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In Europe, left parties have little to offer – despite austerity not working, TINA and despair are still the strongest cards that governance has. A closely watched and much maligned Syriza is heading the polls in Greece, but Syriza is not a typical political party - and neither is the Occupy! movement. Like Dr Frankenstein's creature, the new European left will be built from pieces of previous experimentations in people power and inclusive governance. What forms will these new progressive movements take?

Social innovation and the challenge of democracy in Europe

The hype surrounding the innovation society obscures crucial issues of politics and power.

Our dreams don't fit in your ballot boxes

When people go home – what happens next? How do you canalise the tidal energy of a protest or social movement until it effects change? At a Podemos London event, we begin to find out.

Art after Occupy

In the aftermath of Occupy, artists are utilizing a diversity of tactics at the cutting edges of radical politics (long piece, 6,000 words).

Romania and Bulgaria: occupy the transition!

Last year’s mass protests in Romania and Bulgaria gave citizens a taste of how together they can transform public life. Some are asking for more.

Italy: back to the future?

PM Matteo Renzi triumphed over Beppe Grillo and Berlusconi in the last European elections. Does this reshuffling of Italian politics mean the country is back to a sort of normal?

“Spain is Different”: Podemos and 15-M

Podemos has presented itself as a party of "decent ordinary people”, who understand the needs of ordinary citizens and are open to taking their lead from them through the participatory process (as opposed to positioning themselves as the intellectual vanguard). 

Eurosceptic parties will save Europe’s soul, despite themselves

We must take seriously all the new parties in the European Parliament, not least because they might well be doing us a favour.

Useless European elections?

A vicious circle must be broken, but this can arise only from inside the European perspective, through a mounting pressure of the Union’s citizens, who must at the same time avoid “sovereign” fallacies and "cosmopolitan" illusions.

Can Alexis Tsipras save the Italian left?

The oft-divided Italian radical left has united behind the star of the Greek left, Alexis Tsipras, in the European elections. Will this be enough to avoid yet another electoral failure? Euro elections landscape, 2014.

Matteo Renzi: all Italy needs is to believe

For his detractors, Matteo Renzi is a new Berlusconi pursuing charisma, rather than articulate political ideas. Written off by left-wing commentators as ambitious and superficial, Italy’s youngest ever Prime Minister is fighting for Italy’s soul.

The new Balkan revolts: from protests to plenums, and beyond

The current wave of protests in Bosnia may represent the birth of true activist citizenship. These movements discover new forms of collective organisation and explore the most fundamental questions for any society, namely social justice and equality for all. What happens in Bosnia will not stay in Bosnia.

Matteo Renzi: Italy’s fake revolution

Last week, Matteo Renzi’s government obtained the backing of the Italian Parliament, aiming to revolutionise the country's old politics. But can his political style and smart tweeting be enough?

What Romania can teach the western world

Unlike France, Italy or the Netherlands, the crisis of Romania’s elites has not led to a rise in xenophobic politics but to a digital revolution that challenges traditional assumptions about democratic change. Euro elections landscape, 2014.

The ‘laboratory’ called Hungary: a challenge for understanding protest movements

There is a central Hungarian political paradox: it is the conservative governing party (FIDESZ) which has made successful use of the rhetoric of anti-establishment social movements in other countries, and which disposes of the means to do so. 

Trouble in Austeria

Can the EU still be rescued following its disastrous failure to tackle the economic crisis? 

Why are the Irish not resisting austerity?

It has become a cliché to compare the passivity of the Irish in the face of the Troika’s brutal austerity programme with the active resistance of the Spanish or the Greek. Yet, the Irish are challenging austerity in their own way.

Joy arises, rules fall apart: thoughts for the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street

In these moments of rupture, people find themselves members of a "we" that did not until then exist, at least not as an entity with agency and identity and potency. New possibilities or the old dream of a just society emerge and shine.

