Rigasite

Accueil > Grèce > Les émeutes de Décembre en Grèce : "The Return of Street Politics ? Essays on (...)

Les émeutes de Décembre en Grèce : "The Return of Street Politics ? Essays on the December Riots in Greece"

mercredi 6 mai 2009, par rigas

L’observatoire hellénique de la LSE à Londres a publié un ouvrage sur les émeutes en Grèce.

MàJ (chgt d’adresse du livre) : "The Return of Street Politics ? Essays on the December Riots in Greece" (PDF)

Contributeurs :
- Othon Anastasakis, Director of SEESOX, University of Oxford, UK
- Olympios Dafermos, Advisor at the Institute of Education, Greece
- Kevin Featherstone, Professor, London School of Economics, UK
- Akis Gavriilidis, Translator - PhD in Law Philosophy
- Alexis Kalokerinos, Associate Professor, University of Crete, Greece
- Antonis Karakousis, Editing Director, ‘To Vima’, Greece
- Manos Matsaganis, Associate Professor, Athens University of Economics &
Business, Greece
- Paschos Mandravelis, Journalist – Political Analyst, ‘I Kathimerini’, Greece
- Nicos Mouzelis, Emeritus Professor, London School of Economics, UK
- George Pagoulatos, Associate Professor, Athens University of Economics &
Business, Greece
- Dimitris Papadimitriou, Senior Lecturer, University of Manchester, UK
- Antonis D. Papagiannides, EU affairs counsel to the ADNPA, Greece
- Helena Smith, Athens-based correspondent for ‘The Guardian’ and ‘The Observer’, UK
- Foteini Tsalikoglou, Professor, Panteion University of Social & Political Sciences,Greece
- Persa Zeri, Professor, Panteion University of Social & Political Sciences, Greece

these protests connected with a sense of malaise in wider society. The ‘system’ was not delivering opportunity to the young, but also it was failing in other respects. The political landscape had for some time been formed by the conflicting, and often irreconcilable, demands of various social groups, at least some of which had the power to slow or even veto change. At the political apex was a system of government that lacked structural power and efficiency. Government purpose has been repeatedly undermined by the conflicting needs of clientelism and, often also, the distractions of corruption. Ministers intent on serious reform face political isolation as other interests come into play. At the same time, the voice of the unions has been dominated by the interests of workers in the public sector : the very part of the system most often attacked for its inefficiency and corruption. On the other side, the economy has very few large firms and a myriad of small enterprises. Traditionally, many large firms have opted for social peace in the context of sustained barriers to market entry. The constituency for liberal economic reform has been exceptionally small and shallow.

Thus, Greece has exhibited low reform capacity on a long-term basis. The explosion of protest in December 2008 added an intense focus on the policing functions of the state to a condition of unmet economic and social demands. A system that cannot process competing social demands to satisfy rising expectations is a blocked society. The latter exhibits a party system lacking loyalty and support ; a system of interest mediation that tends towards conflict and stalemate on key issues ; and a governmental structure that lacks the ability to sustain singularity of purpose and implementational strength. In this context, a sudden focus on an underlying area of frustration can unleash a popular explosion with which the system is barely able to cope. At the same time, the political and social conditions – with their inherent conflicts and contradictions - make it difficult for the protesters to establish a ‘hegemonic’ agenda. Society is not only conflictual, but also blocked. ( Kevin Featherstone, p3.)

"The average young person is forced to study in a miserable school, long- lasting and boring, which ignores contemporary theories of learning and new educational methods. Simultaneously he is forced to attend tutorial courses if he wants to continue his studies at university level. During his adolescence he is forced to work hard all day long. He is not given any time to fall in love, to see and experience the world. He has no time to play, no time to waste, in order to find himself, to think and to organise his own sense. If he is good at learning by heart he will enter higher education, where yet another shock awaits. The university, in crisis, augments his confusion rather than aiding him in his personal organisation.

Upon his graduation, he faces unemployment, partial or seasonal employment, derisory wages, uninsured work, companies that rent workers, and labour insecurity, in general. The private sector treats youth as ‘expendable products’. (Olympios Dafermos p.20)"

"Despite political and moral decline there is no cry of distress from the intellectual leadership. There are no intellectuals today to fundamentally criticise the authorities, to demonstrate a people-centred and socially judicial path." (Olympios Dafermos p.11)

" The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) does not exercise Opposition. It mainly attacks SYRIZA and PASOK apprehending/fearing that they will absorb its voters. In this way it lines up with the New Democracy Government, while often its positions coincide with the reactionary views of parties that do not belong to the left. Its presence and its actions do not influence the country’s politics. Possessed from existential anxiety, it is found in the margin of political life, entrenched in Stalinism and its authoritarian organisation. Although its military type demonstrations may not bring about trouble, they do not constitute a political fact. The fact that it does not begin with its own initiative is interpreted by conspiracy theories. Consequently, it cannot comprehend the autonomous juvenile movement of December. Even more, it cannot express it, which leads it to another type of action and behaviour. In fact, this movement threatens the Communist Party (KKE) and its conservative policy. (p.22)"

All young people, and those that wear hoods, were produced by the society
of the adults. They are not monsters, neither ‘spoiled’, nor criminals, but
rather hypersensitive individuals, notably hurt from the world of adults,
from which they have not received love, acceptance and respect. The cold
blooded killing of Alexis Grigoropoulos threatened their physical existence ;
hence the explosion and the rage towards the callus authorities. This is what
they received, this is what they return. We are the moral perpetrators. (p.13)

Un peu de lucidité de Kalokairinos :

