The Centre on Social Movement Studies


Marco Deseriis – “Direct Parliamentarianism: An Analysis of the Political Values Embedded in Rousseau, the ‘Operating System’ of the Five Star Movement”

On May 11th 2017, at 2 p.m., Marco Deseriis (Scuola Normale Superiore/Northeastern University) will present a paper entitled “Direct Parliamentarianism: An Analysis of the Political Values Embedded in Rousseau, the ‘Operating System’ of the Five Star Movement”

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This talk offers a preliminary analysis of the technological affordances and use of Rousseau, the decision-making platform of the second largest Italian political party, the Five Star Movement. Crossing an empirical observation of the platform’s functionalities with data regarding its use and qualitative data collected during the last National Meeting of the Five Star Movement, it will argue that Rousseau supports an emerging “direct parliamentarianism,” which allows party members to entertain an ostensibly direct relationship with their elected representatives. The emphasis on the decisional moment, however, is not supported by an equal emphasis on deliberation, which is virtually absent from the platform and confined to applications and events (such as Facebook, beppegrillo.it, and Meetup groups) that are not integrated with the platform. In compartimentalizing deliberation and decision-making, Rousseau tends to separate what Chantal Mouffe calls the political–that is, the unfiltered antagonisms that exist within society—from politics, understood as the institutional framework within which these antagonisms are channeled and regulated



"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.