professional politicians left or right. While many of the activists were harshly critical of neoliberal capitalism, they did not typically embrace socialist ideologies or parties where they existed (or the Democratic Party in the USA). As we noted, their radical horizontalism eschewed the embrace of hierarchical organizations, even progressive ones, and that would include the majority of now sclerotic socialist parties and/or political leaders of generations long past. But this is not to say that these movements were bereft of ideology, rather that the mobilizations, the critiques of the existing conditions, and possibilities of alternatives did articulate an ideology through their practices that envisioned a more gratifying, humanistic alternative. Given a much larger base of support from the progressive communities of New York, the tent city of Zuccotti Park provided occupiers with food, clothes, shelter, medical care, and books to everyone. Much like the Paris commune, a truly autonomous, democratic community was established. Part and parcel of most social movements, is the framing, explaining of the current adverse conditions, and envisioning alternative conditions that would be realized as a result of successful mobilizations. Indeed in the West there is a long tradition beginning, perhaps, with Thomas Mores Utopia, that has understood that economic inequality creates a number of other inequalities, especially in the opportunities for personal fulfillment. The article by Langman suggested that the works of Bloch, Benjamin, and Marcuse were indeed applicable to the movements at hand (see also Langman, 2013b). As Bloch (1986) had argued, hope was a fundamental human emotion rooted in the human capacity to dream, and for Freud, dreams provided wish fulfillments. In the mobilizations considered in this issue, activists hope for a different kind of society that provides people with more individual, interpersonal, and collective gratifications was very salient. This theme was clearly evident in Marxs emancipatory vision of a society freed of class domination based on private property. This utopian theme found in critical theory is a vision of yet to be realized possibility rather than a set of blueprints for how people might or should live (Jacoby, 2005). As Jacoby (2005) puts it, to specify the precise nature of Utopia is to render its attainment impossible, but rather the progressive critiques of the economic, political, and cultural domination, as articulated in the movements, envision the better world that is possible. Authoritarian visions of the possible, typically romantic versions of the past that never was, valorizing both the elites and hierarchy, inevitably wind up suppressing freedom and democracy, thwarting individual self-fulfillment, and in the end typically result in repressive dystopias that crush the human spirit.

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Identity
In the 1980s, Touraine and colleagues (Touraine et al., 1983, 1987, 1990) argued that the then au courant movements such as students, feminists, anti-nuclear, and regionalist movements could not be understood in the same ways as traditional workers movements since most of the activists were neither proletarians nor organized or led by older generations of activists tied to unions or socialist parties. These movements were not precipitated by economic issues per se. These scholars, along with Habermas, Offe, and others, then attempted to develop New Social Movement theory (NSM), which was primarily concerned with understanding and explaining social movements on the basis of contestations at the levels of culture, meanings, and identities in which protests and demonstration took place in the realms of civil society rather than simply in the political spheres. Moreover, these movements were said to embrace post-materialist values and new, progressive identity formations, that would encourage agency in the creation of ones own notions of subjectivity and self. For Nancy Fraser (2000), identity politics provided recognition to the marginalized; but his must require an egalitarian redistribution of resources as a means of providing recognition and dignity to the victims of political-economic arrangements. More than a decade ago Castells (1997) argued that the nature of globalization was prompting both reactionary identities that would return society to a mythical, albeit better past, and progressive, project identities that would seek to fashion new kinds of collective identities unfettered from both compulsively driven accumulation of wealth and mass mediated forms of consumer-based identities. As mentioned in the introductory article to this monograph issue, protestors were not demanding recognition just as citizens, but as human beings with the right to lead lives worth living. One of the central themes in the Occupy movements has been the attempt by the indignant to attain or restore valorized identities that provide the person or the group with recognition and dignity as opposed to their marginalization if not denigration that has resulted from the combination of indifferent elites, economic crises, implosions, and retrenchments of benefits previously provided by the state. These attempts to refashion identities were especially clear in envisioning an alternative kind of society more concerned with sharing, caring, inclusion, toleration, and self-determination/creativity, all of which were sensitive to the environment and all of which were ignored by the elites. Although given the political economic factors noted, while these mobilizations cannot be said to be expressions of identity politics, the issues of collective identity are quite salient. Collective identities mediate perceptions and understandings, and many of these events evoke many of the same collective emotions that individuals feel. The crucial element here is that collective identity acts as a mediator between structural conditions and responses. The role of collective identity in social movements, both conceptually and empirically, has been argued by Polletta and Jasper:
Collective identity describes imagined as well as concrete communities, involves an act of perception and construction as well as the discovery of preexisting bonds, interests, and boundaries. It is fluid and relational, emerging out of interactions with a number of different audiences (bystanders, allies, opponents, news media, state authorities), rather than fixed. It channels words and actions, enabling some claims and deeds but delegitimating others. It provides categories by which individuals divide up and make sense of the social world. (Polletta and Jasper, 2001: 298)

