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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Publications

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A Contested Crisis: Policy Narratives and Empirical Evidence on Border Deaths in the Mediterranean

Journal Article - 2018

Author: Elias Steinhilper and Rob Gruijters

Death and suffering of migrants at Europe’s Mediterranean Sea border has become one of the defining moral and political issues of our time. While humanitarian organizations argue that deaths result from Europe’s policy of exclusion and closure, those employing a deterrence-oriented narrative have argued for even stricter border controls. Perhaps because of its contentious nature,… more

Comparing hybrid media systems in the digital age: A theoretical framework for analysis

Journal Article - 2018

Author: Alice Mattoni and Diego Ceccobelli

The relationship between media and politics today is deeply entrenched in the wide use of information and communication technologies to the point that scholars speak about the emergence of hybrid media systems in which older and newer media logics combine. However, it is still unclear how the configuration of hybrid media systems changes across countries… more

Far-right activism in Hungary: Youth participation in Jobbik and its network

Journal Article - 2018

Author: Andrea L. P. Pirro and Dániel Róna

The Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik) qualifies as one of the most successful far-right organisations in contemporary Europe. Through its swift rise in popularity and entry to parliament, the ‘movement party’ has been able to alter the Hungarian public discourse, existing patterns of party competition, additionally exerting effects on the government’s policy agenda. At… more

Mobilizing in transnational contentious spaces: linking relations, emotions and space in migrant activism

Journal Article - 2018

Author: Elias Steinhilper

Despite proliferation of political protest by migrants in recent years, analyses from a social movement perspective remain scarce. This lacuna is not coincidental, but theoretically grounded. According to dominant movement theories, migrants are unlikely subjects of mobilization due to legal obstacles, scarce resources and closed political and discursive opportunities. The article therefore explores how marginalized… more

Movement parties of the far right: The organization and strategies of nativist collective actors

Journal Article - 2018

Author: Andrea Pirro, Pietro Castelli Gattinara

The scholarship on the far right has often interpreted nativist organizations as straddling the conceptual space between party and movement. These groups contest elections in order to gain representation in office, yet they also seek to mobilize public support to engage contentious issues like social movements. Despite theoretical commonalities, very little empirical research has focused… more

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

Journal Article - 2018

Author: Manès Weisskircher

Recently, scholars have focused on a growing number of social movement consequences. However, one important type of intended outcome has been neglected: the development of new technologies. Connecting to key insights from Science and Technology Studies, the aim of this article is to contribute to the literature on the effects of activism in two specific… more

Politics, Participation and Big Data. Introductory Reflections on the Ontological, Epistemological, and Methodological Aspects of a Complex Relationship

Journal Article - 2018

Author: Alice Mattoni, Elena Pavan

This editorial defines big data as an inherently political object and then briefly discusses its ontological, epistemological, and methodological implications in the social sciences. Furthermore, it addresses these issues in connections with the realm of politics, political participation and political mobilization. Finally, it addresses three main emergent themes related to big data in the broad… more

Populist Eurosceptic trajectories in Italy and the Netherlands during the European crises

Journal Article - 2018

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

Multiple crises shook the European Union (EU) during the past decade. First, the economic and financial crises that unfolded since 2008 shook the foundations of the European project and its monetary union. Then, the inflow of migrants and asylum seekers into Europe in 2015 questioned the EU’s ability to jointly respond to common political issues.… more

The far right as social movement

Journal Article - 2018

Author: Pietro Castelli Gattinara and Andrea Pirro

The literature on the far right is trying to connect with social movement studies. Scholars from different social scientific backgrounds are increasingly acknowledging that extra-parliamentary grassroots activism is part of the alliance and conflict structure of nativist collective actors. The recent rise in far-right street politics – or, precisely, its re-emergence with seemingly different clothes… more

The Passage from Hierarchy to Horizontality: The Self-managed Factory of Vio.Me, Greece

Journal Article - 2018

Author: Haris Malamidis

The anti-austerity mobilizations that developed after the beginning of the economic crisis brought to the forefront the increase in self-organized, solidarity structures. One of the most popular examples of these alternative forms of resistance is the self-managed factory of Vio.Me in Greece. After the owners abandoned the company in 2011, the Vio.Me workers occupied the… more

News

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.

05/02/2019

Call for Papers - Social Movements and Parties in a Fractured Media Landscape

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The call for papers is now open for a two-day symposium held under the auspices of the journal ‘Information, Communication & Society’ (iCS) at the Centre on Social Movement Studies, 1-2 July 2019.

04/02/2019

17 Fully funded 4-years PhD positions in Political Science and Sociology and in Transnational Governance, Scuola Normale Superiore

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The grant is for 4 years. It is open to students of all nationalities. Coverage of research expenses (conferences, summer schools, research periods abroads) is provided.

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.