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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Publications

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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

Les town meetings, mythe fondateur de la démocratie américaine

Journal Article - 2016

Authors: Paula Cossart; Andrea Felicetti; James Kloppenberg

L’analyse historique a marqué la naissance et le développement des réflexions sur la démocratie participative et délibérative1. Outre le travail fondateur de Jürgen Habermas (1978) d’analyse de la transformation de la sphère publique bourgeoise, plusieurs contributions importantes à l’étude de la démocratie délibérative s’appuient en effet sur la recherche historique. Parmi les plus célèbres, on… more

Media ecologies and protest movements: main perspectives and key lessons

Journal Article - 2016

Author: Emiliano Treré and Alice Mattoni

Studies adopting the media ecology metaphor to investigate social movements form a promising strand of literature that has emerged in the last years to overcome the communicative reductionism permeating the study of the relation between social movements and communication technologies. However, contributions that apply ecological visions to protest are scattered, and only seldom connect their… more

News

08/06/2017

Call for Papers - Cosmos Conference "The Contentious Politics of Higher Education. Student Movements in Late Neoliberalism"

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The Centre on Social Movement Studies, directed by Professor Donatella Della Porta, calls for papers addressing the recent global wave of student protests for a two-days conference to bel held in Florence, at the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Scuola Normale Superiore (SNS), on 15-16 November 2017.

19/05/2017

Video available for the International Conference – Beyond Borders: Refugees and Struggles in Europe Mobilization, Solidarity and Political Challenges in the Long Summer of Migration

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Watch the video of the International Conference – Beyond Borders, which was held at Palazzo Strozzi on May 12, 2017

19/05/2017

Marco Deseriis wins Best Paper Award at the Cedem17 Conference for e-Democracy & Open Government

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Dr. Marco Deseriis, Marie Curie Fellow and Research Fellow at Cosmos, has won the Best Paper Award at the Cedem17 Conference for e-Democracy & Open Government (Danube University, Krems Au Donau, Austria)

Publications

Journal Article - 2017

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

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. This analysis shows how the party has managed to ‘own’ the issue of housing and to exploit local political opportunities in order to be electorally successful. The findings point to the importance of agency and the subnational level for RLPs, and highlight more general questions in the study of this party family.

Journal Article - 2017

Non-deliberative politics in deliberative democracy: distinct approaches for different actors

Andrea Felicetti
In this paper Andrea Felicetti first illustrates the main ideas of the systemic turn, explores the distinction between ‘deliberative’ and ‘non-deliberative’ politics and investigates the main arguments justifying non-deliberative politics. Then, he builds upon these arguments to shed new light on the relationship between deliberative and non-deliberative politics. He identifies three distinctive actors in deliberative systems (political institutions, empowered agents, and public space actors). Finally, he argues that deliberative democrats should adopt three different approaches (intensive, moderate, and free) in order to assess whether the use of non-deliberative politics by each of these actors is legitimate.