The Centre on Social Movement Studies


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




"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.