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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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

TEAM

Lorenzo Bosi, Lorenzo Zamponi, and Herbert Reiter

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START YEAR 2013

END YEAR 2016

OVERVIEW

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.
                                  

FUNDING

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

 

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.