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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Publications

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Reinventare la sinistra. Le basi politiche, culturali e organizzative di Podemos

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Loris Caruso

With the worsening of the economic crisis, unemployment and social inequalities in Europe, an analogy spreads between the economic and political crisis of the Thirties and the current one. As in that period, it is argued, there is a risk that a systemic economic crisis will lead to a general crisis of the political dimension… more
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Social movements and referendums from below. Direct democracy in the neoliberal crisis

Monograph - 2017

Author: Donatella Della Porta, Francis O'Connor, Martin Portos and Anna Subirats Ribas

Over recent years, social movements formed in response to European neoliberal austerity measures have played an increasingly important role in referendums. This is the first book to bridge 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. Co-authored… more

Student movements in the age of austerity. The cases of Chile and England

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Lorenzo Cini and César Guzmán-Concha

Several recent episodes of massive student protests in countries in Europe, Latin America, and Africa, raise the question of whether we are witnessing to a new surge of student protests. This profile offers an interpretation of the socio-economic and political processes that have caused contentious reactions among students, paying special attention to changes in the… more

Successful student activism in contemporary Italian universities

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Lorenzo Cini

This article assesses the strategies that the Italian student activists adopted in order to influence the revision process of the governance structure of their universities in 2011. Which kind of strategy has enabled these activists to influence more successfully this process? I argue that the joint pressure of insiders and outsiders allows student activists to… more

Technopopulism: The Emergence of a Discursive Formation

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Marco Deseriis

This article contends that technopopulism is a discursive formation that emerges from the convergence of two preexisting discourses: populism and technolibertarianism. Whereas these discourses are historically distinct the 2008 financial crisis and the 2011 wave of struggles precipitated the political conditions for their intersection. Such convergence produces both tensions and possibilities. On the one hand,… more

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

Journal Article - 2017

Author: 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. Adding to previous studies, the rise of the KPÖ Graz contradicts many of the claims… more

The Politics of Media Gender Equality. Lessons learned and struggles for change twenty years after the Beijing Fourth World Conference on Women

Special Issue - 2017

Author: Claudia Padovani and Elena Pavan

With the aim of contributing to a better understanding of persisting inequalities and emerging challenges, this special issue of ComPol brings together articles that reflect the diversity and richness of scholarly approaches to gender and media today, with a special focus on the politics of media gender equality – a topic that seems to have… more

Transferring Violence? Mafia Killings in Nontraditional Areas. Evidence from Italy

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Francesco N. Moro, Salvatore Sberna

Violence is a key means used by organized crime to assert its control over territory and business. A widespread view is that violence is bound to take place also in the new territories where mafia groups migrate. In this article, we maintain that this view overlooks two important factors. First, criminal organizations acting in nontraditional… more
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United in opposition? The populist radical right’s EU-pessimism in times of crisis

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Andrea L. P. Pirro and Stijn van Kessel

Populist radical right (PRR) parties are typically critical of European integration. They deem the EU an elitist project and consider European integration a threat to national sovereignty. In practice, however, PRR parties’ positions on the EU have varied across countries and periods. Our article assesses whether, and how, PRR parties have changed their ‘EU-pessimist’ discourse… more
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Where Did the Revolution Go? Contentious Politics and the Quality of Democracy by Donatella della Porta

Monograph - 2017

Author: Donatella della Porta

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… more

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.