Political Parties and Grassroots Participation: digital media practices in the Spanish Podemos

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Political Parties and Grassroots Participation: digital media practices in the Spanish Podemos

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title Political Parties and Grassroots Participation: digital media practices in the Spanish Podemos
Author(s) Figueras, Julen
Date 2016
English abstract
The creation and rapid growth of the Spanish political party Podemos has created high expectations among citizens who want to participate in politics beyond voting. With a strategy that combines analogue and digital media, the party has emerged as the third biggest party in the last general elections, June 2016. Podemos has been conceived as a hybrid between a political party and a social movement, striving for wining the elections while relaying on grassroots activism through decentralised groups called “circles”, which operate locally and interact with the party via digital media. Although the potential of digital media for participation has been many times stressed, how the circles use these media depends highly on ongoing power relations and struggles within the party. Through semi-structured interviews and participant observation, this research analyses the perceptions of seven participants in two Podemos circles from the perspective of media practices, and looks into the potential of digital tools for political participation and the way ongoing power relations affect this participation. The results show that media practices within the circles are limited by the position of power of the leaders, who make use of analogue media to convey unidirectional messages that can hardly be countered via digital media. Furthermore, the research analyses the existence of relevant tensions in Podemos as a party that promotes citizen participation within a hierarchical, top-down organisation.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Pages 42
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Podemos
participation
digital media
analogue media
media practices
power relations
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/21408 (link to this page)

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