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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Publications

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Don’t Call it Climate Populism: On Greta Thunberg’s Technocratic Ecocentrism

Journal Article - 2020

Author: Mattia Zulianello and Diego Ceccobelli

The growing popularity of Greta Thunberg has led an increasing number of pundits and scholars to consider her message to be an instance of ‘climate’ or ‘environmental’ populism. Following a qualitative content analysis of key speeches by the young activist, this paper challenges this view, and argues that her message is far from being a… more

Filling the Gaps in Populism Studies

Journal Article - 2020

Author: Manuela Caiani & Enrico Padoan

This article introduces the conceptual and analytical framework for the special issue, which explores the cultural side of populism: the relationships between politics, emotions, music, and subcultures in populist contexts. We highlight the role that cultural and symbolic 'products' (such as music, emotions, narratives, and visual symbols) play in the emergence and spread of populism.… more

Populism between voting and non-electoral participation

Journal Article - 2020

Author: 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. The study addresses the question that populist parties and movements of the left and right originate from distinctive political experiences, and drive different forms of… more

Reverting trajectories? UKIP’s organisational and discursive change after the Brexit referendum

Journal Article - 2020

Author: Ofra Klein & Andrea Pirro

The article focuses on the transformation of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) after the 2016 Brexit referendum. It describes how, after securing its chief political demand, UKIP opened up to grassroots far-right politics and assesses whether this strategy involved a concomitant shift towards a more radical discourse. Against a backdrop of organisational change, the findings… more

Alliance building and eventful protests: comparing Spanish and Portuguese trajectories under the Great Recession

Journal Article - 2019

Author: 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. Drawing on a paired comparison between the Portuguese and Spanish cycles of protest under… more

Another Brick in the Wall? Young people, Protest and Nonprotest Claims Making in Nine European Countries

Journal Article - 2019

Author: Tiago Loukakis and Martín Portos

The implementation of austerity and neoliberal policies has disrupted everyday life for a significant number of Europeans, especially among young people. Rising tuition fees, labor market reforms, levels of unemployment, precarious working conditions, and discontent toward the political status quo have contributed to increase moral panics and outrage, which have often triggered mass protests. This… more

Ballots and barricades enhanced: far‐right ‘movement parties’ and movement‐electoral interactions

Journal Article - 2019

Author: Andrea Pirro

Far‐right organisations offer an ideal common ground to bridge the scholarships on social movements and party politics. Indeed, they can be often interpreted as ‘movement parties’, i.e. hybrid collective actors spurring from the protest arena and translating social movement practices in the arena of party competition. This contribution enhances our understanding of the contemporary far… more

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

Journal Article - 2019

Author: 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. Locating our analysis at the intersection of protest event and social network analysis, we focus on the far-right Movement for a Better… more

Digital movement parties: a comparative analysis of the technopolitical cultures and the participation platforms of the Movimento 5 Stelle and the Piratenpartei

Journal Article - 2019

Author: Marco Deseriis

The Pirate Party of Germany (PPG) and the Italian 5-Star Movement (5SM) are two digital movement parties that share several ideological features, including their roots in anti-establishment movements, their refusal to position themselves on the Left-Right spectrum, and their belief that the Internet increases the capacity of ordinary citizens for self-government and self-representation. To this… more

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

News

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

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.

Publications

Journal Article - 2020

Don’t Call it Climate Populism: On Greta Thunberg’s Technocratic Ecocentrism

Mattia Zulianello and Diego Ceccobelli
The growing popularity of Greta Thunberg has led an increasing number of pundits and scholars to consider her message to be an instance of ‘climate’ or ‘environmental’ populism. This paper challenges this view, and argues that her message is far from being a case of populism.

Journal Article - 2020

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.

Journal Article - 2020

Reverting trajectories? UKIP’s organisational and discursive change after the Brexit referendum

Ofra Klein & Andrea Pirro
While showing UKIP’s projection into a new phase of its political lifecycle, the findings qualify the notion that the party has radicalised its (online) discourse as a result of (offline) organisational changes.

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

Filling the Gaps in Populism Studies

Manuela Caiani & Enrico Padoan
This article introduces the conceptual and analytical framework for the special issue, which explores the cultural side of populism: the relationships between politics, emotions, music, and subcultures in populist contexts.

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.