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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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2018-11-20

Call for Papers – International Conference The Contentious Politics of Solidarity

The conference will focus on the contestation of acts of solidarity by counter-movements and the state, as well as on resistance to it by migrant and pro-migrant movements.

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Call for Papers for the international conference “The Contentious Politics of Solidarity” that will be held on May the 16th and 17th 2019 at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence.

The international conference is organized by Donatella della Porta and Elias Steinhilper. It will host two keynotes speeches by Donatella della Porta and Engin Isin. The documentary IUVENTA will be also screened in the presence of the director, Michele Cinque.

Acts of solidarity or ‘political altruism’ are fundamental components of most progressive contemporary social movements. Members of these movements voluntarily defend the interests, rights, and identities of others usually marginalized individuals or groups. Such practices thus entail a specific type of relationship between actors in unequal power relations. In contrast to charity, solidarity presupposes a transformative impetus and aims at restructuring society towards a more equal order. Not least for this empowering element, acts of solidarity have been contested ever since: within different factions of civil society, by counter-movements and by public institutions at various territorial levels. Conceptual and practical debates have emerged on the relationship between ‘humanitarianism’ and ‘solidarity’, particularly on the role of power, domination and paternalism therein. Counter movements have rhetorically and physically challenged such acts. Public authorities have additionally employed multiple forms of repression. Old laws have been used and new laws produced to legally prosecute acts of solidarity.

In the light of increasing controversies regarding the practices of support for migrants in Europe, the conference on the contentious politics of solidarity will focus on the contestation of acts of solidarity by counter-movements and the state, as well as on resistance to it by migrant and pro-migrant movements. Areas to be addressed include but are not limited to:

  • Which solidarity practices are subject to challenges by governmental actors or the media?
  • Which types of frames and practices are used by counter-movements against acts of solidarity?
  • Which legal instruments have been used to discourage from acts of solidarity?
  • What strategies of policing are being performed?
  • How do solidarity movements respond to their acts being challenged?
  • Which types of practices of resistance have been developed by both migrants and supportive
    organizations?

Both theoretical and empirical contributions will be welcome. A selection of full-paper submissions to the conference will be submitted as a special issue or an edited volume. Please send your abstracts (up to 500 words) to elias.steinhilper[AT]sns.it by 31 December 2018.

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Varieties of Populism in Europe in Times of Crises

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This contribution is conceived as a resource on the state of European populist parties before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It reports on cross-national comparative findings generated by data collected from 30 European countries as to the state of populist parties in one calendar year (2019) and provides an extensive qualitative overview of the national cases.

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We first argue that illiberal changes are ideologically founded and identify how both populism and nativism figure in the policymaking of illiberals in power. We then show how these practices emerge from a common “illiberal playbook”—a paradigm of policy change comprising forms of forging, bending, and breaking—and elaborate on the notion that illiberal governments are using legalism to kill liberalism.

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Monograph - 2019

Social Mobilization beyond Ethnicity. Civic Activism and Grassroots Movements in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Journal Article - 2019

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