Since 15M: the technopolitical reassembling of democracy in Spain.

TitleSince 15M: the technopolitical reassembling of democracy in Spain.
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsCalleja-López A
AbstractThe thesis explores a 5-year period in the political history of Spain. It looks at a series of political processes and projects, beginning with the 15M/Indignados social movement. These projects go from 15M in 2011 to the creation of new digital platforms for participatory democracy for the city of Barcelona in 2016. The thesis defends the idea that these cases add up to a cycle of political contention, which is defined as “the 15M cycle of contention”. It supports the idea that a core thread throughout the cycle has been the challenging of the liberal representative model of democracy and some of its key social forms, primarily in discourse, but also in practice. The cases within the cycle vindicated, and experimented with, alternative forms and practices of democracy. Concretely, they tried to move away from the current liberal representative model, preeminent since XVIII century, towards a more participatory one. The thesis also defends the argument that a key driver of these democratic experiments has been “technopolitics”, otherwise, practices and processes that hybridize politics and technologies (particularly, information and communication technologies). The thesis focuses on three paradigmatic cases of the 15M cycle of contention: 15M itself, a social movement born in 2011; the X party, a new party created in 2013 by 15M activists; and, a digital platform for participation, launched in early 2016 by the Barcelona City Council, designed by people involved in previous projects within the 15M cycle.