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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

08/06/2017

Call for Papers - Cosmos Conference "The Contentious Politics of Higher Education. Student Movements in Late Neoliberalism"

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The Centre on Social Movement Studies, directed by Professor Donatella Della Porta, calls for papers addressing the recent global wave of student protests for a two-days conference to bel held in Florence, at the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Scuola Normale Superiore (SNS), on 15-16 November 2017.

19/05/2017

Video available for the International Conference – Beyond Borders: Refugees and Struggles in Europe Mobilization, Solidarity and Political Challenges in the Long Summer of Migration

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Watch the video of the International Conference – Beyond Borders, which was held at Palazzo Strozzi on May 12, 2017

19/05/2017

Marco Deseriis wins Best Paper Award at the Cedem17 Conference for e-Democracy & Open Government

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Dr. Marco Deseriis, Marie Curie Fellow and Research Fellow at Cosmos, has won the Best Paper Award at the Cedem17 Conference for e-Democracy & Open Government (Danube University, Krems Au Donau, Austria)

Publications

Journal Article - 2017

The Electoral Success of the Radical Left: Explaining the Least Likely Case of the Communist Party in Graz

Manès Weisskircher
Recently, scholars have shown a growing interest in radical left parties (RLPs). In terms of electoral success, the rise of the KPÖ Graz, the Communist Party in Austria’s second biggest city, represents perhaps the most counterintuitive case in Western Europe. This analysis shows how the party has managed to ‘own’ the issue of housing and to exploit local political opportunities in order to be electorally successful. The findings point to the importance of agency and the subnational level for RLPs, and highlight more general questions in the study of this party family.

Journal Article - 2017

Non-deliberative politics in deliberative democracy: distinct approaches for different actors

Andrea Felicetti
In this paper Andrea Felicetti first illustrates the main ideas of the systemic turn, explores the distinction between ‘deliberative’ and ‘non-deliberative’ politics and investigates the main arguments justifying non-deliberative politics. Then, he builds upon these arguments to shed new light on the relationship between deliberative and non-deliberative politics. He identifies three distinctive actors in deliberative systems (political institutions, empowered agents, and public space actors). Finally, he argues that deliberative democrats should adopt three different approaches (intensive, moderate, and free) in order to assess whether the use of non-deliberative politics by each of these actors is legitimate.