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date: 09 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a comparative historical analysis of the evolution of political consumerism in Southern European countries (Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Greece), discussing the breadth of scholarship and identifying positive and negative forms of political consumerism with reference to ethical and political uses of the market. Despite the fact that political consumerism appears to be less diffuse in Southern Europe when compared with Northwestern Europe, the global financial crisis, which has had particularly serious effects in these countries, seems to have spearheaded and transformed political consumerism practices. Political consumerism in Southern Europe has recently appeared as an increasingly utilized tool for grassroots, locally based networks aiming to promote a solidarity economy. This chapter reflects on economic, political, and cultural opportunity structures and their relationship with new forms of collectivism and cooperativism, as well as on the methodological challenges this change poses for research in this area of study.

Keywords: political consumerism, collective practices of consumer responsibility, solidarity economic networks, Southern Europe, financial crisis

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