The false promise of a new left in Poland

As the old, post-communist left struggles with its own failures, the nascent new left already appears to be compromising with a liberal centre - a simple repeat of the old left's mistakes. For the left in Poland to survive, something has to give.

The legacy of the indignados

Much has been written about the indignados, what was new about them and what is, or will be, their legacy. It is time to acknowledge that the indignados have redefined how – and where! – we engage in politics.

What's Left in Poland?

In the first article of our new debate on the Left in Poland, Anna Grodzka MP discusses her party, the Palikot Movement, and its commitment to freeing up and encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit of the Polish people.

What Europe? What bottom up? A reply to Etienne Balibar

For its citizens, Europe has become a cold and alienating power, instead of the welcoming space it was meant to be. Where did that political and intellectual left which in the last two decades has been decisively Europeanist go wrong?

The easiest way to the Gulag is to joke about the Gulag

It is time that we realised where the real danger in Europe lies, and that there is a candidate to help us fight back against this gathering danger. But to do this we must begin to recognise how both are misrepresented for our consumption. A reply to Etienne Balibar.

As Europe is provincialized: a reply to Etienne Balibar

Europe can make sense only insofar as it becomes a space which makes it easier to get rid of the fear that the crisis is disseminating within the social fabric, a space where it is more viable to struggle against poverty, exploitation, and discrimination.

The torture machines: poetic space and the urgency of non-work

In 1977 the autonomist collective A/Traverso were violently arrested by the Italian state. While the majority of their literature was lost or destroyed, fragments remain that provide vital context to democratic struggles in Europe today.

A social Europe must be a political Europe

My dear Etienne Balibar, in a recent article you explain how a new Europe can only come from the bottom up. But how would this shift from top-down to bottom-up work, and what does it even mean?

The crisis of European centre-left parties: on Novara Radio

The Novara radio show discusses the crisis of nominally left social democratic parties in Europe since 2008. For more Novara radio episodes, go to the Novara Media website.

The youngest face of Italy’s old politics: Enrico Letta’s “grand coalition”

Does Enrico Letta's newly formed government have what it takes to get Italy out of its dire situation, or is it nothing but a new layer of paint on the crumbling house of Italian politics?

How the Italian left ceased to exist

The election of the new President of the Republic ended up in a mess for the Democratic Party, devastating both its cohesion and political capital. Is this the end of the road for an united Italian left?

Beppe Grillo's Five Star revolution

There is no telling what the outcome of today's remarkably uncertain Italian elections will be. But the real story might just be Beppe Grillo's Movimento 5 Stelle, which could become the third political force in the country, and set a model for others in Europe to follow.

Postmodern populism: the cultural logic of the MoVimento 5 Stelle

Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement has often been called a shake-up for Italian politics. But what if 'M5S' really obeyed an established paradigm that is far from the revolutionary ideas it claims to convey?

The European radical left and the international economic crisis: opportunity wasted?

Has the European radical left missed an unique opportunity to advance its ideas and political weight in the wake of the global economic meltdown?

Cameron opens Europe’s Pandora’s box

As the dust settles on David Cameron's speech, what real impact has it had? Despite being met with scepticism throughout Europe, it has above all highlighted the need for an open discussion on the EU in Britain – and how the left has so far failed to address the European question.

Why the future of Greece lies in the rise of a new civil society and education

One of the biggest challenges for post-austerity Greece will be the rebuilding of a strong civil society. Future foundations are already being laid out through new and exciting citizen initiatives, but much is yet to be done.

France is a universal nation: Mélenchon speaks out

In London last month to speak on a progressive alternative to the austerity policies which are being implemented across Europe (at the European Institute of UCL), France’s Left Front leader gave a follow-up interview to openDemocracy on the politics of the media, the evolving image of Marine Le Pen, colonialism, laicité, ideological hegemony, France and Europe.

A countervailing power: an interview with Jan Pronk

We have to establish a world public power representative of all countries and all people within all countries. One cannot ‘think away’ individual countries as powers, or international companies and banks. But we need a countervailing power in the system. 

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