The Centre on Social Movement Studies


Laurent Thévenot – Closeness in Politics: Renewing Analytical Tools

Laurent Thévenot (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris), will give a talk on the practical processes that need to develop to reach commonality and build the good for the community.

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Politics require practical processes to reach commonality by making personal concerns more general, voicing and expressing difference in forms that are accepted for building the good of the community. The identification of grammars of commonality in the plural which govern these processes is all the more difficult that the categories and vocabularies of the social and political sciences depend on these grammars, with resulting bias in comparisons or even descriptions. Therefore the detour by abroad might be profitable not only to compare but to correct some bias of the used instruments. Within the collective French-Russian program that I named “From close ties to public places”, I conducted a comparative survey on learning politics in practice. The ethnographic investigation focused on transformations from personal familiarity to commonality and difference when living together in student residences (in Russia, United States, France, Brazil). The research also benefited from a cumulative set of contributions issued from this program or subsequent research using the same framework of the so-called French “Pragmatic Sociology”. In the context of the rise of populist politics which, in the East as in the West, tap into personal attachments, the talk takes advantage of the detour by Russia to tackle the following questions: How are close attachment and personal familiarity taken into account in various constructions of commonality and difference? What are the tensions and possible combinations between a construction grounded on personal affinities to common-places and the democratic requirement of a contradictory public space? How are common-places transformed by populist politics?



Andrea Pirro appointed as new editor of East European Politics

Andrea Pirro has been recently appointed as new editor of the journal East European Politics published by Taylor and Francis.


Volkswagen foundation Grant 2018 for Manuela Caiani

Manuela Caiani has been awarded the Volkswagen Grant 2018 for the research project Popular Music as a Medium for the Mainstreaming of Populist Ideologies in Europe, that will be directed by Mario Dunkel (University Carl von Ossietzky of Oldenburg, Germany).


ERC Starting Grant 2018 for Alice Mattoni

Alice Mattoni, Research Fellow at COSMOS and Assistant Professor at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the Scuola Normale Superiore, has been awarded the ERC Starting Grant 2018 for the research project BIT-ACT: Bottom-up initiative and anti-corruption technologies: how citizens use ICTs to fight corruption.


Journal Article - 2018

Movement parties of the far right: The organization and strategies of nativist collective actors

Andrea Pirro, Pietro Castelli Gattinara
Despite theoretical commonalities, very little empirical research has focused on far-right “movement parties” as collective actors operating both in the protest and the electoral arenas. The article redresses this inconsistency by exploring the organizational and strategic configuration of two far-right collective actors—the Hungarian Jobbik and the Italian CasaPound.

Journal Article - 2018

New Technologies as a Neglected Social Movement Outcome: The Case of Activism against Animal Experimentation

Manès Weisskircher
Based on novel empirical research, this paper analyzes a crucial and understudied case of a movement pushing for new technologies: the animal rights movement and its efforts to push for alternatives to animal experimentation.