The Centre on Social Movement Studies


COSMOS Conferences

The Contentious Politics of Higher Education. Student Movements in Late Neoliberalism

Date: 15/11/2017 - 16/11/2017

Place: Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Scuola Normale Superiore, Palazzo Strozzi - Conference Hall "l'Altana"

Category: COSMOS Conference


Several recent episodes of massive student protests in countries in Europe, Latin America and Africa, have triggered questions over the main characteristics of a new wave of campus activism taking place across the world. For sure, these protests address the neoliberal transformations of the system of higher education, enacted by governments of all political leanings. Although differences between countries continue to be pronounced, national higher education systems are becoming more alike in the sense of being more market-oriented, even in countries with a strong state intervention tradition. Such transformations were not only aimed at meeting effective and well-structured policy designs, but they were also triggered by the logic of vested interests, power relations, and social conflicts. This is where our research interest comes in with our focus on the contentious politics of higher education.


International Conference – Beyond Borders: Refugees and Struggles in Europe Mobilization, Solidarity and Political Challenges in the Long Summer of Migration

Date: 12/05/2017

Place: Institute of Human and Social Sciences Scuola Normale Superiore Conference hall “L’Altana” Firenze, Palazzo Strozzi

Category: COSMOS Conference


The conference provides the chance for an interdisciplinary debate between scholars coming from the fields of social movement studies and political philosophy, who have been analysing the issue of migration and the episodes of collective action related to it through different conceptual lenses.


Policing research: Surveillance, repression and the academia

Date: 04/11/2016

Place: Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Palazzo Strozzi - Conference Hall "l'Altana"

Category: COSMOS Conference



The Charlie Hebdo Critical Juncture: European Public Spheres Before and After the Paris Attacks

Date: 20/10/2016 - 21/10/2016

Place: Palazzo Strozzi - Sala Altana

Category: COSMOS Conference


This conference aims at analysing the effects of the Charlie Hebdo attacks on the content and quality of public debates across Western European societies, paying special attention to dynamics of deliberation and polarization across public spheres, and to the interplay between mass media and social movements in the construction of public discourse.


Friends and Foes of Social Movements

Date: 06/10/2016 - 08/10/2016

Place: Institute of Humanites and Social Sciences, Scuola Normale Superiore, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence

Category: COSMOS Conference





"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.