Quotation Butzlaff, Felix, Deflorian, Michael. 2021. Direct Social Action Beyond Party Politics. How New Subjectivities Change the Idea of Social Transformation. Political Research Exchange. 3 (1), 1-21.




Currently proliferating alternative action organizations, such as food cooperatives, solidary agriculture, repair cafés, or DIY initiatives, pursue social transformation at a deliberate distance from party politics. Instead, they concentrate on changing society directly by altering everyday routines and thereby prefiguring an alternative society. Local and experimental movements promise to pioneer social alternatives, which traditional organizations appear to be unable to accomplish. This indicates a remarkable shift, since in the past, social mobilizations often pursued direct social action and party politics simultaneously. The current literature conceptualizes movements and parties primarily as cross-fertilizing allies or even potential hybrids (movement parties) yet struggles to explain why alternative action organizations in countries that have not experienced post-crisis austerity measures have largely abandoned the parliamentary arena. Addressing this gap, we compare contemporary understandings of direct social action in Germany with past understandings: that of the 1920s labour movement and the 1970s new social movements. Applying sociological theories of modernization, we demonstrate that processes of individualization and flexibilization have increased the demand for immediate experiences of social change and decreased the attractiveness of formal organization. Since this makes strategic alliances between movements and political parties increasingly unlikely, societies’ capacity to organize long-term social struggles might be impaired.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Political Research Exchange
Language English
Title Direct Social Action Beyond Party Politics. How New Subjectivities Change the Idea of Social Transformation
Volume 3
Number 1
Year 2021
Page from 1
Page to 21
Reviewed? Y
URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/2474736X.2021.1896343?scroll=top&needAccess=true
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/2474736X.2021.1896343
Open Access Y
Open Access Link https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/2474736X.2021.1896343?needAccess=true


Butzlaff, Felix (Details)
Deflorian, Michael (Former researcher)
Institute for Social Change and Sustainability IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5118 Political science (Details)
5402 General sociology (Details)
5413 Sociological methods (Details)
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