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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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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

05/12/2017

Marco De Seriis - "A Tale of Two Materialisms: For a Non-instrumental Reading of the Relationship between Social Movements and Information Technologies"

COSMOS Talk

Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Scuola Normale Superiore - Palazzo Strozzi, Florence - Room Filippo Strozzi, 3 pm

22/11/2017

Feminism(s) today from a grassroots perspective

COSMOS Roundtable

Aula Simone del Pollaiolo, Scuola Normale Superiore, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze - 2pm

17/11/2017

Mario Diani - "Modes of coordination and theories of organizing: exploring collective action fields"

COSMOS Talk

Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Scuola Normale Superiore - Palazzo Strozzi, Florence - Room Filippo Strozzi, 3 pm

15/11/2017 - 16/11/2017

The Contentious Politics of Higher Education. Student Movements in Late Neoliberalism

COSMOS Conference

Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Scuola Normale Superiore, Palazzo Strozzi - Conference Hall "l'Altana"

Publications

Journal Article - 2017

Digital Capitalism and the End of Politics: The Case of the Italian Five Star Movement

Loris Caruso
This article investigates the political and cultural nature of the Movimento Cinque Stelle (Five Star Movement, M5S) by (1) analyzing its discourse on democracy, its organizational choices and its main issues; (2) comparing these elements with populism and the left; and (3) linking its fundamental characteristics to contemporary economic processes usually termed “digital capitalism.”

Journal Article - 2017

Framing exclusion in the public sphere: Far-right mobilization and the debate on Charlie Hebdo in Italy

Pietro Castelli Gattinara
While the January 2015 Paris terrorist attacks presented a crucial opportunity for far-right mobilisation, the focus on liberal democratic values and Charlie Hebdo’s non-conformist progressive profile presented challenges for right-wing discourse. Taking Italy as a paradigmatic case of public controversies on cultural and religious affairs, this article examines the opportunities and constraints generated by multicultural crises for far-right framing choices.

Journal Article - 2017

The Refugee Crisis as a Crisis of Legitimacy

Pietro Castelli Gattinara
The paper suggests that the refugee crisis is best understood in relation to other ongoing crises in the EU, and that the way it is handled will have significant consequences for future action, shaping the way European societies cope with forthcoming crises and transforming the relationship between states and citizens. Accordingly, it argues that the permanent state of emergency characterising governmental responses so far does not bode well for the future of liberal democracy in Europe.

Journal Article - 2017

The Myth of Apolitical Volunteering for Refugees: German Welcome Culture and a New Dispositif of Helping

Larissa Fleischmann and Elias Steinhilper
During the so-called “refugee crisis”, the notion of an unparalleled German hospitality toward asylum seekers circulated within the (inter)national public sphere, often encapsulated by the blurry buzzword “Welcome Culture”. In this article, we scrutinize these developments and suggest that the image of the so-called “crisis” has activated an unprecedented number of German citizens to engage in practices of “apolitical” helping. However, we aim to unmask forms of “apolitical” volunteering for refugees as a powerful myth: the new dispositif of helping comes with ambivalent and contradictory effects that range from forms of antipolitics to transformative political possibilities within the European border regime.

News

10/11/2017

Call for Application Now Open: Summer School on Youth Political Participation in Times of Inequalities

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We are pleased to announce that the call for applications is now open for the Summer School on Youth Political Participation in Times of Inequalities, sponsored by the Reinventing Democracy in Europe: Youth Doing Politics in Times of Increasing Inequalities project (EURYKA) and the Centre on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS).

26/10/2017

Now Online! The plenary session (Un)making Europe of the 13th ESA Conference

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During the plenary session, Donatella della Porta and Yanis Varoufakis spoke about the future of Europe and the social consequences of neoliberal economies.

06/10/2017

Open Democracy Post - "The streets will always be ours" - Catalonia, a referendum from below

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Although some still conceive of the referendum as launched by a pro-independence vanguard, the elite story falls short of explaining the resilient participation of a large part of Catalan civil society. This post at Open Democracy addresses this issue from a different angle.

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.