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Collective identity represents the intersections of historical, economic, political, and cultural contexts and moments with various aspects of class, gender, race/ethnicity, in which individuals find groups and networks of people that share certain values or cultural styles that are or become the collective identity shared by a group. It acts as a filter that provides selective attention to external events. But identity is not simply a set of cognitive processes; it is acquired through social interactions and ties to groups. What must be noted is that identity, personally or collectively, is largely shaped by a variety of social institutions and is therefore the primary site for anchoring hegemonic discourses. Therefore, identity itself often becomes the contested terrain where counter-hegemonic discourses and identities resist and challenge authority. As we have seen, identity is absolutely central in the contemporary social mobilizations in which legitimation crises challenge or undermine certain collective identities (such as worker, provider) that in turn evoke strong, powerful emotions that would impel people to seek to negotiate and refashion project identities (Castells, 1997), that would grant people dignity now and change the future tomorrow. These movements attempt to create, negotiate, and promote new collective identities as a strategy to gain power, as well as transform selves and eventually transform society (Polletta and Jasper, 2001). Despite the best efforts to build a sense of belonging among the participants, trying for inclusion with larger populations through slogans like we are the 99%, we are persons, or the middle class, this strategy was far from having achieved satisfactory results. However, we can say that horizontal, multimodal networks, both on the Internet and in the urban spaces create togetherness. Togetherness is not a community because a community implies enduring face to face interactions and set of common values. The attempt to forge such communities remains a work in progress for the movements. Thus, community is a goal to be achieved, but togetherness is a starting point and source of empowerment. Together we can (Castells, 2012: 225). These movements have a highly self-reflective character, they are constantly engaged in self-examinations, deliberations, and negotiations to create spaces of autonomy for public discussion that takes place through the tools available on the Internet. But, most importantly, activist groups acquire the status of social movements by occupying urban space, holding meetings and assemblies in public space, and gaining visibility through street demonstrations.

Occupying space
One of the major qualities of late modern capitalist societies has been the privatization of self, the erosion of the public sphere, and cooptation/colonization of language by the media and other cultural authorities. As a result, we have seen the rise and spread of a more subtle kind of authoritarianism that is rendered invisible by the distractions of mass media, growing indifference of distracted populations, and the contractions of spaces, public or private, where free speech and democratic practices can be sustained. On the one hand, this authoritarianism sustains neoliberal capital, but on the other hand, it can be challenged when massive numbers of people embrace democratic values. Thus as we have seen, one very salient common aspect of the 20112012 mobilizations has been the occupation of public spaces and turning them into spaces where people can speak freely

