The Centre on Social Movement Studies


10 Fully funded 4-years PhD positions in Political Science and Sociology, for the AA. 2018/2019, Scuola Normale Superiore

The grant is for 4 years. it is open to students of all nationalities. Coverage of research expenses (conferences, summer schools, research periods abroads) is provided. The Faculty is exclusively devoted to PhD teaching and supervision. The activities will be held at the seat of Florence of the Scuola Normale Superiore (Institute of Human and Social Sciences).

The grant is for 4 years. it is open to students of all nationalities. Coverage of research expenses (conferences, summer schools, research periods abroads) is provided.

Picture description

The PhD course in Political Science and Sociology of the Scuola Normale Superiore builds upon a methodologically pluralist approach and a multidisciplinary nature, combining structured teaching with close supervision activities by a dedicated faculty. The duration of the programme and its grants is four years.

The main research areas which have been singled out are organized around the following topics.

Democracy and social movements. In this area, sociological and political science competences converge around political sociology, which bridges the two disciplines through its main focus on the reciprocal influence of political and social transformations. Social movements, civil society, participative democracy, political violence, new media and conflicts are the main concepts addressed in the teaching and research activities. In the best European tradition, the methodological approach will be sensitive to the historical, institutional and cultural specificities, but also oriented to the development of theory.

Comparative/global public policy and international governance. This area addresses, in an innovative way, themes such as the comparative analysis of public policies; the global dimension of public policies; the multilevel governance of public policies, that is the structural and processual characteristics that influence how public policies are decided and implemented in multilevel institutional processes (from the sub-national to the national, and from the supra-national to the international ones, with due attention devoted to the European Union); the structure of regimes and dynamics of international politics (not only foreign policy and defence, but also migration, social, public health, educational, energy and economic development policies).

Comparative politics and society. This area is oriented towards the comparative analysis of a set of major politico-institutional processes, focusing on the interactions between political parties, interest groups, civil society and public opinion. Classical comparative analysis, based on cross-national comparison, is backed up by the study of processes which are territorially multilevel, such as Europeanization and globalization, in the political ‒ but also economic, social, and cultural ‒ spheres.

More information on submission procedures and deadlines are available at this link



"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.