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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Publications

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The Contentious Politics of Higher Education. Struggles and Power Relations within English and Italian Universities

Monograph - 2018

Author: Lorenzo Cini

Drawing on neo-institutionalist and social movement approaches, this book analyses the impact that recent student mobilizations have brought about within Italian and English universities in terms of student services, curriculum organization, and governance structures. Arguing that the university context is central to explaining the variety and diversity of this impact, the author examines the effects… more

Movement parties against austerity

Monograph - 2017

Author: Donatella della Porta, Joseba Fernandez, Hara Kouki and Lorenzo Mosca

The ascendance of austerity policies and the protests they have generated have had a deep impact on the shape of contemporary politics. The stunning electoral successes of SYRIZA in Greece, Podemos in Spain and the Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S) in Italy, alongside the quest for a more radical left in countries such as the UK… more
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Social movements and referendums from below. Direct democracy in the neoliberal crisis

Monograph - 2017

Author: Donatella Della Porta, Francis O'Connor, Martin Portos and Anna Subirats Ribas

Over recent years, social movements formed in response to European neoliberal austerity measures have played an increasingly important role in referendums. This is the first book to bridge the gap between social movement studies and research on direct democracy. It draws on social movement theory to understand the nature of popular mobilisation in referendums. Co-authored… more
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Where Did the Revolution Go? Contentious Politics and the Quality of Democracy by Donatella della Porta

Monograph - 2017

Author: Donatella della Porta

Book description Where Did the Revolution Go? considers the apparent disappearance of the large social movements that have contributed to democratization. Revived by recent events of the Arab Spring, this question is once again paramount. Is the disappearance real, given the focus of mass media and scholarship on electoral processes and 'normal politics'? Does it… more

Deliberative Democracy and Social Movements. Transition Initiatives in the Public Sphere

Monograph - 2016

Author: Andrea Felicetti

Deliberative democracy is increasingly central in democratic theory and its concepts are employed in a growing number of fields, including social movement studies and environmental politics. At the same time, contemporary citizen activism seems to feature some forms of engagement that resonate with deliberative democratic ideas.This book provides an in-depth investigation of the qualities of… more
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Vite di Lotta Armata. Storie di attivismo nella Provisional IRA

Monograph - 2016

Author: Lorenzo Bosi

Quali sono i percorsi che portano alcune donne e uomini ad abbracciare la lotta armata? Qual è la loro esperienza e cosa sostiene il loro impegno all'interno dei gruppi armati, anche a fronte di lunghi periodi di prigionia? Come escono dalla lotta armata e quali conseguenze sulla loro storia di vita attribuiscono a quella scelta?… more
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Social movements in times of austerity : bringing capitalism back into protest analysis

Monograph - 2015

Author: Donatella della Porta

Recent years have seen an enormous increase in protests across the world in which citizens have challenged what they see as a deterioration of democratic institutions and the very civil, political and social rights that form the basis of democratic life. Beginning with Iceland in 2008, and then forcefully in Egypt, Tunisia, Spain, Greece and… more
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Can democracy be saved? Participation, deliberation and social movements

Monograph - 2013

Author: Donatella della Porta

Financial crisis, economic globalization and the strengthening of neoliberal policies present stark challenges to traditional conceptions of representative democracy. Yet, at the same time, new opportunities are emerging that propose alternative visions for the future of democracy. In this highly articulate book, Donatella della Porta analyses diverse conceptions and practices of participatory and deliberative democracy,… more
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Enfoques y metodologías en las ciencias sociales : una perspectiva pluralista

Monograph - 2013

Authors: Donatella della Porta; Michael Keating

Este es un nuevo y revolucionario manual que ofrece a profesores y estudiantes de ciclos superiores los principales enfoques y metodologías de investigación en el campo de las ciencias sociales. Escrito por un destacado conjunto de investigadores y avalado por su éxito como instrumento de estudio, permite a los estudiantes elegir su propio enfoque de… more
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Media Practices and Protest Politics: How precarious workers mobilise

Monograph - 2012

Author: Alice Mattoni

How do precarious workers employed in call-centres, universities, the fashion industry and many other labour markets organise, struggle and communicate to become recognised, influential political subjects? "Media Practices and Protest Politics: How Precarious Workers Organise" reveals the process by which individuals at the margins of the labour market and excluded from the welfare state communicate… 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.