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and enjoy direct, participatory democracy. In the past, radical actions have often started at places of work or study and involved the occupation of such places. Although strikes and factory or school occupations have taken place in some countries such as Egypt or Greece, the most common form of action amid the current cycle of mobilization entailed reclaiming the public space and transforming it into a public sphere, a realm of civil society that stands apart from the general commodification, social fragmentation, and isolation typical of private space in capitalist societies. Here people can engage in debate, explore alternative, often counter-hegemonic discourses, and render subtle forms of domination glaringly visible and subject to challenge. We would argue that the current mobilizations, made possible by the Internet and cellphones, enable geographies of resistance to emerge in the public spaces of societies that have revitalized the notion of publics contesting elite power. Mass demonstrations and often occupations as well bring together face-to-face relationships and large crowds whose very size is itself both empowering to the actor and a message to power. Bourguiba Avenue, Tahrir Square, Syntagma Square, Puerta del Sol, Rothschild Avenue, and Zuccotti Park were and still are places where the many factions of the masses of urban discontented, indignant, and marginalized, from the unemployed college graduates to the precariat youth of the slums, from the underpaid doctors to strapped pensioners, could gather together, prompted by social media, and yet find face-to-face contacts, discussions, and networks within a vast crowd. Such contact is essential for negotiating frames, planning tactics, and from what we have seen, is essential for engendering emotions that impel continued action. The occupation of the public space and its transformation into a public sphere was achieved through two different though complementary ways: (1), intermittent popular assemblies and (2) long-term encampments (Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Israel, USA, Spain, Greece, and Portugal). The Wall Street Occupiers and the tent camps in Spain and Israel established living, sleeping, and eating arrangements that lasted several weeks. What was especially important for the occupations were the discussions and analyses in the general assemblies and working groups that framed the problem, debated alternatives, tactics, and strategies. Both instances were characterized by open debates where any protestor could have their say. Although the working groups did much of the research and strategizing, important decisions were often made at the general assemblies, that operate with discussion facilitators rather than leaders, and much of the discussions were facilitated by the use of gestures and body language. As we discuss below, this embodied, territorialized political praxis in the streets, and in the squares, was combined with the intensive and savvy use of ICT and social media, which operated not only as a potent means of spreading information, but also offered a novel form of deterritorialized space for doing disembodied politics from-the-groundup. Both the embodied and territorialized, and the disembodied and deterritorialized political practices displayed in the context of these movements have tended toward horizontalism and direct, participatory democracy where all participants speak (or write) and listen (or read) as equals. The structural similarities between neighborhood assemblies and social media like Twitter or Facebook have allowed participants, particularly the young, to flow from one realm to the other and back with utmost ease. As pointed out by Perugorra and Tejerina (this issue), the political socialization of

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thousands of men and women, young and old, in these types of dual, horizontal activism is, perhaps, one of the most important outcomes of this cycle of mobilizations and we suggest that this practice will have impact long after these mobilizations wane.

Evaluating the trajectory of the 20112012 cycle of contention: Preliminary outcomes


Perhaps the most important question for social movement scholars is to assess the impact, if any, of the 20112012 mobilizations. Have these mobilizations changed the structure of society, the economy, the political system or the culture? Was it worth the effort? The answer to these questions is invariably it depends. On what does it depend? To begin with, social movements outcomes are notoriously hard to define, determine, and measure (Bosi and Uba, 2009; Earl, 2004). There is general agreement over the fact that movements can have a wide range of consequences, some of them short term, others long term. It is possible for a movement to fail in achieving its immediate goal and disband but once the issue has been raised, it becomes part of the culture and social agenda and perhaps years later, their goals are achieved. Perhaps for thus reason when Chou En Lai was asked his opinion of the French Revolution, he said it was too early to tell. This means that to a large extent, assessing the outcomes of social movements depends on the definitions adopted of what constitutes the outcome and time span in which the effects that we are assessing occur. It often takes a long time after a movement emerges for its impacts to be felt, and quite often some changes may take generations to have major impact, especially in the cultural domain. Many of the struggles over civil rights, feminism, gay rights, or the legalization of marijuana have taken decades. The studies in this monograph are very recent, and in some cases, some of the mobilizations are still unfolding. In this sense it is really too early to try and assess the outcomes. In addition to the temporal dimension, another important lens through which social movement outcomes may be assessed refers to the different domains of movements goals and activism. Partly consistent with Bosi and Ubas (2009) formulation, and with our attempt at bringing the economy back into the analysis, we consider three main fields of possible outcomes: the political, cultural, and economic, whether or not these were intended or unintended goals of the 20112012 mobilizations. Outcomes in the political domain have been the most frequently studied (Bosi and Uba, 2009; Earl, 2004; Giugni, 2004). Perhaps the most influential of these studies was by Gamson (1975). Gamson looked at success in terms of two clusters of possible outcomes. First, the acceptance of the challengers by their opponents as a valid representative of a legitimate set of interests. And second, whether the group beneficiary gains new advantages during the challenge and its aftermath (Gamson, 1975: 2829). Since then, Gamsons thesis has been reappraised and further developed, but in the political domain, these are still central concerns along with measures such as changes in policies, legislation, political institutions, and regimes, or the actions taken by political parties (Bosi and Uba, 2009). Looking at the various articles in this issue, very few discussed the possible outcomes of the mobilizations. In the MENA, Moghadam (this issue) suggests that the process of democratization is more likely to occur in Tunisia than in Egypt or Morocco due to the vibrant civil society of Tunisia. The transition process depends on the

