The Centre on Social Movement Studies


The Many Frames of Precarious Condition. Some Insights from Italian Mobilization against Precarity

Alice Mattoni

Type: Chapter in edited book
Year: 2015

This chapter analyses the different frames that emerged during the mobilizations of precarious workers that occurred in Italy in the early 2000s, involving hundreds of thousands of protesters all over the country. In the past, workers’ movements had been rather homogeneous, representing workers who experienced very similar working and living conditions. In this sense, it was possible to speak about a rather homogeneous working class that developed mostly in the urban environment, around factories whose workers shared similar visions about themselves and their role in society. In advanced capitalistic societies, workers’ movements progressively lost their centrality in the struggles towards a more just society. At the same time, the trade unions, the institutional political actors that once represented them — also an outcome of workers’ movements — severely shrank in membership, with union density collapsing in the last decades. Workers, though, did not disappear from contentious politics. And neither did workers’ organizations, broadly conceived. Rather, they changed the way in which they engaged in protests, the organizational forms they selected to mobilize, and the discourses they elaborated around labour issues. This happened also because, despite the relevant heritage of unionism for workers, the very structure of the labour market changed dramatically in the past few decades.

Mattoni, A., 2015. The Many Frames of Precarious Condition. Some Insights from Italian Mobilization against Precarity. In D. della Porta et al., eds. The New Social Division. Making and Unmaking Precariousness. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave MacMillan. Availab




"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.