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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Publications

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Bread, Freedom, Human Dignity: Tales of an unfinished revolution in Egypt

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Jana Warkotsch

When at the height of the 'Arab Spring' Egyptians from all walks of life took to the streets to oust one of the Arab world's most long-standing dictators, it took both Egyptians and outside observers by surprise. This report explores the events commonly described as the January 25 Revolution in Egypt, as well as the… more

Civil Society and the Paralyzed State: Mobilizing for democracy in East Germany

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Daniel P. Ritter

Among cases of transition to democracy from below, the East German one constitutes a particularly challenging puzzle. Whereas social movements taking advantage of an oppositional space within a repressive context have preceded many transitions, the East German case shows little evidence of such large-scale prior opposition. Even when compared to other Eastern European transitions, East… more

Civil Society and the Velvet Revolution: Mobilizing for democracy in Czechoslovakia

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Daniel P. Ritter

In the late 1980s Czechoslovakia was considered one of the most repressive countries in Eastern Europe and a staunch Soviet ally. In the aftermath of the 'Prague Spring' of 1968, repressed with Soviet help, the regime managed to remove virtually all expressions of dissent. Yet in the fall of 1989 civil society forces inspired a… more

Desperately Seeking Politics: Political attitudes of participants in three demonstrations for worker's rights in Italy

Journal Article - 2012

Authors: Donatella della Porta; Herbert Reiter

Social conflicts tend to take different forms. This article compares three demonstrations on issues of social justice in Italy: a traditional Labor Day demonstration, a march supporting a general strike called by the largest trade union CGIL (Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro, Italian General Confederation of Labour), and the EuroMayDay parade, representing a "new" type… more

From the Coup to the Escalation of Violence: The transition to democracy in Romania

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Federico Matías Rossi

Romania was the only example of violent regime change in the central and south eastern European milieu, with massive mobilizations both in favour and against change and the execution of the dictator. In other words, there seems to have been an attempted coup d'état in Romania, one that was successful thanks to the unplanned escalation… more

Global Movements in Local Struggles: Findings on the Social Forum Process in Italy

Chapter in edited book - 2012

Author: Donatella della Porta and Lorenzo Mosca

This chapter addresses the developments of local social forums in Italy. It looks especially at their network structures, framing and repertoires of action, as well as their consequences on the Italian social movement sector.

Grassroots Groups and Civil Society Actors in Pro-Democratic Transitions in Poland

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Grzegorz Piotrowski

The transition to democracy in 1989 in Central and Eastern Europe is said to be the achievement of the dissident sector. In Poland the biggest power in the democratization process was the Solidarność trade union. At the same time many smaller grassroots groups from that time remain unnoticed and their influence on the democratization process… more

Guest Editorial: Processes of radicalization and de-radicalization

Journal Article - 2012

Authors: Donatella della Porta; Gery Lafree

The study of radicalization and de-radicalization, understood as processes leading towards the increased or decreased use of political violence, is central to the question of how political violence emerges, how it can be prevented, and how it can be contained. The focus section of this issue of the International Journal of Conflict and Violence addresses… more

Interactive Diffusion: The coevolution of police and protest behavior with an application to transnational contention

Journal Article - 2012

Authors: Donatella della Porta; Sydney Tarrow

In this article, the authors focus attention on a poorly understood aspect of contentious politics: the interaction between the transnational diffusion of new forms of protest behavior and police practices in response to them. Studies of diffusion are usually limited to the diffusion of one kind of innovation by one set of actors to another,… more

Libya's Violent Revolution

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Emin Poljarevic

Libya is unlike other states in North Africa mainly because of the distinctive arrangement of different socio-economic and political features it combines. This arrangement came into sharper focus in the wake of the recent collapse of its 40-year-old authoritarian regime. What had begun as a series of peaceful protests against the regime's administrative misconducts became… more

News

10/11/2017

Call for Application Now Open: Summer School on Youth Political Participation in Times of Inequalities

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We are pleased to announce that the call for applications is now open for the Summer School on Youth Political Participation in Times of Inequalities, sponsored by the Reinventing Democracy in Europe: Youth Doing Politics in Times of Increasing Inequalities project (EURYKA) and the Centre on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS).

26/10/2017

Now Online! The plenary session (Un)making Europe of the 13th ESA Conference

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During the plenary session, Donatella della Porta and Yanis Varoufakis spoke about the future of Europe and the social consequences of neoliberal economies.

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.

Publications

Journal Article - 2017

Digital Capitalism and the End of Politics: The Case of the Italian Five Star Movement

Loris Caruso
This article investigates the political and cultural nature of the Movimento Cinque Stelle (Five Star Movement, M5S) by (1) analyzing its discourse on democracy, its organizational choices and its main issues; (2) comparing these elements with populism and the left; and (3) linking its fundamental characteristics to contemporary economic processes usually termed “digital capitalism.”

Journal Article - 2017

Framing exclusion in the public sphere: Far-right mobilization and the debate on Charlie Hebdo in Italy

Pietro Castelli Gattinara
While the January 2015 Paris terrorist attacks presented a crucial opportunity for far-right mobilisation, the focus on liberal democratic values and Charlie Hebdo’s non-conformist progressive profile presented challenges for right-wing discourse. Taking Italy as a paradigmatic case of public controversies on cultural and religious affairs, this article examines the opportunities and constraints generated by multicultural crises for far-right framing choices.