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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Publications

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Voting for Movement Parties in Southern Europe: The Role of Protest and Digital Information

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Lorenzo Mosca and Mario Quaranta

In recent years ‘movement parties’ such as Syriza in Greece, the Movimento 5 Stelle in Italy, Podemos in Spain and—to a lesser extent—Bloco de Esquerda in Portugal shook national party systems, breaking the consolidated dynamics of political competition. Despite growing interest in movement parties, there has been scant attention to the role of citizens adopting… 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

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

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

The integrative power of online collective action networks beyond protest. Exploring social media use in the process of institutionalization

Journal Article - 2016

Author: Elena Pavan

In this article, we aim at expanding the event-based and protest-centered perspective that is typically adopted to study the nexus between social media and movements. To this aim, we propose a network-based approach to explore the changing role that these tools play during the dynamic unfolding of movement processes and, more particularly, over the course… 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.