Hope is Changing Sides: Understanding Spain’s Political Change

Pablo Iglesias during an event

Pablo Iglesias of PODEMOS, introduced by Amy Goodman (Democracy Now)

Within just one year of its existence, PODEMOS has shaken politics in Spain. Started in January 2014, as a “citizens tool”, as a “method to turn indignation into political change,” and to challenge the existing Spanish political system, PODEMOS has become an unprecedented political phenomenon. In just four months, PODEMOS grew spectacularly, achieving 1.2 million votes in the May 25 European Elections, and gaining five seats in the European Parliament.

“Since then, PODEMOS has continued to increase its presence and gain further support. Opinion polls anticipating the upcoming November elections, indicate PODEMOS would be second most voted for political option. On January 31st, a “March for Change” organized by PODEMOS gathered hundreds of thousands in Madrid.” Its success can certainly be explained by the dire economic and social situation the Spanish people have been experiencing since 2008: austerity measures in healthcare and education, a housing crisis, and an unemployment rate that has risen to 25%.

But other factors contribute to the explanation of PODEMOS’ growth, such as its innovative use of political language and media visibility and its ability to relate to the preexisting horizon of social and economic discontent and desire for political change opened by the 15M movement in May 2011, and successive waves of citizen mobilization.

Why and how did PODEMOS emerge? From where has it come? What are the reasons for their spectacular growth? What are their methods and their political alignments? What is PODEMOS’ relation to Spain’s social movements? How does PODEMOS relate to existing political forces? What are the main proposals of their political program?

Introduced by Amy Goodman (Democracy Now), PODEMOS’ General Secretary Pablo Iglesias will address a NYC audience in a special opportunity to understand the political, social and economic context of PODEMOS’ emergence as a rising political force, and a unique political phenomenon.




Left Forum

Center for Place, Culture and Politics (Graduate Center, CUNY)



Advanced Research Collaborative (Graduate Center, CUNY)

Left East

Urban Democracy Lab (NYU) –

Verso Books