The Centre on Social Movement Studies


Kivanc Atak


Kivanc Atak studied Political Science and International Relations at Bogazici University, Istanbul. He received his Master’s degree in Political Science at Central European University, Budapest. In 2009, he enrolled in the PhD program in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute, Florence. In December 2013, he defended his dissertation titled “Police, Protest and Democracy in Turkey: From Gazi to Gezi” under the supervision of Prof. Donatella della Porta. In his thesis, Atak investigated the relationship between the policing ideas and practices, and the social reality of protests under democratization in Turkey. Based on quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis, the findings of his doctoral research suggested that patterns of protest and patterns of policing evolve in interaction with each other, yet this interaction is politically contingent on how contentious “threats” are fabricated in state discourse, particularly in the ideas that shape and regulate policing practices. In this sense, democratization generated certain positive effects on policing as well as protests in Turkey, but far from being a linear path this also embedded a concomitant process of de-democratization. Currently, Kivanc Atak is employed in the research team of the ERC project “Mobilizing for Democracy” coordinated by Prof. Della Porta. In broad terms, Atak has been working in the field of political sociology and comparative politics. More specifically, he is interested in social movement studies, the politics of policing and state control over public dissent, theories of the state and critical theory. He has forthcoming publications in internationally edited volumes, and his recent short article on the June’13 uprisings in Turkey is published in French in La Revue Internationale et Stratégique.

Research interests: protest policing, politics of the police, state repression, and political change



"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.