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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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The Riots. A dynamic View

Donatella della Porta and Bernard Gbikpii

Type: Chapter in edited book
Year: 2012

Most social science concepts are contested—but some more so. This is the case for riot, that (as terrorism or Nimby), derives from everyday language, and is used in a stigmatizing way to single out irrational and deviant behavior. While people freely admit that they demonstrate, even in unconventional and sometime “disobedient”, forms, they usually deny that they are rioting, using different terms for defining what they are doing. Additionally, in the social sciences as well as in the political debate, the riot as a form of violence received only sporadic attention. As for other forms of violence, the interpretations about riots and rioting vary dramatically, being influenced by both the specific characteristics of the analysed riots as well as the scientific or political background positions of the analysts. Focusing on the debate in the social science and historical research, and using as illustrations the analysis of the most recent “riots” in France in December 2005 and in Greece in 2008, this presentation addresses: a) The causes for riots: the riots’ narratives; b) The riots within: riots dynamics.

Seraphim SEFERIADES and Hank JOHNSTON (eds), Violent Protest, Contentious Politics and the neo-liberal State, Farnham, Ashgate, 2012, The Mobilization Series on Social Movements, Protest, and Culture, 87-102. ISBN: 9781409418764

News

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.

13/12/2017

Call for Paper: Conference “1968-2018, fifty years after: Where is the social movements field going?”

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Taking the 1968 anniversary as a stimulating moment for reflection, this conference seeks to provide space for looking at the implications of that period on social movement research as well as addressing a number of key questions in current social movement research.

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

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.

Journal Article - 2017

Keeping dissent alive under the Great Recession: no-radicalisation and protest in Spain after the eventful 15M/indignados campaign

Martín Portos
Traditional theories of collective action would predict that, after a triggering event, the trajectory of a wave of protest is determined by the institutionalisation–radicalisation tandem. Based on the Spanish cycle of anti-austerity and against the political status quo protest in the shadow of the Great Recession, this article contends with this approach, as a clear trend towards radicalisation is never observed as the cycle unfolds. An alternative interpretative framework is developed to understand protest trajectories when collaborative inter-organisational strategies prevail.