A real state of exception: Class composition and social conflict during portugal’s carnation revolution, 1974-1975

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Abstract

This article addresses the topic of workers’ struggles in Portugal during the revolutionary process of 1974–75. Departing from a critical dialogue with classic social movements theory and the contentious politics research agenda, it is an attempt to formulate an alternative theoretical framework for the interpretation of social conflicts, inspired in reflections developed by Walter Benjamin and hypotheses elaborated within Italian workerism (operaismo). Instead of looking at collective action merely as a sideshow, or a consequence of processes taking place elsewhere, the article calls for a discussion on if and how social conflicts are able to shape the conditions under which “elites” compete and state authority is enforced, using the Portuguese Revolution as a field of inquiry into subjects such as agency, causality, sovereignty, and class.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-123
Number of pages31
JournalCritical Historical Studies
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

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