The Centre on Social Movement Studies


Mobilizing for democracy : social movements in democratization processes

Federico Matias Rossi and Donatella della Porta

Type: Chapter in edited book
Year: 2015

In this chapter we review the main perspectives on democratization and then propose an analytic organization of the different roles that social movements, trade unions, advocacy networks, churches, and cycles of protest play in the dynamic, contingent, and contentious shaping of democracy. In doing this, we are of course not pleading for an exclusive focus on democratization “from below”; we are convinced that the path and speed of democratization processes are influenced by the strength and characteristics of several social and political actors. The combination of protest and consensus is in fact a main challenge for democratization processes. We suggest, however, that social movements are often important actors in all stages of democratization. In our discussion of these topics, we draw examples especially from Latin America, Southern Europe, and Eastern Europe.

Bert KLANDERMANS and Cornelis VAN STRALEN (eds), Movements in times of democratic transition, Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 2015, pp. 9-33. ISBN: 9781439911815



"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.