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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Publications

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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

The polyvalent populism of the 5 Star Movement

Journal Article - 2018

Author: Andrea Pirro

Widely recognised as a populist party within a context of mutating populism, ideational approaches have taken only a marginal role in the analysis of the issues of the Movimento 5 Stelle (5 Star Movement, M5S). The article elaborates on the supply side of the M5S and shows how its populist frame has been able to… more

The populist politics of Euroscepticism in times of crisis: A framework for analysis

Journal Article - 2018

Author: Andrea L. P. Pirro and Paul Taggart

The European Union has been recently exposed to the multiple shocks of the Great Recession, the migrant crisis, and Brexit. Populist parties have been, either directly or indirectly, considered the principal beneficiaries of these crises in light of their Eurosceptic profiles. In this introductory article, we lay out the conceptual and analytical tools necessary to… more

The populist politics of Euroscepticism in times of crisis: Comparative conclusions

Journal Article - 2018

Author: Andrea L. P. Pirro, Paul Taggart, and Stijn van Kessel

This article offers comparative findings of the nature of populist Euroscepticism in political parties in contemporary Europe in the face of the Great Recession, migrant crisis, and Brexit. Drawing on case studies included in the Special Issue on France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom, the article presents summary cross-national… more

’Solidarietà sconvenienti’. Reti online di estrema destra contro e per la riforma dell’Europa

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Elena Pavan and Manuela Caiani

In spite of an increasing interest for how ICTs entwine with collective participation dynamics, the ways in which their relational and communicational potential is exploited by extreme right organizations remain overlooked. In this article, we aim at moving forward along this research avenue by focusing on how extreme right organizations and groups employ digital communications… more

A situated understanding of digital technologies in social movements. Media ecology and media practice approaches

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Alice Mattoni

The article tackles two main aspects related to the interaction between social movements and digital technologies. First, it reflects on the need to include and combine different theoretical approaches in social movement studies so as to construct more meaningful understanding of how social movement actors deals with digital technologies and with what outcomes in societies.… more

Comparing Digital Protest Media Imaginaries: Anti-Austerity Movements in Greece, Italy & Spain

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Emiliano Treré, Sandra Jeppensen and Alice Mattoni

This article presents findings from an empirical study of repertoires of contention and communication engaged during anti-austerity protests by the Indignados in Spain, the precarious generation in Italy, and the Aganaktismenoi in Greece. Drawing on 60 semi­structured interviews with activists and independent media producers involved in the 2011 wave of contention, we bring together social… more

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

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Loris Caruso

In the Italian national elections in 2013, the Movimento Cinque Stelle (Five Star Movement, M5S), founded just four years earlier, gained 25 percent of votes, more than any other party. Analyses and interpretations are divided between those who consider M5S a member of the family of European populism and those who see M5S’s propositions as akin to… more

Digital Innovation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Epochal Social Changes?

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Loris Caruso

ITC technologies have come to comprehensively represent images and expectations of the future. Hopes of ongoing progress, economic growth, skill upgrading and possibly also democratisation are attached to new ICTs as well as fears of totalitarian control, alienation, job loss and insecurity. Currently, with the terms Industry 4.0. and ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution” (FIR), public institutions… 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

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.

Special Issue - 2020

The Cultural Side of Populism: Politics, Emotions, Music and Subcultures in Populist Times

Manuela Caiani & Enrico Padoan
This special issue aims to combine an analytical perspective with an empirical focus on current populism(s) in Europe and their cultural aspects.

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.