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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

06/10/2017

Open Democracy Post - "The streets will always be ours" - Catalonia, a referendum from below

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Although some still conceive of the referendum as launched by a pro-independence vanguard, the elite story falls short of explaining the resilient participation of a large part of Catalan civil society. This post at Open Democracy addresses this issue from a different angle.

24/09/2017

New Publication Out - "Social movements and referendums from below. Direct democracy in the neoliberal crisis"

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A timely publication to shed light on the link between social movements that formed as a consequence of the 2008 financial crash and the referendums' dynamic and results.

25/08/2017

Donatella Della Porta con Yanis Varoufakis alla 13esima conferenza ESA

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Wednesday, August 30th (8pm-9.30pm) professor della Porta, who directs the Center on Social Movement Studies(Cosmos), will dialogue with Yanis Varoufakis, Greek Minister of Finance during the first Tsipras government, about the future of Europe and the social consequences of neoliberal economies

Publications

Monograph - 2018

Social Movements and Civil War : When Protests for Democratization Fail

Donatella della Porta, Teije Hidde Donker , Bogumila Hall , Emin Poljarevic
This book investigates the origins of civil wars which emerge from failed attempts at democratization. The main aim of this volume is to develop a theoretical explanation of the conditions under which and the mechanisms through which social movements' struggles for democracy ends up in civil war.

Monograph - 2017

Social movements and referendums from below. Direct democracy in the neoliberal crisis

Donatella Della Porta, Francis O'Connor, Martin Portos and Anna Subirats Ribas
Out now "Social movements and referendum from below", the first book that bridges the gap between social movement studies and research on direct democracy. It draws on social movement theory to understand the nature of popular mobilisation in referendums using unique case studies such as the referendum on independence in Scotland, the consultations on independence in Catalonia, the Italian referendum on water, the referendum on the Troika proposals in Greece and the referendum on the debt repayment in Iceland.