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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Bread, Freedom, Human Dignity: Tales of an unfinished revolution in Egypt

Jana Warkotsch

Type: Working Paper
Year: 2012

When at the height of the ‘Arab Spring’ Egyptians from all walks of life took to the streets to oust one of the Arab world’s most long-standing dictators, it took both Egyptians and outside observers by surprise. This report explores the events commonly described as the January 25 Revolution in Egypt, as well as the immediate transitional period that followed the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak, marked by recurrent unrest and mobilization. Starting from a detailed empirical description of the events themselves, it will illustrate the conditions that led to the uprising by embedding them in a more structural analysis covering the regime’s origins and historical trajectories as well as more recent developments in the last ten years. Together these circumstances created a set of political opportunities that inventive actors seized upon to set in motion a process that in the course of only a few weeks mobilized a cross-class coalition to bring about the seemingly impossible. However, in elucidating the transitional phase and the struggles it entails in more detail, the report also shows how the opportunities and processes conducive to the breakdown of Egypt’s authoritarian regime are not necessarily those most conducive to the establishment of a new, democratic one.

EUI SPS - Cosmos Working Paper 2012/14.

2012WP14COSMOS

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.