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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

14/09/2018

Andrea Pirro appointed as new editor of East European Politics

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Andrea Pirro has been recently appointed as new editor of the journal East European Politics published by Taylor and Francis.

31/08/2018

Volkswagen foundation Grant 2018 for Manuela Caiani

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Manuela Caiani has been awarded the Volkswagen Grant 2018 for the research project Popular Music as a Medium for the Mainstreaming of Populist Ideologies in Europe, that will be directed by Mario Dunkel (University Carl von Ossietzky of Oldenburg, Germany).

30/07/2018

ERC Starting Grant 2018 for Alice Mattoni

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Alice Mattoni, Research Fellow at COSMOS and Assistant Professor at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the Scuola Normale Superiore, has been awarded the ERC Starting Grant 2018 for the research project BIT-ACT: Bottom-up initiative and anti-corruption technologies: how citizens use ICTs to fight corruption.

Publications

Journal Article - 2018

New Technologies as a Neglected Social Movement Outcome: The Case of Activism against Animal Experimentation

Manès Weisskircher
Based on novel empirical research, this paper analyzes a crucial and understudied case of a movement pushing for new technologies: the animal rights movement and its efforts to push for alternatives to animal experimentation.

Journal Article - 2018

Mobilizing in transnational contentious spaces: linking relations, emotions and space in migrant activism

Elias Steinhilper
The article illustrates how the transnational spaces most migrants inhabit can be politicized and transformed into particular social formations, for which the term ‘transnational contentious spaces’ is suggested.