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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Democracy in the EU and the Potential of a European Society (DEMOS)

TEAM

Donatella della Porta, Lorenzo Zamponi, and Niccolò Bertuzzi

START YEAR 2017

END YEAR 2019

The focus of this project is on civil society’s alternative visions and practices of Europe. As trust in the European Union (EU) is dramatically falling amongst its citizens, research on alternative visions of Europe ‘from below’ appear all the more relevant. Civil society organizations linked to the so called ‘left-libertarian’ movement family have long voiced progressively more critical positions about the EU, yet at the same time promoted ‘another Europe’ and Europeanized their organizational networks and action strategies. While social movement studies, along with other areas of the social sciences, have assumed increasing Europeanisation, recent developments have challenged this view. In particular with the advent of the financial crisis, progressive social movements seem to have moved back to the national and local levels, engaging very little or not at all with the EU and questions of Europe more generally. To what extent critical Europeanism has ceded terrain to Euroscepticism, including within this alter-European vision, is a central question we seek to address in this project. In order to answer these questions, the project draws on the tool-kit of social movement studies and a neoinstitutional approach to critical junctures as sudden and drastic changes. Our empirical focus will be anti-austerity protests and related mobilizations in the period 2011-2016. We will aim to assess the effects of the financial crisis on the multilevel governance of European countries and, therefore, on the ways in which social movements formulate claims, frames and justifications about European institutions. A cross-time comparison will be constructed by building on data collected for previous research on the GJM, namely through a parallel dataset involving in-depth interviews and document analysis.

 

*Original Picture by Olivier Ortelpa,  released under the CC License Attribution 2.0 Generic and here partially cut and modified

                                  

FUNDING

Scuola Normale Superiore

 

News

13/12/2017

Call for Paper: Conference “1968-2018, fifty years after: Where is the social movements field going?”

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Taking the 1968 anniversary as a stimulating moment for reflection, this conference seeks to provide space for looking at the implications of that period on social movement research as well as addressing a number of key questions in current social movement research.

04/12/2017

Martin Portos Garcia wins the ISA's Seventh Worldwide Competition for Junior Sociologists

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The International Sociological Association has just announced the list of the winners of the Seventh Worldwide Competition for Junior Sociologists engaged in social research, amongst which Martin Portos Garcia - post-doc fellow at COSMOS

10/11/2017

Call for Application Now Open: Summer School on Youth Political Participation in Times of Inequalities

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We are pleased to announce that the call for applications is now open for the Summer School on Youth Political Participation in Times of Inequalities, sponsored by the Reinventing Democracy in Europe: Youth Doing Politics in Times of Increasing Inequalities project (EURYKA) and the Centre on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS).

Publications

Journal Article - 2017

Repertoires of knowledge practices: Social movements in times of crisis

Donatella della Porta and Elena Pavan
Starting from the assumption that knowledge becomes all the more important for movements in times of crisis, as old structures are challenged and new ones envisaged and proved feasible, the purpose of this paper is to suggest ways to expand the toolkit of social movement studies in order to empirically address knowledge practices as a meaningful part of contemporary progressive activism.

Journal Article - 2017

’Solidarietà sconvenienti’. Reti online di estrema destra contro e per la riforma dell’Europa

Elena Pavan and Manuela Caiani
By focusing on the websites of extreme right organizations in six European countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) and by making a combined use of digital research tools and social network analysis, we explore how extreme right organizations make a strategic use of ICTs to connect in the online space and the arguments they move forward to criticize and reform current projects of European integration. Our results suggest that ICTs sustain the construction of inconvenient solidarities in heterogeneous ways, supporting different modes of online conversations amongst extreme right websites which, in turn, affect their capacity to propose shared critiques and proposals to reform the European Union.