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Always against the state?: An analysis of Polish and Swedish radical left-libertarian activists’ interaction with institutionalized politics
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology.
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3886-0298
2015 (English)In: Partecipazione e conflitto, ISSN 2035-6609, Vol. 8, no 3, 845-875 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Radical left-libertarian movements are often regarded as primarily seeking ways to accom-plish social and political change outside the framework of institutionalized politics. Previous research, however, has paid little or no attention to the question of these activists’ actual interactions with institu-tionalized politics, nor has it addressed the ways these interactions could be understood in relation to their overall strategies and ideology. This article therefore explores whether, and to what extent, such interaction actually occurs and analyzes the meanings and motives radical left-libertarian activists – from anarchist, autonomist, and anarcho-syndicalist groups – attribute to various types of political actions, ranging from voting and lobbying to protests and direct action. We furthermore compare activists in Po-land and Sweden, in order to scrutinize whether cross-country differences in “political opportunities” affects the activists’ political strategies and ideas about how social and political change can best be ac-complished. Contrary to popular beliefs and many activists’ own self-declarations, our analysis shows that radical left-libertarian groups do in fact try to achieve political change by interacting with institution-alized politics. While radical left-libertarian activists do in most cases prefer “direct action”, this article explores how a more complex relationship to institutionalized politics allows them to accomplish real and immediate changes at the grassroots level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 8, no 3, 845-875 p.
Keyword [en]
Social Movements, Radical Left-Libertarian Movements, Direct Action, Poland, Sweden
National Category
Research subject
Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society; Baltic and East European studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-29211DOI: 10.1285/i20356609v8i3p845Local ID: 1561/42/2011OAI: diva2:895379
Anarchists in Eastern and Western Europe - a Comparative Study
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 1561/42/2011
Available from: 2016-01-18 Created: 2016-01-18 Last updated: 2016-09-21Bibliographically approved

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Piotrowski, GrzegorzWennerhag, Magnus
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