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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Viviana Asara

Visiting Scholar

Viviana Asara is a visiting student at the European University Institute and a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Environmental Science (ICTA) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She is currently undertaking research on degrowth and democracy, and the political ecology of the indignados movement in Spain. She holds a master’s degree in Environmental Policy from the University of Cambridge, another master’s degree (“laurea specialistica”) in Political Science from the Università di Bologna and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication (with a focus on sociology and semiotics). During her bachelor’s and master’s studies she has also undertaken exchange programs at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and at the Université Libre de Bruxelles of 10 months each. She is currently working with Joan Martinez-Alier and Giorgos Kallis for the European (FP7) project RESPONDER, focused on the contradictions between economic growth and sustainable consumption and on knowledge brokerage between policymakers, academics and civil society representatives.

Research interests: democracy, social movements, degrowth, and political ecology

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.