Stop the Evictions! The Diffusion of Networked Social Movements and the Emergence of a New Hybrid Space: The Case of the Spanish Mortgage Victims Group

Eva Álvarez de Andrés, Maria José Zapata Campos, Patrik Zapata

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Over 350,000 families have been evicted from their homes since Spain's property market crashed in 2008. The response of Spanish civil society has been the emergence of a networked social movement, Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH; the Spanish Mortgage Victims Group), to stop the evictions and change applicable legislation. This paper uses social movement theory and the travel of ideas metaphor from organization theory to understand how the PAH movement and its practices and tactics, originally born in Barcelona in 2009, have successfully spread to over 160 cities and stopped over 1135 evictions throughout the country. We argue that the ability of networked social ovements to quickly replicate has fuelled their power to resist, protest, and induce change. We contend that the fast growth of networked social movements in Global North and South cities, is fuelled by its ability to create a hybrid space between communication networks and occupied urban space in which face-to-face assemblies and protests take place.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHabitat International
Pages (from-to)252–259
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

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