Abstracts for Greek Political Science Review 27 (2006)

Seraphim Seferiades
Contentious politics, collective action, social movements: A mapping

This article examines major theoretical developments and debates in contentious politics, a field in dynamic growth. The review is done by means of a cognitive collage: associations of different data levels, text, and symbols in a manner effecting a transition from latent semantics to spatial hypertext. Issues examined include: the genealogy and historical prerequisites of the social movement; the influence of social and institutional structures (political opportunities and threats); contentious repertoires; the role of values and cultural framings; the question of organizational dilemmas; cycles of contention; and the thorny problem of assessing movement outcomes. Although the focus is on depicting scholarly debates and the evolution of the field, attention is also paid to practical synchronics: how can we describe the nature of the current conjuncture? What sorts of challenges does globalization pose?

C. Tilly, S. Tarrow
How political identities work

Identity-based approaches to social movements are often seen in opposition to structures and to structural approaches. Oddly, identity-based approaches share with structural approaches a static perspective on how new political identities are formed, how they relate to existing ones, and how they interact with significant others and political regimes. Instead, this paper focuses on actor constitution. Drawing on three historical and contemporary episodes of contentious politics, we propose answers to three related questions: (1) How do political actors form, change, and disappear? (2). How do they acquire and change their collective identities? (3). How do they interact with other political actors, including holders of power? To do so, we first distinguish among intermittent actors, established interests, and activist groups. We then relate identity work to the classical structuralist construct of opportunity structures. We conclude by examining the relationship between identities and boundaries, suggesting that identity work is most critical in what we call “composite systems”.

Iossif Botetzagias
NGOs and civil society, a problematic relationship: The case of the Greek ENGOs

This paper examines the role of ENGOs as civil society actors. It starts out by arguing that rising ENGO numbers and activities must not be taken as definitive indicators of a strengthened civil society, as they may be reflecting the hegemony of a small group of professional organisations –something which indeed is the case in Greece. The paper then examines the activities of the major Greek ENGOs, approaching them as civil society actors. It is argued that a vital prerequisite of that role is broad social accountability in matters of representation and general legitimacy. The paper concludes that the major ENGOs in Greece see themselves rather procedurally, as mere public service groups. As a result, their activities fail to enhance civil society.

Y. Balampanidis
The nationalist-populist argument: Ideological intersections on the grounds of conservatism

This article examines the convergence of two heterogeneous cases of ideological discourse in Greece in the 1990s and in the context of the new global era. Observing the public discourse formulated by both the Greek Communist Party and the Orthodox Church of Greece, we can perceive a nationalist-populist argument shared by these two actors. This argument is interlinked to a traditionalist turn and is rival towards the governmental program of modernization which, at the same time, is circumscribed by its own instrumental character. Our article concludes with the suggestion that the convergence of the two actors takes place on the ground of an emerging conservatism that over-determines classical dichotomies of the political field (such as Left-Right) and finally favours the public intervention of traditionally conservative political and social actors, such as the Orthodox Church.

E. Teperoglou, S. Skrinis
The second-order election model and the European Parliament elections of June 2004 in Greece

This article seeks to examine the 2004 European election in Greece, with the help of the second-order election model. In the first part, we analyze the theoretical framework of minor elections and we refer to the characteristics and hypotheses of the model that was formulated by Reif and Schmitt in 1980, which is mainly used when studying the elections to the European Parliament. In the second part of the article, we examine the main theoretical axis of the model for the June 2004 election and show that the hypotheses about participation and the parties’ quotas are verified. Therefore, the 2004 European Election in Greece was a second-order elections.

Published 9 October 2006
Original in Greek

Contributed by Greek Political Science Review © Greek Political Science Review Eurozine

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