The Centre on Social Movement Studies


Philip Balsiger


I study the interactions of movements with corporations, and I was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute. I received my Ph.D. as a joint degree from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and Sciences Po Paris in 2011 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne before joining the EUI. In my research I study the repertoires and dynamics of contention in market arenas. My Ph.D. and forthcoming book compares the emergence and dynamics of the anti-sweatshop movements in Switzerland and France, and explains how this movement provoked market change. Papers building on this research focus on the repertoire of political consumption, the role of tactical competition for market transformation, and the interaction dynamics of outcomes. I continue to investigate the role of social movements in the creation and transformation of markets, studying in particular the markets for ethical fashion and the domain of food politics. Regarding social movement theory, I am interested in developing interactionist approaches to the study of movements’ tactical action repertoires and dynamics in different interaction fields and arenas.

Research interests: social movements, markets, political consumption, organization, and repertoires



"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.