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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Tunisia: Surprise, change and continuity. Relating actors, structures and mobilization opportunities around the 14 January 2011 revolution

Teije Hidde Donker

Type: Working Paper
Year: 2012

The following report provides an in-depth and empirically focused overview of collective mobilization before, during and after the breakdown of the Tunisian authoritarian regime in 2010-11. It focuses on the relation between changing (political) contexts and dynamics within Tunisian collective mobilization concerning the peaceful character of the protests, the use of modern media tools, the language of human rights, the role of students, labor organizations, and the Islamists. The report provides a detailed overview of the historical and structural background of the uprising and eventual revolution. It discusses resulting (political) opportunities for social mobilization- provides an overview of key actors and – eventually gives a detailed overview of actual protest events taking place throughout this period. It is argued that existing student, labor and “democratization” movements in Tunisia did not initiate protests, but did provide crucial existing structures for protests to endure and spread. The movements themselves were therefore not at the inception of the uprising, but were crucial in shaping it. Second, it is argued that so-called ‘political opportunity structures’ were completely closed at the inception of the uprising but that the subsequent opening of these structures led to a plethora of (re)mobilizing movements – actually showing that changes in political context influenced mobilization dynamics after the actual revolution of January 14th 2011.

EUI SPS - Cosmos Working Paper 2012/12

2012WP12COSMOS

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.