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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Publications

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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

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

A deliberative case for democracy in firms

Journal Article - 2016

Author: Andrea Felicetti

The increasing centrality of business firms in contemporary societies calls for a renewed attention to the democratization of these actors. This paper sheds new light on the possibility of democratizing business firms by bridging recent scholarship in two fields—deliberative democracy and business ethics. To date, deliberative democracy has largely neglected the role of business firms… more

Anti-Islamic PEGIDA Beyond Germany: Explaining Differences in Mobilisation

Journal Article - 2016

Author: Lars Erik Berntzen and Manès Weisskircher

The rise of anti-Islamic PEGIDA (Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes) is one of the latest sustained episodes of radical right mobilisation in Western Europe outside the electoral arena. This study provides a first comparative analysis of PEGIDA beyond Germany and its core region of Saxony. Combining protest event analysis with online data and… more
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Democracy in neoliberalism?

Journal Article - 2016

Author: Colin Crouch, Donatella Della Porta, Wolfgang Streek

The article is based upon a round table, in which Colin Crouch, Wolfgang Streeck, and Donatella della Porta participated, organized in the framework of the Marxism(s) in Social Movements Working Group at Scuola Normale Superiore (Florence, May 2015). The roundtable was the concluding moment of a cycle of conferences aimed at rethinking some of the… more
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Distorsiones tecnopolíticas: represión y resistencia algorítmica del activismo ciudadano en la era del big data

Journal Article - 2016

Author: Emiliano Treré

Several strands of literature on social engagement, digital media and big data conceive digital platforms as a shortcut to government accountability and citizen empowerment. According to these visions, social media and the new possibilities offered by the analysis of big data represent the solution to the issues of contemporary democracies. Based on a critical analysis… more

Gramsci’s Political Thought and the Contemporary Crisis of Politics

Journal Article - 2016

Author: Loris Caruso

In the context of the worsening economic crisis analogies tend to be drawn between the economic and political crisis in Europe of the 1920s and 1930s and the current situation. Now as then, it is argued, there is the risk that a systemic economic crisis and the crisis of representative politics will in turn lead… more

Hardly ever relevant? An appraisal of nativist economics through the Hungarian case

Journal Article - 2016

Author: Andrea L. P. Pirro

Populist radical right parties place selective emphasis on immigration or minority issues, generally garnering support on the basis of their exclusionary agenda. However, populist radical right parties are not single-issue organisations and strenuously endeavour to come across as credible actors in different policy areas. It has been observed that, especially since the outbreak of the… 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.