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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Publications

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Screaming at a wall: Societal accountability from below in Bulgaria and Hungary

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Andrea L. P. Pirro

The article investigates engagement in anti-corruption activism in Bulgaria and Hungary. Since the late 2000s, protest events occurred in greater numbers in the two post-communist countries, addressing questions either directly or indirectly related to high-level or political corruption. Bulgarian and Hungarian collective anti-corruption actors share a common framing of the issue ('state corruption' or 'state… 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

Sociology and its public. Craig Calhoun in conversation with Riccardo Emilio Chesta

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Craig Calhoun and Riccardo Emilio Chesta

In this interview, Craig Calhoun retraces his peculiar trajectory that, from his first interests in realist cinema and anthropology, brought him to become one of the most original contemporary public sociologists. Realist cinema and the art of documentary are not simple occasional curiosities or forms of escapes, but a way to observe and analyze reality… 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 Myth of Apolitical Volunteering for Refugees: German Welcome Culture and a New Dispositif of Helping

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Larissa Fleischmann and Elias Steinhilper

During the so-called “refugee crisis”, the notion of an unparalleled German hospitality toward asylum seekers circulated within the (inter)national public sphere, often encapsulated by the blurry buzzword “Welcome Culture”. In this article, we scrutinize these developments and suggest that the image of the so-called “crisis” has activated an unprecedented number of German citizens to engage… 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

The Refugee Crisis as a Crisis of Legitimacy

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Pietro Castelli Gattinara

The so-called ‘refugee crisis’ marks a crucial juncture in Italian politics. Tapping into the crisis of legitimacy of contemporary European politics, the controversy over migration has triggered discussion of socioeconomic, cultural and security issues. Pressured by public opinion, the EU and Italy have followed the logic of exceptionality, trying to put a halt to the… more

News

26/02/2020

CFP Athens conference "Capitalism, Democracy, Contention: A Decade of Crisis" 13-15 May 2020

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Aspiring to shed light on the Greek experience in the era of crisis in a comparative, inter-disciplinary perspective, the Laboratory on Contentious Politics (Department of Political Science and History, Panteion University, Athens), the Centre on Social Movement Studies (Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence) and the Hellenic Political Science Association are organizing an international conference to be held at Panteion University, on 13, 14 and 15 May 2020.

12/12/2019

Prof. Donatella Della Porta to Be Awarded Honorary PhD

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On Friday 13, 2019, the University of the Peloponnese (PSIR) will award an honorary doctorate to Professor Donatella Della Porta, Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at the Scuola Normale Superiore.

22/07/2019

Protest for a future: international report on #FridaysForFuture and the climate strike

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Composition, mobilization and motives of the participants in Fridays For Future climate protests on 15 March 2019, in 13 European cities. A multi-country collaboration report, with contributions from COSMOS researchers Lorenzo Zamponi, Donatella della Porta, Martín Portos, Niccolò Bertuzzi and Daniela Chironi.

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

Alliance building and eventful protests: comparing Spanish and Portuguese trajectories under the Great Recession

Martín Portos & Tiago Carvalho
Social movement research has shed light on the relationship between processes of alliance building and multiple factors related to political opportunities, framing, identities, networks and resource mobilization. However, less is known about the impact of eventful protests on coalition building dynamics.

Monograph - 2019

Social Mobilization beyond Ethnicity. Civic Activism and Grassroots Movements in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Chiara Milan
This book offers an in-depth investigation of the emergence and spread of social mobilizations that transcend ethnicity in societies violently divided along ethno-national lines. Using Bosnia Herzegovina as a case study, the book explores episodes of mobilization which have superseded ethno-nationalist cleavages.

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.

Monograph - 2019

Resistere alla crisi. I percorsi dell'azione sociale diretta

Lorenzo Bosi, Lorenzo Zamponi
Uno studio in profondità su solidarietà, mutualismo e organizzazione dal basso nell'Italia della crisi.

Journal Article - 2019

Digital movement parties: a comparative analysis of the technopolitical cultures and the participation platforms of the Movimento 5 Stelle and the Piratenpartei

Marco Deseriis
This article contributes to the debate on technopopulism by accounting for the critical role played by two different technopolitical cultures in shaping the conception and design of the online participation platforms of the Italian Five Star Movement and the German Pirate Party.

Monograph - 2018

The Contentious Politics of Higher Education. Struggles and Power Relations within English and Italian Universities

Lorenzo Cini
Drawing on neo-institutionalist and social movement approaches, this book analyses the impact that recent student mobilizations have brought about within Italian and English universities in terms of student services, curriculum organization, and governance structures.

Chapter in edited book - 2018

I post, you rally, she tweets…and we all occupy. The challenges of hybrid spatiality in the Occupy Wall Street mobilizations

Alice Mattoni
Exploring the interconnections between camps and platforms, this chapter shows how a fluid conception of spatiality emerged in the Occupy Wall Street mobilizations, which had vital implications for the participation patterns of activists.

Journal Article - 2018

New Technologies as a Neglected Social Movement Outcome: The Case of Activism against Animal Experimentation

Manès Weisskircher
Based on novel empirical research, this paper analyzes a crucial and understudied case of a movement pushing for new technologies: the animal rights movement and its efforts to push for alternatives to animal experimentation.