The Centre on Social Movement Studies


The Elite Coup: The transition to democracy in Bulgaria

Federico Matías Rossi

Type: Working Paper
Year: 2012

The transition to democracy in Bulgaria is commonly defined as a coup d’état carried out by the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) elites against the long-standing dictator Todor Zhivkov. The Bulgarian transition to democracy was a direct by-product of the economic and political collapse of the USSR. No contentious events had any important impact on the democratization process. In brief, Bulgaria was the USSR’s closest ally, acting as a satellite state. The collapse of the USSR (signaled by the fall of the Berlin Wall) implied the end of Bulgarian communism. No other way out was possible at that point in time. The transition was peaceful and elite-led due to the ‘positive’ examples of Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, as well as the wish to avoid entering into a cycle of violence similar to that suffered in Romania.

EUI SPS - Cosmos Working Paper 2012/10




"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.