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structural starting conditions (employment, level of education, equality) and the institutional stability (civil society, internal conflicts). It is not clear that certain minorities and groups, such as women for example, acquired important gains in the short term in Egypt, compared with Morocco and, above all, Tunisia. In Israel, Grinberg (see this issue) noted that institutional political actors have acted by closing political space to new autonomous actors. These actors are members of underrepresented groups who have suffered the consequences of the blocks to the social mobility of the younger, middle-class generation. In addition, center-left parties have coopted activists and leaders of the movement, and have channeled its requests, which have produced a rapid demobilization of many activists. Grinberg pointed out the possibility that the effects of the J14 will become more evident in the 2013 elections. At the time of writing our article, there was a major surprise in Israeli politics when large numbers of the young supported Lapids moderate centrist party that presented a social agenda based on the 2011 protest wave in Israel. Desrues analysis delves into how the hybrid political regime of Morocco had been able to demobilize the protests, transforming its structures, through the enactment of a new Constitution and a new distribution of power between monarchy and democratic institutions, fostering the sectionalism of different groups in the Moroccan society. The articles on the European movements do not deeply evaluate possible outcomes, but social mobilization has had a clear impact on the measures taken by the different governments in specific areas: subsidies, housing, budget cuts, privatizations. However, the importance of political outcomes is perhaps clearer in Egypt, where Mubarak eventually resigned and a more or less democratic election brought President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to power. But as we have seen, the highly motivated core activists of Tahrir Square, typically young and typically progressive, had neither the numbers nor organization of the Muslim Brotherhood that subsequently won the elections. After democratically gaining power, Morsi has since given himself dictatorial powers that have engendered massive and sometimes violent protests and demonstrations in Tahrir Square rivaling those that ousted Mubarak. The newly passed constitution was in many ways a step backward from the Mubarak years, especially for women. Will the Egyptian democracy become democratic? In Syria the insurgents are still fighting for political changes and the conflict has taken many lives and is still raging. Outcomes in the economic domains have often been ignored by the social movement literature. Potential outcomes of the current cycle of contention will entail changes in the economic system in general, in the distribution of wealth, measures initiated by authorities to reduce inequalities, a move away from austerity measures, or heavier taxation of the rich (the 1%). Amid the 2007 crisis, the United States embraced a fairly weak neoKeynesian agenda, bailed out major banks, and created a small stimulus plan that at least stopped or slowed down the plunge for the banking and investment companies. Job creation did improve slightly, but most of these were low-wage service jobs. By contrast, the severe austerity programs implemented in Southern Europe since the emergence of the crisis, and deepened since 2010, have generally made matters worse. As a consequence, protests still continue in Greece and Spain. As for the cultural domain, Earl (2004: 525) claims the polysemic character of culture itself as an analytic concept has produced a diverse set of research projects on cultural movement outcomes. Earls review of the field provides a list of the different

