The Centre on Social Movement Studies


Promoting opposition? Conceptualizing the intersection of movement strategies on environmental ‘goods’ and ‘bads’ – Joost de Moor, Stockholm University

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Environmental social movements have historically focused on opposition to “environmental bads” like pollution and the promotion of “environmental goods” like green space or local food. Put differently, they have engaged in ‘resistance’ and ‘alternatives’ to advance a more sustainable society. Yet with the rise of sub-politics (Beck, 1997) , life(style) politics (Giddens, 1991) , and sustainable materialism (Schlosberg & Coles, 2016) some have observed that this balance might be shifting towards alternatives. Concurrently, there has been a growing interest in the relation between alternatives and resistance. Specifically, to what extent are (changes in) these modes of environmental activism related to each other, and what mechanisms may constitute negative or positive relations between them? In various case studies, we find descriptions of both, but the literature has so far lacked a more systematic analysis and conceptualization of these relations.

Based on existing literature and original qualitative research on two prominent British environmental movement scenes (Manchester and Bristol), this presentation outlines the various ways in which both positive and negative relations have emerged between alternatives and resistance; at the level of individuals, groups and scenes, and involving tactics, resources, opportunities, and biographies. It thereby aims to outline a research agenda on the interconnectedness of environmentalists’ diverse strategies towards tackling some of today’s most challenging problems.



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

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.

Journal Article - 2019

The Modern Prince and the Sociological Imagination

Riccardo Emilio Chesta, Michael Burawoy
Michael Burawoy in Conversation with Riccardo Emilio Chesta