Tag Archives: December riots

An anomaly? Some reflections on the Greek December 2008

Andreas Kalyvas, Associate Professor of Political Science, The New School of Social research, New York

After the shooting of a fifteen year old by a patrolling police guard on December 6th, 2008, Greece was faced with the worst unrests and disorder in several decades. By now, most designate these events as the “December riots.” How can we make sense of them? Political riots of that scale seemed to have been eliminated from Greek politics, relegated to a less developed past of political immaturity. Could this suggest that although politically defeated and historically exhausted, these confrontational and agonistic forms of extra-institutional politics might be in the process of reappearing? Furthermore, to what grievances did the unrest speak? And how do we understand its political meaning and effects? How can we interrogate its provocations and consider its implications? Are we at the beginning of new political realignments, new forms of civic contestation and participation, new social struggles?