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conceptualizations of the cultural consequences of social movements: values, beliefs, and public opinion; literature, media culture, visual culture, music, fashion, language, discourse, collective identity, and subcultures. Earlier in this article we have discussed identity changes and in the introductory article to this issue (Tejerina, Perugorra, Benski, and Langman) we discussed the generation and/or modification of discourse frames with the return to the inequality and injustice frames and the rise of real democracy as a new master frame. The question to be raised interrogates the extent to which these frames will endure. At present, it is too early to answer this question but apparently, at least in the MENA, according to Moghadam (this issue), cultural, political, and economic outcomes are intertwined and she argues that Tunisia could become a model of a democratic society, due to its vibrant civil society with human rights, womens rights, and professional associations and a strong labor market. The outcomes of the 20112012 cycle of contention remain uncertain. In many cases, such as Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, there were important changes in the government, slight modifications in the economies, but social structures were little changed. Impacts in Southern Europe are still unclear and their outcomes may be more dependent on German bankers that wish to save the Eurozone. We should also note that like many other social movements, there may be very little immediate impact, but over time, many movements do eventually affect, and transform society. As Mannheim (1952) argued, cohorts flow through time, and each generation is exposed to a different social, economic, political, and cultural context that shapes their consciousness, values, understandings of the world, and their identities. The Occupy movement in the United States did not make political or economic demands, or propose legislation, or even involve itself in the political process. Nevertheless, insofar as they changed the national discussions from austerity to inequality, and encouraged a large number of the younger generation to become politically involved, they were one of the key elements of the Obama re-election (see Langman, 2013a). Moreover, the movements did impact the consciousness of a large number of young people who are more likely to be supportive of progressive government policies, and surely more tolerant of neo-Keynesian approaches than previous generations. As this cohort flows through social time, facing the consequences of an economy that provides fewer opportunities for its now more politicized youth, we might expect more progressive agendas. At the present moment, the impacts and the outcomes of these movements remain unknown and uncertain. A detailed monitoring of the social mobilization in the coming years and a deep analysis of its more specific claims will help to shed light on its impact on the lives of the participants and the societys structures. An important aspect of these transformations, which was not an immediate object of social claims, is the change in the social consciousness and the increased social solidarity and material support towards those who are suffering the consequences of the economic and social crisis with greater intensity. The levels of solidarity that have soared in recent months in countries like Spain, Greece, and Portugal can be considered as an unexpected ripple in the wake of this new wave of global mobilization. Consideration of outcomes of ongoing movements outcomes which are quite uncertain is always quite problematic in general but especially so for empirically based social science. As social scientists we would like to develop some explanatory

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if not causal analyses and explanations, but when the outcome is uncertain what are we to explain? For example, at the present moment it would seem that the election of the Muslim Brotherhood president has resulted in little improvement in the lives of most Egyptians and instead there have been massive protests against the government which has employed the same emergency rules, martial law, employed by Mubarak. But as we have also seen, in Morocco and Tunisia, there have been movements toward more democratic governance. This variability in outcomes, which is not independent of the variability of the social/national context of the movement, makes it especially difficult to make generalizations let alone predictions. Nevertheless, even failed revolutions provide us with empirical realities that are useful for sociological understandings.

Rethinking social movements


Since the 1980s the field of social movement studies has been characterized by an eclecticism with many theoretical strands but without a dominant paradigm(s). The articles in this issue reflect this eclecticism. Thus some of the articles were informed by different social movement traditions, some resting on rethinking older frameworks, often embracing newer paradigms. We might note that the Resource Mobilization theories based on self-interested, rational actors, social movement entrepreneurs, and everpresent grievances have little explanatory value for these mobilizations and indeed they have not been used by the authors of this issue. New Social Movement theory, with its concerns for identity, meaning, and mobilizations in the public sphere, may serve as a starting point as was clearly noted in Langmans article. Framing approaches focused on the cognitive elements of socially constructed explanations and choices of appropriate tactics and outcomes similarly can only deal with some partial aspects of mobilization. But we argue that in both cases there is a failure to understand the extent to which emotions are central in terms of mobilizing actors, disposing the embrace or rejection of certain frames or tactics and the emotional correlates of particular outcomes. To be able to account for all of these factors requires modifications that push each perspective toward a more eclectic approach. On the other hand, the early theories of collective behavior made emotions, qua irrationality, central, their conservative biases saw social movements as collections of crazed mobs following charismatic leaders into frenzied irrational destructive nihilism. While that view is already dated, most of the articles this collection have noted the anger, alienation, and outrage of people facing major hardships, but at the same time, these movements expressed hope for a better future (Castells, 2012). In this sense, it is not possible to offer a single unified paradigm to account for the different faces of the present mobilizations, and it is arguable whether we should try to suggest a single theoretical formulation that will account for all the different aspects of this current wave. Some of the articles in this issue even demonstrate the benefits of crossing disciplinary boundaries (for example, Langman, Baumgarten, Grinberg, and Sotirakopoulos and Sotiropoulos). These authors have incorporated insights from philosophy, political science, media theory, and even postmodernism. We would argue that this eclecticism that enables cross-fertilization from

