The Centre on Social Movement Studies




’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

Framing exclusion in the public sphere: Far-right mobilization and the debate on Charlie Hebdo in Italy

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Pietro Castelli Gattinara

While the January 2015 Paris terrorist attacks presented a crucial opportunity for far-right mobilisation, the focus on liberal democratic values and Charlie Hebdo’s non-conformist progressive profile presented challenges for right-wing discourse. Taking Italy as a paradigmatic case of public controversies on cultural and religious affairs, this article examines the opportunities and constraints generated by multicultural… more

Italian Students as a Political Actor. The Policy Impact of the Recent Student Mobilizations in the Field of Higher Education

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Lorenzo Cini

After decades of political passivity, Italian students have massively mobilized in the years 2008 and 2010 to protest the implementation of two political measures fostering a neoliberal conception of higher education. More notably, the casus belli of these mobilizations concerned the implementation of a financial measure cutting public funding for higher education in 2008, accompanied… more
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Keeping dissent alive under the Great Recession: no-radicalisation and protest in Spain after the eventful 15M/indignados campaign

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Martín Portos

Traditional theories of collective action would predict that, after a triggering event, the trajectory of a wave of protest is determined by the institutionalisation–radicalisation tandem. Based on the Spanish cycle of anti-austerity and against the political status quo protest in the shadow of the Great Recession, this article contends with this approach, as a clear… more

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

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Andrea Felicetti

This article advances one of the most important debates in recent scholarship on democratic theory: the one on deliberative systems. In the wake of the systemic turn deliberative scholars agree that not all components of a deliberative system can or even need to be deliberative. However, there is little clarity about the role of non-deliberative… more

PKK Violence against Civilians: Beyond the Individual Understanding Collective Targeting

Journal Article - 2017

Author: Juan Masullo and Francis O’Connor

This article examines the logic of civilian targeting in the Turkish-Kurdish civil war. It analyzes two instances of PKK violence: against pro-state Village Guards’ families in the 1980s and school-teachers in the 1990s. Against original data, we evaluate the extent to which the dominant conceptual tools available in civil war literature help us make sense… more



"Standing up for Science" - a documentary by Dieter Rucht

A documentary by Dieter Rucht on the 2017 March for Science in Washington, D.C. - now available on YouTube.


COSMOS Talks Calendar - Second Semester 2018

Read here the full calendar of the COSMOS Talks Series


Call for Application Now Open: Summer School on Concepts and Methods for Research on Far-Right Politics

We are pleased to announce that the call for applications is now open for the 1st Summer School of the ECPR Standing Group on Extremism & Democracy on ‘Concepts and Methods for Research on Far-Right Politics’, sponsored by the Centre for Research on Extremism (C-REX), the European Council for Political Research (ECPR), and the Centre on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS).


Edited Volume - 2018

Solidarity Mobilizations in the ‘Refugee Crisis’. Contentious Moves

Donatella della Porta (ed.)
This edited volume ddresses a gap in research on social movements that has disregarded the origins of discontent and overlooks protest as a resource of the powerless; it offers insight into how the movement of refugees across the European Union and elsewhere activates political opportunities; it explores claims to citizenship made by refugees within processes of knowledge production and the mobilization of emotions

Journal Article - 2017

Reshaping Citizenship through Collective Action: Performative and Prefigurative Practices in the 2013–2014 Cycle of Contention in Bosnia & Hercegovina

Chiara Milan
This essay analyses the strategic practices adopted by social movement actors during the 2013 and 2014 mobilisations in Bosnia & Hercegovina. By bridging critical citizenship studies with literature on social movements, it classifies them as belonging to the realm of activist citizenship, but also as having a performative and prefigurative dimension.