The Centre on Social Movement Studies


No Way Back: Actors, structures and mobilization opportunities in the 2011-2013 Syrian uprising

Teije Hidde Donker

Type: Working Paper
Year: 2012

The following report provides an in-depth, empirically focused, overview of contentious mobilization dynamics before and during the Syrian Uprising. The report describes the period between the beginning of Bashar al-Assad’s rule in 2000 until the end of 2012. Instead of an extensive chronological overview, the report is structured along a thematic “periodization”. It therefore focuses on a limited number of key issues and transformative events in the development of Syrian contentious mobilization. The report argues that two aspects stand out in the Syrian case of Arab Spring mobilization. First, the importance of societal structures in defining options available to both protesters and the regime. Second, the importance of cognitive signaling (the resonance of a certain event on a population, sometimes referred to as “thin diffusion”) at key turning points in the uprising. Both the social structures and cognitive signaling were crucial in defining (perceived) possible avenues for contestation before and during the uprising.

EUI SPS - Cosmos Working Paper 2012/15




"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.