Reforming the State or Transforming Society? – The Spanish 15M Movement and Anarchism

By Pablo Rodero

The present work studies those aspects of contemporary social movements that could produce long-term changes in society. To do so, it examines the extent to which contemporary social movements can be considered as a part of a global anarchist re-emergence since the late 1990s. The objective of the study is to find those aspects of social movements that are closer to anarchist ideology, which by definition rejects institutional-aimed short-term reforms and has been historically focused on long-term social transformation. In order to do that, it uses the Spanish 15M movement as a case study, as a prototype of the protest movements raised after the 2008 economic crisis and that ranged from the American Occupy to the Greek squares movement. The study of the 15M movement consists in an analysis of three of its characteristics: organization, strategy, and discourse. The study is mainly based on the own experience of the author within the movement and it is supported by four interviews of 15M´s activists with different profiles. In addition to it, a wide number of texts published by the movement´s assemblies, media stories, assembly minutes, and academic literature on the issue have been used for the study.


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