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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Repertoires of knowledge practices: Social movements in times of crisis

Donatella della Porta and Elena Pavan

Starting from the assumption that knowledge becomes all the more important for movements in times of crisis, as old structures are challenged and new ones envisaged and proved feasible, the purpose of this paper is to suggest ways to expand the toolkit of social movement studies in order to empirically address knowledge practices as a meaningful part of contemporary progressive activism.

Type: Journal Article
Year: 2017

Starting from the assumption that knowledge becomes all the more important for movements in times of crisis, as old structures are challenged and new ones envisaged and proved feasible, the purpose of this paper is to suggest ways to expand the toolkit of social movement studies in order to empirically address knowledge practices as a meaningful part of contemporary progressive activism.

The authors start by arguing that, in their effort to pursue or resist social and political changes, contemporary progressive social movements form collective spaces of knowledge production that are true laboratories for innovation. For this reason, the authors begin by making a case for accounting more explicitly for knowledge production within social movement studies – not as a substitution for but, rather, as a necessary complement to current cultural approaches. Building on extant literature on the nexus between movements and knowledge, the authors then outline the peculiarities of movement knowledge.

On these bases, the authors outline the core components of what the authors call repertoires of knowledge practices – that is, the set of practices that foster the coordination of disconnected, local, and highly personal experiences and rationalities within a shared cognitive system able to provide movements and their supporters with a common orientation for making claims and acting collectively to produce social, political, and cultural changes.

The authors conclude by identifying some promising avenues of research to further develop the understanding of movement practices of knowledge production and transmission.

della Porta, Donatella and Elena Pavan (2017). “Repertoires of knowledge practices: Social movements in times of crisis”. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol 12(4): 297-314 [ISSN: 1746-5648]

http://www.emeraldinsight.com/eprint/R62UBZKRXCDINVGHDG3V/full

News

22/01/2018

Call for Application Now Open: Summer School on Concepts and Methods for Research on Far-Right Politics

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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).

19/12/2017

10 Fully funded 4-years PhD positions in Political Science and Sociology, for the AA. 2018/2019, Scuola Normale Superiore

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The grant is for 4 years. it is open to students of all nationalities. Coverage of research expenses (conferences, summer schools, research periods abroads) is provided.

04/12/2017

Martin Portos Garcia wins the ISA's Seventh Worldwide Competition for Junior Sociologists

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The International Sociological Association has just announced the list of the winners of the Seventh Worldwide Competition for Junior Sociologists engaged in social research, amongst which Martin Portos Garcia - post-doc fellow at COSMOS

Publications

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.

Journal Article - 2017

Voting for Movement Parties in Southern Europe: The Role of Protest and Digital Information

Lorenzo Mosca and Mario Quaranta
Despite growing interest in movement parties, there has been scant attention to the role of citizens adopting unconventional forms of action and using digital media in accounting for their electoral performance. To fill this gap, four original internet-based post-electoral surveys are employed showing that protesters and digital media users are more likely to vote for these parties, despite important country differences.