The Centre on Social Movement Studies


Fifteen Years of Water Struggles. Lesson Learned from Bolivia to Italy

This event focuses on the mobilizations that are opposing to water privatization in the world, and in particular on the emergence and on the characteristics of the Bolivian and Italian movements that are promoting the idea of water as a common.

Picture description

Fifteen years ago, in 1999 and 2000, the citizens of Cochabamba (Bolivia) forced their government to end the contract with the private company Aguas del Tunari, reclaiming with strikes and street protests a public and community-oriented management of water. Four years ago, in 2011, a network of hundreds of Italian organizations convinced 26 million Italians to vote for two referendums, which blocked a large scale attempt to privatize the water services in the country.

The Instituto di Scienze Umane e Sociali of the Scuola Normale Superiore, at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, gives voice to the protagonists of these struggles, to compare their experiences and describe the shared backgrounds of the water movements in the world. In a debate chaired by Cesar Guzman-Concha (Scuola Normale Superiore), Matteo Cernison (European University Institute), Carlos Crespo (Centro Estudios Superiores Universitarios/Universidad Mayor de San Simón) and Simona Savini (Forum Italiano dei Movimenti per l’Acqua) will share their views on the water mobilizations, on the idea of water as a common, on the different forms of actions adopted in Italy and in bolivia to oppose to water privatization attempts.

After the discussion, the event will continue with the projection of “Even the rain – También la lluvia”. The movie, centered on the 2000 Cochabamba Water War, won three Goya prizes and was the official candidate for Spain and Latin America to the 2011 Academy Awards.

Oscar Olivera, spokeperson of the Coordinadora por la Defensa del Agua y la Vida and one of the protagonists of the Cochabamba struggle, will introduce the movie in a discussion chaired by Leonidas Oikonomakis (European University Institute).

The event will take place in the Altana conference hall on June the 11th from 3:00pm to 7:30pm.


Event Leaflet and Programme



"Standing up for Science" - a documentary by Dieter Rucht

A documentary by Dieter Rucht on the 2017 March for Science in Washington, D.C. - now available on YouTube.


COSMOS Talks Calendar - Second Semester 2018

Read here the full calendar of the COSMOS Talks Series


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 Research (ECPR), and the Centre on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS).


Edited Volume - 2018

Solidarity Mobilizations in the ‘Refugee Crisis’. Contentious Moves

Donatella della Porta (ed.)
This edited volume ddresses a gap in research on social movements that has disregarded the origins of discontent and overlooks protest as a resource of the powerless; it offers insight into how the movement of refugees across the European Union and elsewhere activates political opportunities; it explores claims to citizenship made by refugees within processes of knowledge production and the mobilization of emotions

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.