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“The economic crisis has brought the radical left to centre stage in Southern Europe. In 2015-16 the picture of government and opposition forces changed completely. In Greece a radical left party has become the senior partner in a coalition government, winning two elections and a referendum. In Portugal the radical left is participating in government for the first time since the return to democracy in the mid-1970s. In Spain, a brand-new party founded in 2014 rapidly became a major political actor, entering parliament as third party in December 2015 and competing with the socialists for the leadership of the opposition.

The three articles in this Virtual Special Issue address the factors behind the changes, explaining Syriza’s passage from minor opposition to major government party; the historical decision by the Bloco de Esquerda and the Portuguese Communist Party to support a socialist minority government; and Podemos’ path to parliamentary competition in multilevel Spain. The articles show the different opportunities and constraints on the radical left’s road to relevance in each political system and reveal the similarities and differences that characterise the radical left ‘family’ in Southern Europe.”

Susannah Verney and Anna Bosco, Editors of South European Society and Politics


SESP's Guide to the Radical Left in Southern Europe

Article TitleAuthor(s)VolumeIssue
SYRIZA’s Electoral Rise in Greece: Protest, Trust and the Art of Political ManipulationMyrto Tsakatika214 (2016)
U-Turn: The Portuguese Radical Left from Marginality to Government SupportMarco Lisi214 (2016)
Fast & Furious: Podemos’ quest for power in multi-level SpainJuan Rodríguez-Teruel, Astrid Barrio & Oscar Barberà214 (2016)

South European Society and Politics

Table of Contents for South European Society and Politics. List of articles from both the latest and ahead of print issues.

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South European Society and Politics Book Series

The South European Society and Politics Book Series promotes new empirical research into the domestic politics and society of South European states. Its geographical scope includes both ‘old’ and ‘new’ Southern Europe, defined as Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey.

Series Editors:

Susannah Verney

Anna Bosco