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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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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

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.