The Centre on Social Movement Studies


Closeness in Politics: Renewing Analytical Tools – Laurent Thévenot, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales

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.

Picture description

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?



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

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.


Call for papers: "The Nation and the Radical Left - Practices and Discourses of National Identity in Left-Wing Politics"

The call for papers is now open for a conference on national identities and left-wing politics.


Call for papers: “Class without consciousness” – The Politics of Fragmented Class Identities

The call for papers is now open for a two-day conference on class and identities at the Scuola Normale Superiore on 14-15 November 2019


Journal Article - 2019

Ballots and barricades enhanced: far‐right ‘movement parties’ and movement‐electoral interactions

Andrea Pirro
This contribution enhances our understanding of the contemporary far right by focusing on the neglected links between movements and elections within the broader context of contention.

Journal Article - 2019

From the Rainy Place to the Burnt Palace: How Social Movements Form their Political Strategies. The Case of the Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba

Leonidas Oikonomakis
Exploring the case of the cocaleros of the Chapare, this article argues that more emphasis should be placed on mechanisms that are internal to the movements, such as: (a) the resonance of other political experiences at home and abroad, (b) internal struggles for ideological hegemony, and (c) the political formation of their grassroots.