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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

22/07/2019

Protest for a future: international report on #FridaysForFuture and the climate strike

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Composition, mobilization and motives of the participants in Fridays For Future climate protests on 15 March 2019, in 13 European cities. A multi-country collaboration report, with contributions from COSMOS researchers Lorenzo Zamponi, Donatella della Porta, Martín Portos, Niccolò Bertuzzi and Daniela Chironi.

21/06/2019

Call for papers: "The Nation and the Radical Left - Practices and Discourses of National Identity in Left-Wing Politics"

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The call for papers is now open for a conference on national identities and left-wing politics.

18/06/2019

Call for papers: “Class without consciousness” – The Politics of Fragmented Class Identities

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The call for papers is now open for a two-day conference on class and identities at the Scuola Normale Superiore on 14-15 November 2019

Publications

Journal Article - 2019

Ballots and barricades enhanced: far‐right ‘movement parties’ and movement‐electoral interactions

Andrea Pirro
This contribution enhances our understanding of the contemporary far right by focusing on the neglected links between movements and elections within the broader context of contention.

Journal Article - 2019

From the Rainy Place to the Burnt Palace: How Social Movements Form their Political Strategies. The Case of the Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba

Leonidas Oikonomakis
Exploring the case of the cocaleros of the Chapare, this article argues that more emphasis should be placed on mechanisms that are internal to the movements, such as: (a) the resonance of other political experiences at home and abroad, (b) internal struggles for ideological hegemony, and (c) the political formation of their grassroots.