Il partito che non è un partito. Partecipazione e rappresentanza nel discorso pubblico di 'Podemos' Articles uri icon

publication date

  • June 2018

start page

  • 275

end page

  • 299


  • 8

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0394-1248

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1972-5477


  • A number of key members of Podemos, the political party that burst into the Spanish political landscape not many years ago, taking up the legacy of social protest movements, expressed the wish to become an alternative model of party organization, which would not be forced to give up its grass-roots identity. In this paper, I point out some contradictory discourses that emerged in this experience, in the attempt to draw an alternative to traditional models of participation and democratic representation. Building onto a selection of public statements and programmatic writings by several leading figures of the party, I distinguish between proposal that focus on the party as a tool to promote grass-roots mobilization, as an instrument to feed consensus on the leadership, in order to achieve the best electoral performance, or as expression of a way of life, that challenge the hegemonic discourses. I argue that the overall position of Podemos on that point is ambiguous. And there is no sign that this ambiguity, which has deep political implications, is going to be confronted. On the contrary, it appears to be a structural feature of a party that never wanted to be a party and a movement that is willing to become a party without changing his nature. In the concluding remarks, I try to give an interpretation of these findings in the light of some general transformations of the general role assigned to political parties in our present post-democratic age.


  • Politics