The Centre on Social Movement Studies

The project aims at mapping collective experiences by young people pursuing a just and sustainable European society in selected European countries in order to explore youth participation and attitude to engage in different political domains.
The focus of this project is on civil society’s alternative visions and practices of Europe. As trust in the European Union (EU) is dramatically falling amongst its citizens, research on alternative visions of Europe ‘from below’ appear all the more relevant.
EURYKA is a cross-national research project which provides systematic and practice-related knowledge about how inequalities mediate youth political participation.

Cosmos events

03/06/2019 - 14/06/2019

2019 ECPR-COSMOS Summer School on Methods for the Study of Political Participation and Mobilisation

Summer School

Dipartimento di Scienze Politico-Sociali, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze


Experiments in Democracy: Digital Communication and Social Movements - Anastasia Kavada, University of Westminster


11 am - Aula Simone del Pollaiolo, Scuola Normale Superiore, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze

16/05/2019 - 17/05/2019

The Contentious Politics of Solidarity

COSMOS Conference

Altana, Scuola Normale Superiore, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze


Solidarity at Sea - The Politicization of Search and Rescue in the Mediterranean

Movimenti del Mondo

5:30pm - Altana, Scuola Normale Superiore, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze


Social Movements and Translation: Democracy, Power and Communication - Nicole Doerr, University of Copenhagen


11am - Aula Filippo Strozzi, Scuola Normale Superiore, Palazzo Strozzi


Journal Article - 2019

Ballots and barricades enhanced: far‐right ‘movement parties’ and movement‐electoral interactions

Andrea Pirro
This contribution enhances our understanding of the contemporary far right by focusing on the neglected links between movements and elections within the broader context of contention.

Journal Article - 2019

From the Rainy Place to the Burnt Palace: How Social Movements Form their Political Strategies. The Case of the Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba

Leonidas Oikonomakis
Exploring the case of the cocaleros of the Chapare, this article argues that more emphasis should be placed on mechanisms that are internal to the movements, such as: (a) the resonance of other political experiences at home and abroad, (b) internal struggles for ideological hegemony, and (c) the political formation of their grassroots.

Chapter in edited book - 2019

Contentious subjects: Spatial and relational perspectives on refugee mobilizations in Europe

Elias Steinhilper and Ilker Ataç
The chapter seeks to understand how precarious migrants (temporarily) succeed in organizing political protest against all evident odds. Comparing episodes of refugee activism in Austria and Germany, the analysis explores specific geographies of control in restrictive asylum regimes, and spatial repertoires to overcome them.

Monograph - 2018

The Contentious Politics of Higher Education. Struggles and Power Relations within English and Italian Universities

Lorenzo Cini
Drawing on neo-institutionalist and social movement approaches, this book analyses the impact that recent student mobilizations have brought about within Italian and English universities in terms of student services, curriculum organization, and governance structures.

Chapter in edited book - 2018

I post, you rally, she tweets…and we all occupy. The challenges of hybrid spatiality in the Occupy Wall Street mobilizations

Alice Mattoni
Exploring the interconnections between camps and platforms, this chapter shows how a fluid conception of spatiality emerged in the Occupy Wall Street mobilizations, which had vital implications for the participation patterns of activists.



A dialogue on labour, trade unions and conflicts


On the 22nd of March, from 4pm to 7pm, Donatella della Porta (Scuola Normale Superiore) and Maurizio Landini (Secretary General of CGIL) will discuss about labour, trade unions and conflicts.


Call for Papers - Social Movements and Parties in a Fractured Media Landscape


The call for papers is now open for a two-day symposium held under the auspices of the journal ‘Information, Communication & Society’ (iCS) at the Centre on Social Movement Studies, 1-2 July 2019.


17 Fully funded 4-years PhD positions in Political Science and Sociology and in Transnational Governance, Scuola Normale Superiore


The grant is for 4 years. It is open to students of all nationalities. Coverage of research expenses (conferences, summer schools, research periods abroads) is provided.


Andrea Pirro appointed new editor of the Routledge Book Series in Extremism and Democracy


The series now has 65 books on these issues, and has become the most distinguished and influential series in this area.

The Centre on Social Movement Studies (Cosmos) is a network located at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence.

It focuses on social movements as part of broader contentious politics. It promotes theoretically-driven empirical analyses on forms, dimensions, causes and impacts of social movements, in established democracies as well as authoritarian regimes. Particular attention is given to social movements as promoters of democratization processes.