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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Publications

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Dynamiques de protestation politique des exilés afghans à Berlin: entre «silence» et «prise de parole»

Journal Article - 2019

Author: Elias Steinhilper

En Allemagne, l’« été des migrations » de l’année 2015 a entraîné une série de restrictions de la loi sur le droit d’asile et provoqué un débat public de plus en plus hostile envers les populations étrangères. Les Afghans, qui constituent l’une des principales communautés de migrants de ce pays, ont été particulièrement touchés par ces revirements politiques. Leurs… more

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

Journal Article - 2019

Author: Leonidas Oikonomakis

How do social movements form their political strategies? The relevant theory pays considerable attention to structure, and argues that when political opportunities are open, movements are more likely to opt for a systemic political strategy; when they are closed, movements are expected to take a more revolutionary turn. However, political opportunities can make some options… more

Life beyond the ballot box: the political participation and non-participation of electoral abstainers

Journal Article - 2019

Author: Martín Portos, Lorenzo Bosi, Lorenzo Zamponi

Drawing on electoral participation and social movement studies, we develop a typologyof abstainers on the basis of their forms of non-electoral participation, and explore thedeterminants that drive belonging to each of these sub-groups. Although there is a positive correlation between electoral turnout and non-electoral participation, throughapplying latent class analyses and regressions we find that there… more

Local Governments and Social Movements in the ‘Refugee Crisis’: Milan and Barcelona as ‘Cities of Welcome’

Journal Article - 2019

Author: Raffaele Bazurli

Amid the so-called ‘refugee crisis’, South European cities have experienced far-reaching societal transformations, magnified by flaws in multi-level governance. How can urban actors cope with such critical questions, which affect their communities and yet lie beyond their full jurisdiction? This article contends that left-leaning governments and ideologically sympathetic social-movement activists at the city-level are incentivised… more

The Modern Prince and the Sociological Imagination

Journal Article - 2019

Author: Riccardo Emilio Chesta, Michael Burawoy

In this conversation, Michael Burawoy discusses how he discovered the sociology of Gramsci in radically diverse contexts — from a vibrant post-colonial Zambia to Analytical Marxism in Chicago. The British sociologist reconnects the travels of these debates to contemporary public sociology, updating Gramsci’s key sociological concepts with the critical scholarship of Pierre Bourdieu, the social… more

Tokens or Stakeholders in Global Migration Governance? The Role of Affected Communities and Civil Society in the Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees

Journal Article - 2019

Author: Stefan Rother and Elias Steinhilper

Focussing on the inclusion of those primarily affected as stakeholders (refugees and other migrants), this article addresses a key ambition of the compacts themselves. We employ an ‘inside‐outside’ perspective and firstly ask: which groups participated in the consultative processes, what agenda did they set ‘inside’ the meetings, what alliances did they establish and how did… more

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

News

28/09/2020

Four post-doctoral research positions on the pandemic

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The Scuola Normale Superiore announces four post-doctoral positions to be activated as part of the research project “After the coronavirus pandemic: The effects of the health emergency on society and knowledge.” 

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

Publications

Edited Volume - 2021

Varieties of Populism in Europe in Times of Crises

Manuela Caiani & Paolo Graziano
Populism is booming across all the nuances of the political spectrum. It occupies relevant positions in national parliaments, in governmental coalitions with mainstream parties or as successful challengers of the political status quo. This volume sheds new light on the topic from different methodological and theoretical angles and offers evidence from a variety of cases on the ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions on populism’s emergence and consolidation in Europe over the past 30 years.

Journal Article - 2021

Populism between voting and non-electoral participation

Andrea Pirro & Martín Portos
The article focuses on a neglected aspect of populist mobilisation, i.e. non-electoral participation (NEP), and elaborates on the extent to which populist party voters engage politically outside the polling station. While challenging common understandings of populism as inherently distrustful and apathetic, and protest as an exclusive practice of the left, the study critically places NEP at the heart of populism in general, and populist right politics in particular.

Monograph - 2021

Migrant Protest. Interactive Dynamics in Precarious Mobilizations

Elias Steinhilper
This book explores the interactions and spaces shaping the emergence, trajectory, and fragmentation of migrant protest in unfavorable contexts of marginalization.

Journal Article - 2020

We protect the forest beings, and the forest beings protect us: Cultural resistance in the Ecuadorian Amazonia

Leonidas Oikonomakis
The inhabitants of Sarayaku have forged an anti-colonial, anti-extractivist, and anti-capitalist resistance culture. How did that culture develop? How is it articulated? Moreover, how is kawsak sacha positioned in the discussion over the rights of Nature in Latin America? Based on three months of ethnographic research in the community of Sarayaku and more than twenty-five interviews with community members, this article addresses those important questions and argues that securing legal protection may not be a long-term resistance strategy.

Monograph - 2020

The Contentious Politics of Expertise. Experts, activism and grassroots environmentalism

Riccardo Emilio Chesta
Based on mixed-methods research and ethnographic fieldwork at various sites in Italy, this book examines the relationship between expertise and activism in grassroots environmentalism. Bridging the sociology of expertise and contentious politics, the book shows how conflict transforms, rather than inhibits, expertise production into a ‘contentious politics by other means’.

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

Close ever, distant never? Integrating protest event and social network approaches into the transformation of the Hungarian far right

Andrea Pirro, Elena Pavan, Adam Fagan & David Gazsi
In this article, we extend our understanding of fringe politics to include relational and thematic elements, namely, the relationship of far-right collective actors with their broader network and the claims made within it. By focusing on often neglected relational and thematic aspects, the study provides new ways to analyse fringe collective actors, the relationship with their environment and the evolution of such a relationship over time.

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.