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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Where Did the Revolution Go? Contentious Politics and the Quality of Democracy by Donatella della Porta

Donatella della Porta

Where Did the Revolution Go? considers the apparent disappearance of the large social movements that have contributed to democratization. Revived by recent events of the Arab Spring, this question is once again paramount.

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Type: Monograph
Year: 2017

Book description

Where Did the Revolution Go? considers the apparent disappearance of the large social movements that have contributed to democratization. Revived by recent events of the Arab Spring, this question is once again paramount. Is the disappearance real, given the focus of mass media and scholarship on electoral processes and ‘normal politics’? Does it always happen, or only under certain circumstances? Are those who struggled for change destined to be disappointed by the slow pace of transformation? Which mechanisms are activated and deactivated during the rise and fall of democratization? This volume addresses these questions through empirical analysis based on quantitative and qualitative methods (including oral history) of cases in two waves of democratization: Central Eastern European cases in 1989 as well as cases in the Middle East and Mediterranean region in 2011.

Reviews

Advance praise:‘This is a fascinating book exploring democratization processes with an innovative approach: blending social movement studies with the literatures on democratization and on revolutions. Rich in its use of captivating oral history interviews with activists, it asks the question [of] how movements’ characteristics at the time of transition might affect the qualities of the ensuing democracy, and therefore the future dynamics of protest itself. A must-read for scholars and activists alike.’

Laszlo Bruszt – Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence, and Central European University, Budapest

Advance praise:‘Scholars have focused so much on the sources of democratization that they sometimes forget to examine how waves of mobilization end, and with what consequences. Drawing on the literatures on social movements, democratization, and revolutions, della Porta’s sweeping new book identifies common dynamics in democratization cycles. Drawing on a broad range of evidence ranging from Eastern Europe to the Arab Spring, she shows that the forms and pathways of mobilization influence the qualities of the ensuing regime. This is a book that students of comparative democratization, social movements, and revolutions cannot afford to miss.’

Sidney Tarrow – Cornell University

Advance praise:‘Donatella della Porta’s important new book persuasively shows how the complex legacies of the revolutionary pathway to democracy shape the nature of the new democracies that emerge through such dynamics – generally in very positive ways. With a foundation in broadly comparative research, the analysis identifies and disentangles cognitive, emotional and relational consequences of popular mobilizations in the context of regime change.’

Robert M. Fishman – Carlos III University, Madrid

Advance praise:‘Brilliant and illuminating! This book is timely and highly relevant indeed as our world rapidly transforms violently rather than democratically. It speaks as much to academics striving to bring together complex debates in the social sciences dealing with political transformations and pathways to democracy as it speaks to the activist. Donatella della Porta masters the art of critically and productively engaging with social movement and transformation literature alike and pushing for the intellectual limits of these. At the same time, she gives much well-deserved space to the actors, to those who brought the revolutions into life and still struggle to understand where the revolution went. A must-read for democratic revolutionaries, young and old.’

Cilja Harders – Free University of Berlin

Donatella della Porta (2017). Where Did the Revolution Go? Contentious Politics and the Quality of Democracy. Cambridge University Press

https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/where-did-the-revolution-go/36AE9B686A84C3D118D0DCFF8AEB7079

News

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

05/03/2019

A dialogue on labour, trade unions and conflicts

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On the 22nd of March, from 4pm to 7pm, Donatella della Porta (Scuola Normale Superiore) and Maurizio Landini (Secretary General of CGIL) will discuss about labour, trade unions and conflicts.

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.