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


Mark R. Beissinger - "A Revolutionary World: The Growth and Urbanization of Global Mass Revolt"


Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Scuola Normale Superiore - Palazzo Strozzi, Florence - Room Filippo Strozzi


Building from elsewhere. Platformization and the continuing struggle for political change - Keynote Speech, Prof. Nick Couldry (LSE)

Summer School

Altana Hall, Istituto di Scienze Umane e Sociali, Palazzo Strozzi

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


Democracy, Communication and social movement studies - Keynote Speech, Prof. Donatella della Porta (SNS)

Summer School

Altana Hall, Istituto di Scienze Umane e Sociali, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze


Monograph - 2018

Social Movements and Civil War : When Protests for Democratization Fail

Donatella della Porta, Teije Hidde Donker , Bogumila Hall , Emin Poljarevic
This book investigates the origins of civil wars which emerge from failed attempts at democratization. The main aim of this volume is to develop a theoretical explanation of the conditions under which and the mechanisms through which social movements' struggles for democracy ends up in civil war.

Journal Article - 2017

Successful student activism in contemporary Italian universities

Lorenzo Cini
This article assesses the strategies that the Italian student activists adopted in order to influence the revision process of the governance structure of their universities in 2011

Journal Article - 2017

Digital Innovation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Epochal Social Changes?

Loris Caruso
According to the main representations of Industry 4.0. by private and public institutions, its effects are expected to be mainly positive, for what regards productivity, economic opportunities and the future of work. The positive potentials now attributed to the new cycle of innovation evoke and expand those attributed to the previous waves of innovation linked to ITC technologies, and, even before, to the transition from Fordism to Post-Fordism. However, these transformations have so far not achieved any of the promises they raised. Improvements for workers in terms of work conditions, work performance and work relationships cannot be determined by any technical innovation in itself, being technological innovation always socially shaped.

Journal Article - 2017

PKK Violence against Civilians: Beyond the Individual Understanding Collective Targeting

Juan Masullo and Francis O’Connor
This article examines the logic of civilian targeting in the Turkish-Kurdish civil war. It analyzes two instances of PKK violence: against pro-state Village Guards’ families in the 1980s and school-teachers in the 1990s.



Donatella Della Porta con Yanis Varoufakis alla 13esima conferenza ESA


Wednesday, August 30th (8pm-9.30pm) professor della Porta, who directs the Center on Social Movement Studies(Cosmos), will dialogue with Yanis Varoufakis, Greek Minister of Finance during the first Tsipras government, about the future of Europe and the social consequences of neoliberal economies


Call for Papers - Cosmos Conference "The Contentious Politics of Higher Education. Student Movements in Late Neoliberalism"


The Centre on Social Movement Studies, directed by Professor Donatella Della Porta, calls for papers addressing the recent global wave of student protests for a two-days conference to bel held in Florence, at the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Scuola Normale Superiore (SNS), on 15-16 November 2017.


Video available for the International Conference – Beyond Borders: Refugees and Struggles in Europe Mobilization, Solidarity and Political Challenges in the Long Summer of Migration


Watch the video of the International Conference – Beyond Borders, which was held at Palazzo Strozzi on May 12, 2017

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.