" (...) I believe that the December ‘uprising’ sprang from inherent
structural distortions within basic social institutions which Greek society
views with increasing mistrust. (...) Yet any link to more
general issues and wider environments should also bear in mind what
Wilhelm Wundt termed the ‘heterogeny of purposes’. The potential spread
of phenomena or the successive triggering of social behaviour via the dense,
centre-free neural network of contemporary humanity does not require a
cohesive public and a succinct ‘message’. What movements ‘mean’ is often a
product of the abstractive interpretive violence by which we academics earn
our crust." (Klaokairinos p.24)

"The
culture of violence is not easy to defeat, not by a polity that lacks the moral
authority to combat it, nor in a society that refuses to acknowledge its
existence. (Matsaganis p. 40)

Mouzelis parle de l’absence de société civile : "the civil society concept is very relevant
here. It helps us to understand how the constellation of factors relates to the
forms that social mobilisation took. More concretely, in societies with well
functioning democratic institutions one always finds strong organisations
(e.g., NGO’s or authorities really independent from the government) which
operate between the state and citizens. We find, in other terms, a strong civil
society which follows neither a party nor a market logic. Such a ‘third sector’
creates alternative ways of linking the social with the political.

In Greece civil society is extremely weak. This is mainly due to the fact that
the political system operates less as a party democracy and more as a
‘partocratic democracy’. By partocracy I mean a system of rule within which
the party logic penetrates all institutional spheres undermining their
autonomy and their specific values. From the sphere of sports and the
professions to that of art and the university, party considerations prevail.
They weaken all non-party, non-clientelistic, civil society linkages between
the citizen and the state. Within this context social discontent generates
protests and mobilisations which have an unfocused, diffuse character. They
do not produce strategies with positive outcomes for the social whole. (p.43)

"The great loser from the riots, and the new climate they have helped
establish, is the culture of democratic dialogue, tolerance and pluralistic
conciliation that was meant to prevail, especially in the universities. The
brazen and systematic exploitation of the university asylum by violent
extremists and vandals intolerant to opposite views has destroyed academic
freedom, and torn apart the peace and normality that are vital for the
survival and flourishing of any academic community. The defenders of the
‘no-go’ sanction for the police under the institutionalised university asylum
are now on the defensive, and so are the advocates of a permissive stance
towards rebelled youths. The failure of the state apparatus to provide
effective fundamental enforcement of the rule of law has created an image
of state powerlessness which further emboldens violent, criminal and
terrorist groups. At the same time, the widespread demand for effective
police protection is boosting a powerful law-and-order agenda, which is
picked up by populist politicians, journalists, charlatans, and various
authoritarian and xenophobic elements in society. Such climate of
polarisation could easily turn a poorly trained, demoralised police into a
force of abusive vigilantism, further eroding the already problematic
protection of civil rights, and widening the rift separating the marginalised
youth from societal institutions. This could turn into a vicious social spiral in
the face of a nasty global economic crisis. (Pagoulatos p.48)

"In my eyes, the root cause of the violence in Athens is not a reaction to the
authoritarian nature of the Greek state or a generalised rejection of the
Metapolitefsi consensus. (...) Over the past 20 years, Greece has sustained one of the highest and most
persistent levels of unemployment in the EU. High unemployment has
depressed wages and has consistently eaten away the dignity and sense of
achievement of young people. The desperate search for jobs has also fuelled
the monster of clientelism which has now consumed both the public and
(increasingly) the private sectors. The increasing irrelevance of our educational system (at all levels) has certainly exacerbated the demand side
of the unemployment equation. Its failure to remain free, even at the
secondary level, has also (justifiably) created a mounting sense of injustice. (Papadimitriou p. 52)"

CONTENT :

1 STREET PROTESTS IN ‘UNE SOCIÉTÉ BLOQUÉE’...1
KEVIN FEATHERSTONE

2 THE NEW POLITICS OF THE NEW CENTURY...5
OTHON ANASTASAKIS

3 THE SOCIETY OF APHASIA AND THE JUVENILE RAGE...9
OLYMPIOS DAFERMOS

4 [GREEK RIOTS 2008 :] - A MOBILE TIANANMEN...15
AKIS GAVRIILIDIS

5 WARPED INSTITUTIONS, POLITICAL FAILURE AND SOCIAL GUILT...21
ALEXIS KALOKERINOS

6 SAINT NICOLAS NIGHT ...27
ANTONIS KARAKOUSIS

7 WORDS HAVE CONSEQUENCES 33
PASCHOS MANDRAVELIS

8 FACING UP TO THE CULTURE OF VIOLENCE....37
MANOS MATSAGANIS

9 ON THE DECEMBER EVENTS41
NICOS MOUZELIS

10 SOME THOUGHTS ON THE 2008 RIOTS IN GREECE....45
GEORGE PAGOULATOS

11 A MORE MUNDANE READING OF THE DECEMBER 2008 RIOTS IN ATHENS ...49
DIMITRIS PAPADIMITRIOU

12 A GLIMPSE FROM THE FUTURE – BUT WHAT SORT OF FUTURE ? ...53
_ANTONIS D. PAPAGIANNIDES

13 GREECE, DECEMBER 2008 : A TRAGEDY IN THE WAITING57
HELENA SMITH

14 DECEMBER’S UNQUIET DREAMS ...63
FOTEINI TSALIKOGLOU

15 THE RIOTS OF DECEMBER : A SPONTANEOUS SOCIAL PHENOMENON OR A
SOCIAL MOVEMENT ? ...69
PERSA ZERI

Un message, un commentaire ?

modération a priori

Ce forum est modéré a priori : votre contribution n’apparaîtra qu’après avoir été validée par un administrateur du site.

Qui êtes-vous ?
Votre message

Pour créer des paragraphes, laissez simplement des lignes vides.