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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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The consequences of welfare related protests in Sweden – Katrin Uba, Uppsala University

11am – Aula Filippo Strozzi, Scuola Normale Superiore, Piazza degli Strozzi 1, Firenze

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Political reforms, particularly measures that reduce the scope of the welfare state, are potentially an important cause of political protest in Western European countries. Sweden is no exception and there have been numerous protests against governments’ plans to change labour, healthcare, school and elderly care policies, or local (municipal) level plans of cutting the welfare system. But do these actions actually achieve their goals? Which actions are more “effective” in this respect? As Sweden is often seen as a country with open political opportunity structures and negotiations, which favour less confrontational protest strategies, one would not expect retrenchment policies to be met by waves of public disruption and nor should protests have much impact on policy-making. This talk focuses on citizens’ reactions to welfare state reforms by means of a new large data set covering protest events in Sweden during the period 1980–2011, as well as the political consequences of these actions. Results show that protest have direct little political power at national level, but the situation is different at local level. As many other scholars have suggested before, but not shown in the Swedish case, the power of protest depends much on allies, that is political parties, and the specific context of protest.

News

22/07/2019

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

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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.

21/06/2019

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

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

18/06/2019

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

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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

Publications

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.