chapter  3
15 Pages

Panic works

The ‘Gag Law’ and the unruly youth in Spain

Conservative forces in Spain are depicting mobilised young people as an unruly youth; a threat to the security of the Spanish state. In this way, narratives based on stimulating panic in a society known to be fearful of juvenile crime are contributing to new forms of repression and surveillance, intended to impose limits on the right to protest. This chapter presents the so-called Ley Mordaza (‘Gag Law’) as the centrepiece of a new regime of governance of young people in Spain, where soft repression, hard punishment, securitisation and surveillance are key elements.