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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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2019 ECPR-COSMOS Summer School on Methods for the Study of Political Participation and Mobilisation

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The Call for Application is now open for the Third Edition of the Summer School on Methods for the Study of Political Participation and Mobilisation, organized by the ECPR Standing Group on Participation and Mobilization and the Centre on Social Movement Studies at the Scuola Normale Superiore.

The Summer School will take place at the Scuola Normale Superiore, in Florence, from June 3rd to June 14th 2019. Participants School will focus on how to analyse present and past forms of grassroots participation activated by social movement and civil society actors at the local, regional and transnational level.

More in general, it aims at disseminating knowledge on how to investigate processes and mechanisms that sustain the active citizens’ participation and mobilisation in the realm of politics. Grassroots participation and radical democracy have been at the centre of the public and political debate in the last decade. Massive popular protests and new populist challengers have deeply impacted European politics both in the streets and in representative institutions. Furthermore, digital technologies are reshaping the mechanisms of political socialisation, organisation and participation. The emergence of new protest movements and the changing dynamics of political participation require scholars to reflect on the research strategies and methodologies that are employed to study grassroots participation and radical democracy. Although there is a considerable amount of research done both on how social movements and civil society actors mobilise and on the radical innovations in political participation, specialised literature on how to actually investigate these phenomena is rare, although increasingly necessary. The Summer School will address this gap discussing how to apply the most common methods in the social sciences to investigate political participation and mobilisation.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS AND ACADEMIC PROGRAMME

The Summer School will include three keynote speeches on social movements and research methods. Confirmed keynote speakers are: Donatella della Porta (Scuola Normale Superiore); Marco Giugni (University of Geneva); Olivier Fillieule (University of Lausanne).

The Summer School will last 10 teaching days for a total of 60 hours of didactic activities. The Summer School will cover the following topics:

  • surveys in political participation and mobilisation – Joost de Moor (Stockholm University);
  • ethical issues in social movement and political participation research – Stefania Milan (University of Amsterdam);
  • interviewing activists – Lorenzo Zamponi (Scuola Normale Superiore);
  • visuals in the study of social movements – Alice Mattoni (Scuola Normale Superiore);
  • ethnography and participant observation – Philip Balsiger (University of Neuchâtel);
  • protest event analysis and political claim analysis – Martin Portos (Scuola Normale Superiore);
  • discourse analysis and frame analysis in social movement research – Lasse Lindekilde (Aarhus University);
  • experimental methods in participation and mobilisation research – Lasse Lindekilde (Aarhus University);
  • historical methods – Lorenzo Bosi (Scuola Normale Superiore);
  • participatory action research – Hara Kouki (Durham University);
  • doing fieldwork during violent conflicts – Stefan Malthaner (Hamburg Institute for Social Research);
  • online tools and digital methods for the study of participation and mobilisation – Diego Ceccobelli (Scuola Normale Superiore);
  • social network analysis – Manuela Caiani (Scuola Normale Superiore);
  • big data in the study of political participation and mobilisation – Elena Pavan (Università di Trento).

LOCATION

The Summer School will take place at Palazzo Strozzi, that hosts the Scuola Normale Superiore, in Florence, Italy.

CONTACTS

Email contact for questions and clarifications about the Summer School: pam.summerschool[AT]gmail.com

ORGANISING COMMITTEE

Donatella della Porta (Scuola Normale Superiore, director of COSMOS)

Lorenzo Zamponi (Scuola Normale Superiore, convenor of the ECPR SG on Participation and Mobilisation)

Joost de Moor (Stockholm University, convenor of the ECPR SG on Participation and Mobilisation)

Alice Mattoni (Scuola Normale Superiore)

FINANCIAL AND LOGISTIC SUPPORT

The Summer School is kindly supported by:

  • European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), Standing Group on Participation and Mobilisation
  • Scuola Normale Superiore, Department of Social and Political Sciences.

APPLICATION

The Summer School is open to 20 graduate and master students as well as early career researchers with a specialised interest in participation and mobilization in different fields of study, including political science, political sociology, political communication, and political anthropology from throughout European and beyond.

Applicants must email a cover letter in which they explain how the Summer School would be beneficial for their research, a 250-word abstract of their proposed paper, and a curriculum vitae no later than March 17th: to pam.summerschool[AT]gmail.com

Applicants will be informed of the outcome by email as soon as possible. Those offered places must confirm their participation within 7 days, after which places may be offered to applicants on the reserve list.

REQUIREMENTS

Students will be required to write and submit a 7.000-8.000 words paper before the starting of the Summer School. The paper will be then presented and discussed during one of the afternoon sessions.

Students will be also required to complete the mandatory readings for morning lectures and method sessions and to actively participate in discussion during morning and afternoon sessions.

Successful participation in the Summer School will be fully accredited with 30 credits and a certificate of participation.

English will be the working language of the Summer School. Therefore, students are expected to have a good command of written and spoken English.

ENROLLMENT FEES

Full fees for the Summer School are €400 and cover tuition costs, academic materials, lunches, welcome aperitivo & farewell dinner, use of library, computing and internet facilities.

Fees will not cover travel and accommodation costs, but registered participants will have the opportunity to book single and double rooms in the University Residence of the Scuola Normale Superiore at a very convenient rate, pending availability.

Details of how to pay the fees and book the room will be emailed to all selected participants.

News

16/07/2021

Prof. della Porta to lead VolkswagenStiftung-funded ECSEuro project

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Reflecting the European challenge of transnational cooperation and multiple crises, this project asks how local political initiatives across Europe enact citizenship and solidarity and contribute to the vision of a more democratic Europe from below.

