Beyond spontaneity: crisis, violence and collective action in Athens

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This article argues for the analytical potentials of the concept of spontaneity in our effort to understand critically the socio-spatial dynamics of Athens, but especially the contemporary collective protest actions in the city. Such critical understanding emerges as a significant task given the current urgency to grasp the capitalist crisis and the collective reactions to it. However, taking into account the re-configuration of extreme-Right violence in the streets of Athens, the article attempts to revisit the Marxist dichotomy between spontaneity and non-spontaneity. Via an anthropological critique of this distinction, the paper suggests an additional point of focus beyond spontaneity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-545
JournalCity: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • collective action
  • spontaneity
  • anthropology
  • social movement
  • protest
  • public space
  • European cities
  • crisis-scapes


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