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other perspectives provides for a more creative and invigorating field of study. But at the moment, while writing these lines, Tahrir Square is again burning and Syria is sinking into an abyss it is too early for an all-embracing, comprehensive, social movement paradigm. Further, the horizontalism of these movements (Sitrin, 2006), and demands for radical, participatory democracy, require us to rethink the nature of leadership and organization in such movements of resistance. This was already evident in many of the Internet based movements, especially the World Social Forum, a movement of movements in the spaces of flows. In most of the mobilizations discussed, the emergent, spontaneous, and democratic practices/organization must be noted. We might finally point out that the articles in this issue raise an important question about the role of ideology in explaining the emergence and functioning of social movements. While some of the articles stress ideological elements in the current mobilizations (for example, Benski and Langman), other articles have paid less attention to this element but rather focus on the opportunity structure and the importance of civil society (for example, Grinberg and Moghadam) or the role of Internet (Vicari). It is of course a long-standing issue, but the movements themselves have deliberately downplayed the ideological element in order to draw a larger base of support. The objective of the movements to be inclusive and encourage greater participation from people of diverse groups and political affiliations and sympathies has led to the refraining from specific ideological references. For example in Israel (Grinberg) the movement refrained from any politically divisive references for the sake of solidarity. Perugorra and Tejerina mention a similar phenomenon of forbidding partisan placards and signs in Spain. But this tactic raises the important question, can such movements foster progressive transformation by avoiding partisan electoral politics? Then, on the other hand, can such politics, even if embraced, challenge the dominant forces to foster the more humanistic visions? We would hope that the studies in this monograph represent a step in advancing our understandings of the social movements unfolding in the current decade that will shape the 21st century. Funding
This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Note
1. For Standing, there are three varieties of precariat that are detached from old political democracy and unable to relate to 20th-century industrial economic democracy. The first variety consists of those drifting downward from working-class backgrounds into precariousness, the second consists of those emerging from a schooling system who are over-credentialed for the kinds of flexible, intermittent jobs now available, and finally, there are various migrants, marginalized or criminalized populations in situations where they do not have the full rights of citizens. Each group is without an occupational identity, and thus not part of occupational community with a long-established social memory giving them an anchor of ethical norms, each has a distinctive worldview and few have faith in existing political institutions. They are angry, frustrated and may produce social instabilities, from violence to political extremism, hence they constitute a dangerous class (see Standing, 2011).
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Bauman Z (2000) Liquid Modernity. New York: John Wiley. Bloch E (1986) Principles of Hope. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Bosi L and Uba K (2009) Introduction: The outcomes of social movements. Mobilization 14(2): 409416. Castells M (1997) The Power of Identity: The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture, Vol. II. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. Castells M (2012) Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age. Cambridge: Polity Press. Earl J (2004) The cultural consequences of social movements. In: Snow D, Soule S and Kriesi H (eds) The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 508530. Fraser N (2000) Rethinking recognition. New Left Review 3, MayJune. Gamson W (1975) The Strategy of Social Protest. Homewood, IL: Dorsey Press. Giugni M (2004) Social Protest and Policy Change: Ecology, Antinuclear, and Peace Movements in Comparative Perspective. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Habermas J (1975) Legitimation Crisis. Boston: Beacon Press. Habermas J (1985) The Theory of Communicative Action, 2 vols. Cambridge, MA: Beacon Press. Harvey (2007) A Short History of Neo-liberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jacoby R (2005) Past Imperfect. New York: Columbia University Press. Jasper J (1997) The Art of Moral Protest. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Jasper J (2011) Emotions and social movements: Twenty years of theory and research. Annual Review of Sociology 37: 285303. Keck M and Sinking K (1998) Activists beyond Borders. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Kwak H, Lee C, Park H and Moon S (2010) What is Twitter, a social network or a news media? In: Proceedings of the 19th International World Wide Web (WWW) Conference, Raleigh, NC, 2630 April 2010. Langman L (2005) From virtual public spheres to global justice: A critical theory of internetworked social movements. Sociological Theory 23(1): 4274. Langman L (2013a) Why Obama will win and the left should be happy. Available at: www.logosjournal.com Langman L (2013b) Capitalism, crises and great refusals: Critical theory, social movements and utopian visions. Radical Philosophy Review (in press). Mannheim K (1952) The problem of generations. In: Essays on the Sociology of Knowledge. