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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

06/10/2017

Open Democracy Post - "The streets will always be ours" - Catalonia, a referendum from below

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Although some still conceive of the referendum as launched by a pro-independence vanguard, the elite story falls short of explaining the resilient participation of a large part of Catalan civil society. This post at Open Democracy addresses this issue from a different angle.

24/09/2017

New Publication Out - "Social movements and referendums from below. Direct democracy in the neoliberal crisis"

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A timely publication to shed light on the link between social movements that formed as a consequence of the 2008 financial crash and the referendums' dynamic and results.

25/08/2017

Donatella Della Porta con Yanis Varoufakis alla 13esima conferenza ESA

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Wednesday, August 30th (8pm-9.30pm) professor della Porta, who directs the Center on Social Movement Studies(Cosmos), will dialogue with Yanis Varoufakis, Greek Minister of Finance during the first Tsipras government, about the future of Europe and the social consequences of neoliberal economies

Publications

Monograph - 2018

Social Movements and Civil War : When Protests for Democratization Fail

Donatella della Porta, Teije Hidde Donker , Bogumila Hall , Emin Poljarevic
This book investigates the origins of civil wars which emerge from failed attempts at democratization. The main aim of this volume is to develop a theoretical explanation of the conditions under which and the mechanisms through which social movements' struggles for democracy ends up in civil war.

Monograph - 2017

Social movements and referendums from below. Direct democracy in the neoliberal crisis

Donatella Della Porta, Francis O'Connor, Martin Portos and Anna Subirats Ribas
Out now "Social movements and referendum from below", the first book that bridges the gap between social movement studies and research on direct democracy. It draws on social movement theory to understand the nature of popular mobilisation in referendums using unique case studies such as the referendum on independence in Scotland, the consultations on independence in Catalonia, the Italian referendum on water, the referendum on the Troika proposals in Greece and the referendum on the debt repayment in Iceland.