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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Davis Donagh

Member

My doctoral research involves a historical-sociological analysis of contentious politics in early twentieth-century Ireland. Theoretically, I am interested in long-running debates about the relationship between ‘structure’ and ‘agency’ in the causation of revolutions and other episodes of political contention. My dissertation asks how such dynamics played out in Ireland – an ‘awkward’ case lying between nationalist secession and revolution. While the study of social movements and revolutions has often seen splits between scholars more interested in ‘structural’ determinants of political contention, and those more interested in the ‘agency’ that activists and organisers bring to the table, I hope to contribute to the growing literature that seeks a more sophisticated understanding of how the two sets of forces relate to each other – giving the strategies of political opponents, and the sheer contingency of their interactions their dues alongside attention to the traditional concerns of more ‘structuralist’ scholars (economic, demographic etc.). Before coming to the EUI, I received a BA in History and English Literature from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and an MA in Sociology from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. From 2007 to 2009 I worked as a sociology tutor for Oscail, Dublin City University’s distance learning centre, as well as teaching English, and working as a research assistant for the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, based at NUIM. I am involved with the e-journal Interface, and I spent the fall semester of 2011 as a visiting researcher at the University of California, Berkeley.

News

08/06/2017

Call for Papers - Cosmos Conference "The Contentious Politics of Higher Education. Student Movements in Late Neoliberalism"

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The Centre on Social Movement Studies, directed by Professor Donatella Della Porta, calls for papers addressing the recent global wave of student protests for a two-days conference to bel held in Florence, at the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Scuola Normale Superiore (SNS), on 15-16 November 2017.

19/05/2017

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

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Watch the video of the International Conference – Beyond Borders, which was held at Palazzo Strozzi on May 12, 2017

19/05/2017

Marco Deseriis wins Best Paper Award at the Cedem17 Conference for e-Democracy & Open Government

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Dr. Marco Deseriis, Marie Curie Fellow and Research Fellow at Cosmos, has won the Best Paper Award at the Cedem17 Conference for e-Democracy & Open Government (Danube University, Krems Au Donau, Austria)

Publications

Journal Article - 2017

The Electoral Success of the Radical Left: Explaining the Least Likely Case of the Communist Party in Graz

Manès Weisskircher
Recently, scholars have shown a growing interest in radical left parties (RLPs). In terms of electoral success, the rise of the KPÖ Graz, the Communist Party in Austria’s second biggest city, represents perhaps the most counterintuitive case in Western Europe. This analysis shows how the party has managed to ‘own’ the issue of housing and to exploit local political opportunities in order to be electorally successful. The findings point to the importance of agency and the subnational level for RLPs, and highlight more general questions in the study of this party family.

Journal Article - 2017

Non-deliberative politics in deliberative democracy: distinct approaches for different actors

Andrea Felicetti
In this paper Andrea Felicetti first illustrates the main ideas of the systemic turn, explores the distinction between ‘deliberative’ and ‘non-deliberative’ politics and investigates the main arguments justifying non-deliberative politics. Then, he builds upon these arguments to shed new light on the relationship between deliberative and non-deliberative politics. He identifies three distinctive actors in deliberative systems (political institutions, empowered agents, and public space actors). Finally, he argues that deliberative democrats should adopt three different approaches (intensive, moderate, and free) in order to assess whether the use of non-deliberative politics by each of these actors is legitimate.