The Conquest of the Cities

This project gathers the experiences of democratic creation, meaning the participative processes that lead to the presentation of candidates rising from genuinely municipal processes, known as candidacies for change or confluences in cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Cádiz, Valladolid, Alicante, Santiago y Ferrol.

In the 2015 elections, a multitude of candidacies of popular unity were presented in Spain, inspired by social movements and political parties. These opened spaces for direct participation and democracy for the citizens, culminating in a composition of many municipal governments that in most cases managed to break the decades-old dynamic of governments of the Peoples’ Party. This project means to analyse, through the protagonists, the development of these democratic processes of candidacies, platforms, and campaigns in these cities, which finally entered into the municipal governments. The publication of this project is intended to culminate in May, the precisely the midpoint of the mandates of these city councils, at which time they will undergo evaluations. The conversations with the principal political actors share a questionnaire that asks about the previous phase of the creation of the candidacies, the positive and negative aspects of the current state of the government, and what they hope for the future.

The exceptionality of these processes necessitates a study and diffusion of the new democratic motives and methodologies that have awakened municipalism as a political actor independent of the parties of the national spectrum. The makeup of these confluences constitutes a fortunate anomaly in the European context.

The general objective is to reinforce the experiences of these candidacies of popular unity, while specifically focusing on the analysis, learning, and diffusion of these experiences.