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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Social movements in times of austerity : bringing capitalism back into protest analysis

Donatella della Porta

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Type: Monograph
Year: 2015

Recent years have seen an enormous increase in protests across the world in which citizens have challenged what they see as a deterioration of democratic institutions and the very civil, political and social rights that form the basis of democratic life. Beginning with Iceland in 2008, and then forcefully in Egypt, Tunisia, Spain, Greece and Portugal, or more recently in Peru, Brazil, Russia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Ukraine, people have taken to the streets against what they perceive as a rampant and dangerous corruption of democracy, with a distinct focus on inequality and suffering. This timely new book addresses the anti-austerity social movements of which these protests form part, mobilizing in the context of a crisis of neoliberalism. Donatella della Porta shows that, in order to understand their main facets in terms of social basis, strategy, and identity and organizational structures, we should look at the specific characteristics of the socioeconomic, cultural and political context in which they developed. The result is an important and insightful contribution to understanding a key issue of our times, which will be of interest to students and scholars of political and economic sociology, political science and social movement studies, as well as political activists.

 

Table of Contents:

— Chapter 1: The reemergence of a class cleavage? Social movements in times of austerity — Chapter 2: Social structure: old working class, new precariat, or yet something different? — Chapter 3: Identification processes: class and culture — Chapter 4: Lo llaman democracia y no lo es: a crisis of responsibility — Chapter 5: Democracy is not a spectator sport: changing conceptions of democracy in social movements — Chapter 6: Bringing capitalism back into protest analysis? Some concluding remarks — Notes — References
Cambridge; Malden: Polity press, 2015. ISBN: 9780745688596; 9780745688589

News

08/06/2017

Call for Papers - Cosmos Conference "The Contentious Politics of Higher Education. Student Movements in Late Neoliberalism"

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The Centre on Social Movement Studies, directed by Professor Donatella Della Porta, calls for papers addressing the recent global wave of student protests for a two-days conference to bel held in Florence, at the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Scuola Normale Superiore (SNS), on 15-16 November 2017.

19/05/2017

Video available for the International Conference – Beyond Borders: Refugees and Struggles in Europe Mobilization, Solidarity and Political Challenges in the Long Summer of Migration

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Watch the video of the International Conference – Beyond Borders, which was held at Palazzo Strozzi on May 12, 2017

19/05/2017

Marco Deseriis wins Best Paper Award at the Cedem17 Conference for e-Democracy & Open Government

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Dr. Marco Deseriis, Marie Curie Fellow and Research Fellow at Cosmos, has won the Best Paper Award at the Cedem17 Conference for e-Democracy & Open Government (Danube University, Krems Au Donau, Austria)

Publications

Journal Article - 2017

The Electoral Success of the Radical Left: Explaining the Least Likely Case of the Communist Party in Graz

Manès Weisskircher
Recently, scholars have shown a growing interest in radical left parties (RLPs). In terms of electoral success, the rise of the KPÖ Graz, the Communist Party in Austria’s second biggest city, represents perhaps the most counterintuitive case in Western Europe. This analysis shows how the party has managed to ‘own’ the issue of housing and to exploit local political opportunities in order to be electorally successful. The findings point to the importance of agency and the subnational level for RLPs, and highlight more general questions in the study of this party family.

Journal Article - 2017

Non-deliberative politics in deliberative democracy: distinct approaches for different actors

Andrea Felicetti
In this paper Andrea Felicetti first illustrates the main ideas of the systemic turn, explores the distinction between ‘deliberative’ and ‘non-deliberative’ politics and investigates the main arguments justifying non-deliberative politics. Then, he builds upon these arguments to shed new light on the relationship between deliberative and non-deliberative politics. He identifies three distinctive actors in deliberative systems (political institutions, empowered agents, and public space actors). Finally, he argues that deliberative democrats should adopt three different approaches (intensive, moderate, and free) in order to assess whether the use of non-deliberative politics by each of these actors is legitimate.