The Transformation of Protest Publics' Role in the socio-political change in Global South and Southern Europe: from occasional 'challengers' of status-quo to institutionalized 'watchdogs'
A phenomenon of the “spring of protest” has generated significant attention of scholars and has been observed and analyzed with various perspectives—ranging from the withdrawal of the state’s capacity for public goods, an interactive and horizontal social-mediated space, the shrinkage of the middle-class indifference, demands for accountability, rampant corruption, etc. This chapter is an attempt to address a methodological problem of understanding the origin, preconditions, structure, and social foundations of significant and lasting street protests that have appeared spontaneously and almost simultaneously in the varied scattered geographical space of South of Asia, Africa, and South of America (collectively the Global South) and comparing them with the protests in Southern Europe. Microanalysis of the resources, networks, and political attitudes that contribute to protests has been studied by different scholars. The protests have a transnational character but are also strongly influenced by local frameworks.
While the cases are different in Southern Europe and the Global South, this chapter argues the overarching similarities about the emergence of the publics as watchdogs. This chapter observes with the timeline of 2011 the unfolding of the protests that gets organized with a meta-narrative coalescing and converging with a centrifugal force connected around the troubled messages. This public demands accountability and participation in the governance process while keeping their protesting platform leadership horizontal, spot-on, circular, and mainly non-stream and through a range of mediated networks thus further consolidating the gains for the unheard multitudes.