Participation and Media: Comparative Analysis of Anti-Austerity in the Eurozone Crisis ‒ Introduction
The year 2008 marked the beginning of a global financial crisis that severely affected how social, political, and media spheres are perceived by citizens. Its impact reached longer than its negative economic cycle, posing vital questions about power elites and social movements for social sciences. This Special Section aims to provide a better understanding about how the civil society of 5 Southern European countries (Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain) channeled their discontent toward their political authorities and the austerity economic decisions taken to solve the crisis. A comparative approach is completed among 6 articles tackling these critical times from different perspectives and applying several research methods to observe how collective action was organized in the streets and in mediated environments. The final picture confronts us with several unsolved challenges for representative democracies, as the growing distance between political leadership and a civil society that has developed new ways to express their demands online. Some lessons are applicable to new critical scenarios where risk, uncertainty, and threats to democratic and media systems become increasingly likely to emerge.