The Centre on Social Movement Studies


Living with hard times: how European citizens deal with economic crises and their social and political consequences (LIVEWHAT)


Lorenzo Bosi, Lorenzo Zamponi, and Herbert Reiter





The proposed research deals with citizens’ reactions to economic crises and their social and political consequences. It examines in particular the ways in which European citizens have reacted to the crisis that, at different degree of intensity in different countries, struck Europe since 2008, but also how they deal with economic crises and their consequences more generally. We examine both individual and collective responses by citizens, both the “private” and the “public” dimensions of such responses, and both political and non-political responses. In addition, while the focus of the research is on citizens’ responses, we also examine policy responses so as to have a baseline for assessing citizens’ reactions to crises.

The project has three main objectives:

  • to provide systematic evidence of the ways in which European citizens react to economic crises and their social and political consequences, both individually and collectively;
  • to advance knowledge on the connections between individual factors, contextual factors, and the ways in which European citizens react to economic crises and their social and political consequences;
  • to suggest a number of good practices as to how to deal with economic crises, both at the social and political level, through which their negative consequences on European citizens can be avoided or limited.

The project’s objectives are addressed by means of six main types of data and methods:

  • the creation of a cross-national comparative dataset on economic, social, and political indicators;
  • an analysis of policy responses to crises;
  • an analysis of collective responses to crises in the public domain;
  • an analysis of individual responses to crises by private citizens;
  • experiments designed to assess causal effects of different dimensions of crises on citizens’ attitudes and behaviors;
  • an analysis of alternative forms of resilience in times of crisis.


European Commission, Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) on Citizens Resilience in Times of Crisis




"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.