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 276320. Mason P (2012) Why its Kicking off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions. London: Verso. Melucci A (1989) Nomads of the Present: Social Movements and Individual Needs in Contemporary Society. Berkeley, CA: University of California. Polletta F and Jaspers J (2001) Collective identity and social movements. Annual Review of Sociology 27: 283305. Sitrin M (2006) Horizontalism. Oakland, CA: AK Press. Sitrin M (2012) Available at: marinasitrin.com/ (accessed 14 September 2012). Standing G (2011) The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic. Strange S (1986) Casino Capitalism. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Touraine A, Hegedus Z, Dubet F and Wieviorka M (1983) Anti-nuclear Protest: The Opposition to Nuclear Energy in France. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Touraine A, Wieviorka M and Dubet F (1987) The Workers Movement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Touraine A, Dubet F, Wieviorka M and Strzelecki J (1990) Solidarity: The Analysis of a Social Movement: Poland 19801981. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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Tova Benski is a senior lecturer at the Department of Behavioral Sciences, the College of Management-Academic Studies, Rishon Lezion Israel. Her fields of academic interest and research include: qualitative research methods, gender, social movements, peace studies, and the sociology of emotions. She has been engaged in research on the Israeli womens peace mobilizations since the late 1980s and has published extensively and presented many papers on these topics. Her coauthored book Iraqi Jews in Israel won a prestigious academic prize in Israel. The former president of RC 48 of the International Sociological Association, currently she is a member of the Board RC 48 and a member of RC 36, and RC 06, of the ISA. Lauren Langman is a Professor of Sociology at Loyola University of Chicago. He received his PhD at the University of Chicago from the Committee on Human Development and received psychoanalytic training at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. He has long worked in the tradition of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory, especially relationships between culture, identity, and politics/political movements. He is the past president of Alienation Research and Theory, RC 36, of the International Sociological Association as well as past president of the Marxist section of the American Sociological Association. Recent publications deal with globalization, alienation, global justice movements, the body, nationalism, and national character. His most recent books are Trauma Promise and Millennium: The Evolution of Alienation, with Devorah Kalekin and Alienation and Carnivalization, with Jerome Braun. Ignacia Perugorra is a PhD candidate in sociology at Rutgers University, working on the interaction between identity battles, social movement networks, and political opportunity structures in the making of participatory culture. She is a Fulbright scholar and has also been awarded fellowships by the Institute of International Education and the Graduate School at Rutgers University. She received her MA in sociology at Rutgers and her BA at the University of Buenos Aires, both with honors. She is affiliated to the Gino Germani Research Institute (University of Buenos Aires) and is currently a visiting researcher at the Collective Identity Research Center (University of the Basque Country). She has participated in numerous research projects with Argentine, American, and European funding, and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses both in Latin America and the United States. Her most recent publications include Global Movements, National Grievances: Mobilizing for Real Democracy and Social Justice and From Social to Political: New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization edited with B Tejerina (2012). She is also the co-editor of Grassroots: The Newsletter of the Research Committee on Social Movements, Collective Action and Social Change of the International Sociological Association. Her research interests lie at the intersection of culture and politics, with a particular focus on cultural activism and cultural citizenship. Benjamn Tejerina is Professor of Sociology and director of the Collective Identity Research Center at the University of the Basque Country. His research interests include collective action and social movements, living conditions, precariousness and transformations in work culture, sociology of language and ethnolinguistic movements, collective identity, social conflict and youth transitions, and sociological theory. Among his selected publications are From Social to Political: New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization edited with I Perugorra (2012); La sociedad imaginada. Movimientos sociales y cambio cultural en Espaa (2010); Barrios multiculturales. Relaciones intertnicas en los barrios de San Francisco (Bilbao) y Embajadores/ Lavapis (Madrid) edited with A Prez-Agote and M Baraano (2010); Hacia una nueva cultura de la identidad y la poltica. Tendencias en la juventud vasca (with B Cavia, G Gatti, A G Seguel, I Martnez de Albniz, S Rodrguez Maeso, A Prez-Agote, and E Santamara (2005); Los movimientos sociales. Transformaciones polticas y cambio cultural, edited with P Ibarra (1998); and Sociedad civil, protesta y movimientos sociales en el Pas Vasco, with JM Fernndez Sobrado and

