The Centre on Social Movement Studies


Martín Portos García

PhD candidate

Martin was born in A Coruña (Spain, 1989). He holds a degree in Political Science and Administration from the University of Santiago de Compostela: first in his cohort and best academic performance in all disciplines at the regional level in 2011 (9.94 out of 10.00 and 3.98 in the 0-4 Spanish scale). He was an exchange student during a full academic year at the University of Westminster (London, UK; 2009-2010) and, additionally, he was awarded an Excellence Scholarship by the Galician regional Ministry to collaborate as a researcher in the project ‘Among Monarchy and Nation’ at the USC. He has attended to diverse complementary courses organized by the University of Muenster (Germany), CEACS (Fundación Juan March, Madrid), UIMP, etc. In addition, he has been an intern with the advisers of the cabinet of the Galician regional Ministry of Presidency, Public Administration and Justice (10/2010-02/2011). He has also gained an MSc in Politics Research (Comparative Government) at the University of Oxford (UK), for which he was granted a full scholarship by Fundación Caja Madrid (10/2011-09/2012). Since October 2012, he is enrolled as a full-time PhD researcher in Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute at Florence (Italy), working under the supervision of Prof. Donatella della Porta. His main areas of interest are: comparative politics, European comparative politics and governments, social movements, collective action and contentious politics, democratic quality and democratization processes, politics and territorial organization, nationalism and federalism. His mother tongues are Galician and Spanish. Besides, his working languages are English, French and Portuguese; he also has a basic command of Italian and German. Finally, he has a good command of SPSS, STATA and Excel.

Research interests: indignados, social movements, crisis of representation, and trust and satisfaction in democracy

Home page



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

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.


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

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.


Donatella Della Porta con Yanis Varoufakis alla 13esima conferenza ESA

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


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.