09/07/2021

SNS announces 7 fully-funded PhD positions

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The Faculty of Political and Social Sciences at the Scuola Normale Superiore announces 7 fully-funded PhD positions. Deadline for applications: 21 August 2021.

28/09/2020

Four post-doctoral research positions on the pandemic

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The Scuola Normale Superiore announces four post-doctoral positions to be activated as part of the research project “After the coronavirus pandemic: The effects of the health emergency on society and knowledge.” 

26/02/2020

CFP Athens conference "Capitalism, Democracy, Contention: A Decade of Crisis" 13-15 May 2020

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Aspiring to shed light on the Greek experience in the era of crisis in a comparative, inter-disciplinary perspective, the Laboratory on Contentious Politics (Department of Political Science and History, Panteion University, Athens), the Centre on Social Movement Studies (Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence) and the Hellenic Political Science Association are organizing an international conference to be held at Panteion University, on 13, 14 and 15 May 2020.

12/12/2019

Prof. Donatella Della Porta to Be Awarded Honorary PhD

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On Friday 13, 2019, the University of the Peloponnese (PSIR) will award an honorary doctorate to Professor Donatella Della Porta, Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at the Scuola Normale Superiore.

22/07/2019

Protest for a future: international report on #FridaysForFuture and the climate strike

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Composition, mobilization and motives of the participants in Fridays For Future climate protests on 15 March 2019, in 13 European cities. A multi-country collaboration report, with contributions from COSMOS researchers Lorenzo Zamponi, Donatella della Porta, Martín Portos, Niccolò Bertuzzi and Daniela Chironi.

Publications

Edited Volume - 2021

Varieties of Populism in Europe in Times of Crises

Manuela Caiani & Paolo Graziano
Populism is booming across all the nuances of the political spectrum. It occupies relevant positions in national parliaments, in governmental coalitions with mainstream parties or as successful challengers of the political status quo. This volume sheds new light on the topic from different methodological and theoretical angles and offers evidence from a variety of cases on the ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions on populism’s emergence and consolidation in Europe over the past 30 years.

Journal Article - 2021

European populism before the pandemic: ideology, Euroscepticism, electoral performance, and government participation of 63 parties in 30 countries

Paul Taggart & Andrea Pirro
This contribution is conceived as a resource on the state of European populist parties before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It reports on cross-national comparative findings generated by data collected from 30 European countries as to the state of populist parties in one calendar year (2019) and provides an extensive qualitative overview of the national cases.

Journal Article - 2021

Forging, bending, and breaking: Enacting the “illiberal playbook” in Hungary and Poland

Andrea Pirro & Ben Stanley
We first argue that illiberal changes are ideologically founded and identify how both populism and nativism figure in the policymaking of illiberals in power. We then show how these practices emerge from a common “illiberal playbook”—a paradigm of policy change comprising forms of forging, bending, and breaking—and elaborate on the notion that illiberal governments are using legalism to kill liberalism.

Journal Article - 2021

Populism between voting and non-electoral participation

Andrea Pirro & Martín Portos
The article focuses on a neglected aspect of populist mobilisation, i.e. non-electoral participation (NEP), and elaborates on the extent to which populist party voters engage politically outside the polling station. While challenging common understandings of populism as inherently distrustful and apathetic, and protest as an exclusive practice of the left, the study critically places NEP at the heart of populism in general, and populist right politics in particular.

Monograph - 2021

Migrant Protest. Interactive Dynamics in Precarious Mobilizations

Elias Steinhilper
This book explores the interactions and spaces shaping the emergence, trajectory, and fragmentation of migrant protest in unfavorable contexts of marginalization.

Journal Article - 2020

We protect the forest beings, and the forest beings protect us: Cultural resistance in the Ecuadorian Amazonia

Leonidas Oikonomakis
The inhabitants of Sarayaku have forged an anti-colonial, anti-extractivist, and anti-capitalist resistance culture. How did that culture develop? How is it articulated? Moreover, how is kawsak sacha positioned in the discussion over the rights of Nature in Latin America? Based on three months of ethnographic research in the community of Sarayaku and more than twenty-five interviews with community members, this article addresses those important questions and argues that securing legal protection may not be a long-term resistance strategy.

Monograph - 2020

The Contentious Politics of Expertise. Experts, activism and grassroots environmentalism

Riccardo Emilio Chesta
Based on mixed-methods research and ethnographic fieldwork at various sites in Italy, this book examines the relationship between expertise and activism in grassroots environmentalism. Bridging the sociology of expertise and contentious politics, the book shows how conflict transforms, rather than inhibits, expertise production into a ‘contentious politics by other means’.

Journal Article - 2019

Alliance building and eventful protests: comparing Spanish and Portuguese trajectories under the Great Recession

Martín Portos & Tiago Carvalho
Social movement research has shed light on the relationship between processes of alliance building and multiple factors related to political opportunities, framing, identities, networks and resource mobilization. However, less is known about the impact of eventful protests on coalition building dynamics.

Monograph - 2019

Social Mobilization beyond Ethnicity. Civic Activism and Grassroots Movements in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Chiara Milan
This book offers an in-depth investigation of the emergence and spread of social mobilizations that transcend ethnicity in societies violently divided along ethno-national lines. Using Bosnia Herzegovina as a case study, the book explores episodes of mobilization which have superseded ethno-nationalist cleavages.

Journal Article - 2019

Close ever, distant never? Integrating protest event and social network approaches into the transformation of the Hungarian far right

Andrea Pirro, Elena Pavan, Adam Fagan & David Gazsi
In this article, we extend our understanding of fringe politics to include relational and thematic elements, namely, the relationship of far-right collective actors with their broader network and the claims made within it. By focusing on often neglected relational and thematic aspects, the study provides new ways to analyse fringe collective actors, the relationship with their environment and the evolution of such a relationship over time.