What is it about?

The role of anti-communist popular protest in the success of electoral democracy in revolutionary Portugal (1974-1975). It challenges the narratives which stress the role of elite organisations such as the Catholic Church, the Socialist Party leadership or the US embassy.

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Why is it important?

Social movement studies on the Portuguese Revolution have pitted electoral democracy against popular mobilisation. The revolution swarmed with economic and social struggles, self-management, collective learning and popular direct action, an empowering process which came to an end​ with the stabilisation of electoral democracy. Notwithstanding, this article shows that electoral democracy itself was the result of sustained popular mobilisation, a finding which invites to reconsider the role of social movements in political crises.


Readers may find a strong resemblance between Portugal in 1975 and the colour revolutions of the early 2000s, with popular movements challenging the government in the name of electoral democracy.​

Dr Diego Palacios Cerezales
University of Stirling

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Civil Resistance and Democracy in the Portuguese Revolution, Journal of Contemporary History, July 2016, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/0022009416641496.
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