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.
PiCME – Political participation in Complex Media Environments investigates political participation in complex media environments. It does so by looking at how mechanisms and processes of political participation evolve in complex media environments and the consequences within the political sphere at large and in relation to political actors in particular.
EURYKA is a cross-national research project which provides systematic and practice-related knowledge about how inequalities mediate youth political participation.
MAKERS aims at fostering and exploring the virtuous encounter between two vibrant research strands that have hitherto developed quite independently one from the other: movements as spaces for knowledge production and learning and the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) within collective action dynamics
Starting from the observation that armed groups shift in their forms of political violence across time and space, the project will seek to identify the continuous shifts and investigate those socio-spatial relations between armed groups and their constituencies that drive these trajectories from one type of violence to the other.

Cosmos events

17/07/2018 - 22/07/2018

Summer School on Youth Political Participation in Times of Inequalities

Summer School


25/06/2018 - 29/06/2018

Summer School on Concepts and Methods for Research on Far-Right Politics

Summer School

Scuola Normale Superiore, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence


The Direct Parliament: The Impact of Digital Democracy on Political Representation


Scuola Normale Superiore, Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Room Altana, h. 9.30-19.00


Kevin Gillan - "Towards a Temporal Theory of Social Movements: Vectors and Events in the Neoliberal Timescape"


Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Scuola Normale Superiore – Palazzo Strozzi, Florence – Room Simone del Pollaiolo, 11 am

23/05/2018 - 25/05/2018

Conference - "1968-2018, fifty years after: Where is the social movement field going?"

Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence, Italy


Michael Burawoy - "A Polanyian theory of social movements"


Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Scuola Normale Superiore – Palazzo Strozzi, Florence – Room Simone del Pollaiolo, 2.30 pm


Geoffrey Pleyers - "Conceptualizing Social Movements"


Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Scuola Normale Superiore, Sala Simone del Pollaiolo, 3pm


Edited Volume - 2018

Solidarity Mobilizations in the ‘Refugee Crisis’. Contentious Moves

Donatella della Porta (ed.)
This edited volume ddresses a gap in research on social movements that has disregarded the origins of discontent and overlooks protest as a resource of the powerless; it offers insight into how the movement of refugees across the European Union and elsewhere activates political opportunities; it explores claims to citizenship made by refugees within processes of knowledge production and the mobilization of emotions

Monograph - 2018

I movimenti animalisti in Italia. Strategie, politiche e pratiche di attivismo.

Niccolò Bertuzzi
Il volume si focalizza su coloro che in Italia si occupano di benessere, cura, diritti e liberazione animale all'interno di contesti organizzativi. Grazie alla somministrazione di una survey, interviste agli attivisti e analisi dei frame, emergono una notevole varietà di strategie, pratiche e riferimenti valoriali, la contemporanea presenza di lobby e conflitto, e la natura complessa di un fenomeno al centro dell’attenzione mediatica ma ancora poco studiato in termini sociologici.

Journal Article - 2018

The populist politics of Euroscepticism in times of crisis: A framework for analysis

Andrea L. P. Pirro and Paul Taggart
This introductory article lays out the conceptual and analytical tools necessary to identify populist Eurosceptic actors, and systematically tackles the under-explored link between populist Eurosceptic framing and the unfolding of the different European crises.

Journal Article - 2017

Sociology and its public. Craig Calhoun in conversation with Riccardo Emilio Chesta

Craig Calhoun and Riccardo Emilio Chesta
In this interview, Craig Calhoun retraces his peculiar trajectory that, from his first interests in realist cinema and anthropology, brought him to become one of the most original contemporary public sociologists.



Austeridad, capitalismo y conflicto social. Nuevas tendencias en el estudio de los movimientos sociales - An interview with Donatella della Porta


An interview with Donatella della Porta realized by COES - Centro de Estudios de Conflicto y Cohesión Social


"Standing up for Science" - a documentary by Dieter Rucht


A documentary by Dieter Rucht on the 2017 March for Science in Washington, D.C. - now available on YouTube.


COSMOS Talks Calendar - Second Semester 2018


Read here the full calendar of the COSMOS Talks Series

The Centre on Social Movement Studies (Cosmos) is a network located at the Institute of Humanities and Social Science at 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.