City Research Online

How Activists Build Power: Passive Beneficiary Involvement and Empowerment in The Platform of Those Affected by Mortgages

Gonzalez Santos, F. ORCID: 0000-0001-7006-2088 (2023). How Activists Build Power: Passive Beneficiary Involvement and Empowerment in The Platform of Those Affected by Mortgages. European Societies, 26(1), pp. 34-62. doi: 10.1080/14616696.2023.2214199


Scholars often point to the importance of network ties and biographical characteristics for political participation. These approaches emphasize the features that increase individuals’ likelihood to participate rather than organizational efforts to foster engagement. This article advances a strategic, relational, and dynamic view of mobilization approaching this process from the perspective of empowerment. While organizations need to operate within the structural conditions they face, their members also strategize to make the most of their capacity to mobilize new recruits and empower their bases. One year of engaged participant observation and 71 semi-structured interviews with members of the Platform of Those Affected by Mortgages, the biggest housing organization in Spain, serve to illustrate these dynamics. An empowerment approach to mobilization encourages scholars to focus both on the characteristics of individuals that explain their mobilization, as well as the organizational strategies to achieve this objective.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis GroupThis is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in anymedium, provided the original work is properly cited. The terms on which this article has been published allow theposting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.
Publisher Keywords: empowerment, mobilization, social movements, housing
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
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