The apparent ubiquity of protest in recent years and the rise of Occupy movements across the world fuelled claims about a new style of mobilisation emerging that is markedly different from previous social movements. Analysing a series of original survey data, this article engages with this debate by providing a panoramic account of how the anti-austerity movement evolved in Greece, comparing the drivers of protest in three distinct protest waves. Contrary to expectations, the rise of the Greek version of the Indignados during 2011 did not decisively transform the anti-austerity movement that emerged in 2010, which mainly displayed characteristics typically associated with 'old' social movements. However, elements of the 'new social movements' approach featured more prominently in the third wave of protest, beginning in mid-2012 and culminating in January 2015 with victory for SYRIZA, the party that channelled the anti-austerity movement into the political scene. The model developed to study protest in non-electoral arenas also performs well to explain the success of SYRIZA in the electoral arena, highlighting the reciprocal but understudied relationship between mobilisation and electoral politics.
- social movements
- electoral behaviour