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X Aierdi (1995). In 1990 he received the National PhD Dissertation Award in Sociology and Political Sciences from the Sociological Research Center (CIS, Spain). He is the president of the Research Committee on Social Movements, Collective Action and Social Change (RC 48) of the International Sociological Association.

Rsum Dans notre introduction, nous avons not la faon dont les diverses mobilisations, partir de 2011, ont soulev des questions importantes pour la recherche sur les mouvements sociaux. Les diffrents articles de ce numro ont explor lmergence, la dynamique et limportance des mobilisations sociales, contestations et affrontements qui ont commenc avec le printemps arabe et qui continuent ce jour. Ce dernier chapitre se concentre sur trois aspects principaux qui se dgagent du dialogue des diteurs avec les diffrentes contributions. Le premier est le contexte, et avant tout les ressorts politiques et conomiques du nolibralisme, les diverses crises de lgitimit quil a engendres au cours des trois dernires dcennies, et le rle des nouveaux mdias (TIC) dans la gense de ces mobilisations, leur coordination et mondialisation. Le deuxime aspect porte sur quelques-unes des caractristiques de ce cycle de discorde, essentiellement sur les acteurs, leurs rseaux et identits, et sur la nouvelle pratique doccupation de lespace public. La troisime et dernire partie est une tentative pour valuer lvolution gnrale de ces mobilisations durant les deux dernires annes, ainsi que leurs implications. Mots-cls Crises de lgitimit, horizontalit, espace, identit, neoliberalisme, occupation, prcariat, rseaux sociaux Resumen Las diversas movilizaciones que comenzaron en el ao 2011 plantean algunas cuestiones importantes para los analistas de los movimientos sociales. Los artculos que forman este monogrfico profundizan en la emergencia, el desarrollo y la significacin de las movilizaciones sociales, luchas y confrontaciones que comenzaron con la primavera rabe y que continan todava hoy. Este artculo de conclusiones se centra en los tres aspectos principales que surgen del dilogo entre los editores y las diferentes contribuciones. El primero se centra en el contexto de las movilizaciones, comienza con una evaluacin poltico-econmica del neoliberalismo, las distintas crisis de legitimidad que ha alimentado a lo largo de las tres ltimas dcadas y el papel de los nuevos medios de informacin y comunicacin en la generacin de estas movilizaciones, su coordinacin y globalizacin. El segundo aspecto aborda algunas caractersticas de este ciclo de contencin, principalmente los actores y sus redes, identidades y la estrategia de ocupar el espacio pblico. El tercero representa un intento de evaluar la trayectoria general de estas movilizaciones en los dos ltimos aos. Palabras clave Crisis de legitimidad, espacio, horizontalidad, identidad, neoliberalismo, ocupacin, precariado, redes sociales

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