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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Student movements in the age of austerity. The cases of Chile and England

Lorenzo Cini and César Guzmán-Concha

Several recent episodes of massive student protests in countries in Europe, Latin America, and Africa, raise the question of whether we are witnessing to a new surge of student protests. This profile offers an interpretation of the socio-economic and political processes that have caused contentious reactions among students, paying special attention to changes in the major characteristics of the higher education sector.

Type: Journal Article
Year: 2017

Several recent episodes of massive student protests in countries in Europe, Latin America, and Africa, raise the question of whether we are witnessing to a new surge of student protests. This profile offers an interpretation of the socio-economic and political processes that have caused contentious reactions among students, paying special attention to changes in the major characteristics of the higher education sector. In last decades, governments of all colors have enacted laws promoting the outsourcing of personnel, the managerialization of governing bodies, and the introduction of tuition fees as well as cuts to public funding. These changes are inspired by a new paradigm, which promotes the ‘discipline of the market place, the power of the consumer and the engine of the competition’. In this context, various forms of resistance and opposition can be observed. Here, we focus on three dimensions: (1) financing and autonomy of universities; (2) governance and managerialization; (3) precarization of labor conditions. The profile shows how recent protests in Chile and England are related to changes in the aforementioned dimensions. We conclude that the reappearance of students as political actors is related to the emergence of a range of distributional conflicts stemming from the implementation of the neoliberal agenda in the field of higher education.

L. Cini, C. Guzmán-Concha, 2017, "Student movements in the age of austerity. The cases of Chile and England", Social Movement Studies, 16 (3), 2017,Taylor & Francis, London

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14742837.2017.1331122

News

10/11/2017

Call for Application Now Open: Summer School on Youth Political Participation in Times of Inequalities

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We are pleased to announce that the call for applications is now open for the Summer School on Youth Political Participation in Times of Inequalities, sponsored by the Reinventing Democracy in Europe: Youth Doing Politics in Times of Increasing Inequalities project (EURYKA) and the Centre on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS).

26/10/2017

Now Online! The plenary session (Un)making Europe of the 13th ESA Conference

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During the plenary session, Donatella della Porta and Yanis Varoufakis spoke about the future of Europe and the social consequences of neoliberal economies.

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.

Publications

Journal Article - 2017

Digital Capitalism and the End of Politics: The Case of the Italian Five Star Movement

Loris Caruso
This article investigates the political and cultural nature of the Movimento Cinque Stelle (Five Star Movement, M5S) by (1) analyzing its discourse on democracy, its organizational choices and its main issues; (2) comparing these elements with populism and the left; and (3) linking its fundamental characteristics to contemporary economic processes usually termed “digital capitalism.”

Journal Article - 2017

Framing exclusion in the public sphere: Far-right mobilization and the debate on Charlie Hebdo in Italy

Pietro Castelli Gattinara
While the January 2015 Paris terrorist attacks presented a crucial opportunity for far-right mobilisation, the focus on liberal democratic values and Charlie Hebdo’s non-conformist progressive profile presented challenges for right-wing discourse. Taking Italy as a paradigmatic case of public controversies on cultural and religious affairs, this article examines the opportunities and constraints generated by multicultural crises for far-right framing choices.