The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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.
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.
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

Cosmos events

26/06/2017 - 30/06/2017

Summer School on Media in Political Participation and Mobilization

Summer School

Istituto di Scienze Umane e Sociali, Scuola Normale Superiore, Firenze


James Jasper - Outcomes of Social Movement Organizations


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


Conference - Un’America “all’italiana”? La democrazia populista nell’età di Trump


Aula Kessler, Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento (via Verdi, 26)


Rebellious politics in the United States. The rise of the grassroots opposition to the Trump administration


Aula Simone del Pollaiolo, Palazzo Strozzi, Scuola Normale Superiore, Firenze


Monograph - 2017

Where Did the Revolution Go? Contentious Politics and the Quality of Democracy by Donatella della Porta

Donatella della Porta
Where Did the Revolution Go? considers the apparent disappearance of the large social movements that have contributed to democratization. Revived by recent events of the Arab Spring, this question is once again paramount.

Journal Article - 2017

Transferring Violence? Mafia Killings in Nontraditional Areas. Evidence from Italy

Francesco N. Moro, Salvatore Sberna
Local conditions play a mediating role in shaping violence in the new territories where mafia groups migrate. This article provides empirical support through the quantitative analysis of the violence perpetrated by mafia groups in Italy in the period between 1983 and 2013.

Journal Article - 2017

A situated understanding of digital technologies in social movements. Media ecology and media practice approaches

Alice Mattoni
The article explores the potential of media ecologies and media practices approaches to grasp the role of digital technologies in current social movements. Moreover, it adopts a media practice perspective to reflects on the relationship between the communicative dimension of social movements and the mundane individual use of digital technologies.

Monograph - 2017

Movement parties against austerity

Donatella della Porta, Joseba Fernandez, Hara Kouki and Lorenzo Mosca
The ascendance of austerity policies and the protests they have generated have had a deep impact on the shape of contemporary politics. The rise of movement parties challenges simplistic expectations of a growing separation between institutional and contentious politics and the decline of the left. Their return demands attention as a way of understanding both contemporary socio-political dynamics and the fundamentals of political parties and representation. Bridging social movement and party politics studies, within a broad concern with democratic theories, this volume presents new empirical evidence and conceptual insight into these topical socio-political phenomena, within a cross-national comparative perspective.



Rethinking Greece: Donatella Della Porta on social movements in times of austerity and electoral democracy


Rethinking Greece intrviews with Donatella della Porta about social movements in times of austerity and electoral democracy.


The Great Regression - An International Debate (edited by Heinrich Geiselberger)


The Great Regression collects contributions from fifteen international authors, taking a closer look at the root causes behind these developments, locating them in their respective historical contexts, and discussing strategies for fighting back.


9 PhD Grants in Political Science and Sociology @SNS Florence Site


For the academic year 2017-2018 the Scuola Normale Superiore (SNS) announces a call for 9 PhD positions at its Florence site, where COSMOS is based. Read more about how to submit your application!


Applications now open! Summer School on Media in Political Participation and Mobilization


COSMOS and the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Scuola Normale Superiore invite applications for the upcoming Summer School on “Media in Political Participation and Mobilization” which will be held in Florence (Italy) in June 2017, from Monday 26th to Friday 30th included.


Cosmos Conference "Policing research Surveillance, repression and the academia": Video recording available


The whole recording of the Cosmos Conference "Policing research: Surveillance, repression and the academia" is now available on YouTube

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.