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

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

23/05/2018 - 25/05/2018

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

Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence, Italy


Sebastian Haunss, Paolo Gerbaudo - "Capitalist transformations and protest"


Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Scuola Normale Superiore – Palazzo Strozzi, Florence – Room Simone del Pollaiolo, 4 pm


Susi Meret, Jens Rydgren - “Refugee and anti-refugee Movements in the 21st century”


Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Scuola Normale Superiore – Palazzo Strozzi, Florence - Room Simone del Pollaiolo, 6 pm


Journal Article - 2017

Reshaping Citizenship through Collective Action: Performative and Prefigurative Practices in the 2013–2014 Cycle of Contention in Bosnia & Hercegovina

Chiara Milan
This essay analyses the strategic practices adopted by social movement actors during the 2013 and 2014 mobilisations in Bosnia & Hercegovina. By bridging critical citizenship studies with literature on social movements, it classifies them as belonging to the realm of activist citizenship, but also as having a performative and prefigurative dimension.

Journal Article - 2017

Voting for Movement Parties in Southern Europe: The Role of Protest and Digital Information

Lorenzo Mosca and Mario Quaranta
Despite growing interest in movement parties, there has been scant attention to the role of citizens adopting unconventional forms of action and using digital media in accounting for their electoral performance. To fill this gap, four original internet-based post-electoral surveys are employed showing that protesters and digital media users are more likely to vote for these parties, despite important country differences.

Special Issue - 2017

Anti-Corruption from Below. Social Movements Against Corruption in Late Neoliberalism

Donatella della Porta, Loris Caruso, and Andrea L. P. Pirro
Departing from the traditional visions of anti-corruption from below within corruption studies, the article brings upon social movement studies in order to synthetize some of the main context, organizational forms and framing of (anti-)corruption in today's contentious politics.

Journal Article - 2017

Screaming at a wall: Societal accountability from below in Bulgaria and Hungary

Andrea L. P. Pirro
The article crucially reconstructs the context within which anti-corruption activism took place, the different forms of mobilisation, and the specific framing of the issue by means of original interviews with prominent Bulgarian and Hungarian activists. Finally, attention is devoted to the subaltern fortunes of these struggles in attaining the aspired goal of societal accountability.



Call for Application Now Open: Summer School on Concepts and Methods for Research on Far-Right Politics


We are pleased to announce that the call for applications is now open for the 1st Summer School of the ECPR Standing Group on Extremism & Democracy on ‘Concepts and Methods for Research on Far-Right Politics’, sponsored by the Centre for Research on Extremism (C-REX), the European Council for Political [...]


10 Fully funded 4-years PhD positions in Political Science and Sociology, for the AA. 2018/2019, 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.


Martin Portos Garcia wins the ISA's Seventh Worldwide Competition for Junior Sociologists


The International Sociological Association has just announced the list of the winners of the Seventh Worldwide Competition for Junior Sociologists engaged in social research, amongst which Martin Portos Garcia - post-doc fellow at COSMOS

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.