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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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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.

Allegati

Event Leaflet and Programme

News

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.

24/09/2017

New Publication Out - "Social movements and referendums from below. Direct democracy in the neoliberal crisis"

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A timely publication to shed light on the link between social movements that formed as a consequence of the 2008 financial crash and the referendums' dynamic and results.

25/08/2017

Donatella Della Porta con Yanis Varoufakis alla 13esima conferenza ESA

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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

Publications

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.

Monograph - 2017

Social movements and referendums from below. Direct democracy in the neoliberal crisis

Donatella Della Porta, Francis O'Connor, Martin Portos and Anna Subirats Ribas
Out now "Social movements and referendum from below", the first book that bridges the gap between social movement studies and research on direct democracy. It draws on social movement theory to understand the nature of popular mobilisation in referendums using unique case studies such as the referendum on independence in Scotland, the consultations on independence in Catalonia, the Italian referendum on water, the referendum on the Troika proposals in Greece and the referendum on the debt repayment in Iceland.