The Centre on Social Movement Studies


Sophia Wathne

PhD candidate

Sophia is a PhD candidate in Political Science and Sociology at the Scuola Normale Superiore and member of the Center of Social Movement Studies (COSMOS). Her research is on the global Food Sovereignty movement and how it can challenge common conceptions of sovereignty within political theory. Furthermore, she looks at whether the Food Sovereignty Movement can inspire new ways of structuring environmentally sustainable and democratic communities.

Sophia attained her B.A. and M.A. in Political Science at the University of Copenhagen, with a semester abroad at University of California, San Diego. For her M.A. she specialized in political theory and focused on the interplay between political theory and social movements, specifically the Greek Solidarity Movement in Athens.

Her research interests are political theory relating to political action outside the conventional political institutions, with a focus on democratic experiments and prefigurative politics, especially in the global south. It is important for Sophia to be a part of the decolonization of academia by giving space to the voices and agency of activists from the global south who are often overlooked.

Sophia is a co-editor of the Danish feminist and decolonial journal Marronage and is a decolonial, feminist and environmental activist. She attained her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2017 in Palestine and has been involved in the Food Sovereignty movement in Palestine and Denmark.

Research interests: democracy and social movements, prefigurative politics, political theory, autonomy and insurrection, and food sovereignity



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

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.