The Democratisation Potential of Participation – Comparing Emerging Political Movements in Italy and India

Monday, 11 July 2016: 14:45
Location: Seminarsaal 10 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Cristiano GIANOLLA, Centre For Social Studies, VAT NUMBER: 500825840 - University of Coimbra (& University Sapienza of Rome - Italy), Portugal
New political movements are often carrier of innovative perspectives, practices and participatory paradigms able to respond to the representative crisis experienced by traditional parties. The direct appeal to the people to take their own political destiny in their hands characterise these movements and provide an enriched concept of civic and political participation. A comparative research in this framework allows identifying commonalities such as root causes, challenges, alternative solutions provided, as well as differences in the history, structure and political forms that the movements assumes over time in different political, social and cultural contexts. In order to be innovative, new political movements include experimentalism, lack organisational crystallisation and are heavily shaped by the rhythm of the electoral process, which make their study both, challenging and interesting. Their appeal to ‘The People’ is a basic democratic claim to participation that is controversially fulfilled through local engagement as well as through remote participation in the internet. Are these movements effectively contributing to the democratisation of democracy? Which patterns of participation do they allow? Comparing new political movements in different cultural contexts, which evidence emerge to rethink democracy at the time of the globalisation challenges? This paper brings evidence emerging from the critical comparative study of the 5 Star Movement in Italy and the Aam Aadmi Party in India with a focus on the capacity and forms adopted by these movements to expand the level of civic participation.