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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Publications

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Common EU policies on authorised immigration : past, present and future

Working Paper - 2015

Author: Georgia Mavrodi

Since the early 1990s, one metaphor has dominated the debates on the construction of a common EU immigration policy: ‘Fortress Europe’. The gradual adoption of a set of common rules on the entry, residence and rights of non-EU nationals was depicted as the building of a wall along the external borders of the EU to… more

Bread, Freedom, Human Dignity: Tales of an unfinished revolution in Egypt

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Jana Warkotsch

When at the height of the 'Arab Spring' Egyptians from all walks of life took to the streets to oust one of the Arab world's most long-standing dictators, it took both Egyptians and outside observers by surprise. This report explores the events commonly described as the January 25 Revolution in Egypt, as well as the… more

Civil Society and the Paralyzed State: Mobilizing for democracy in East Germany

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Daniel P. Ritter

Among cases of transition to democracy from below, the East German one constitutes a particularly challenging puzzle. Whereas social movements taking advantage of an oppositional space within a repressive context have preceded many transitions, the East German case shows little evidence of such large-scale prior opposition. Even when compared to other Eastern European transitions, East… more

Civil Society and the Velvet Revolution: Mobilizing for democracy in Czechoslovakia

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Daniel P. Ritter

In the late 1980s Czechoslovakia was considered one of the most repressive countries in Eastern Europe and a staunch Soviet ally. In the aftermath of the 'Prague Spring' of 1968, repressed with Soviet help, the regime managed to remove virtually all expressions of dissent. Yet in the fall of 1989 civil society forces inspired a… more

From the Coup to the Escalation of Violence: The transition to democracy in Romania

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Federico Matías Rossi

Romania was the only example of violent regime change in the central and south eastern European milieu, with massive mobilizations both in favour and against change and the execution of the dictator. In other words, there seems to have been an attempted coup d'état in Romania, one that was successful thanks to the unplanned escalation… more

Grassroots Groups and Civil Society Actors in Pro-Democratic Transitions in Poland

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Grzegorz Piotrowski

The transition to democracy in 1989 in Central and Eastern Europe is said to be the achievement of the dissident sector. In Poland the biggest power in the democratization process was the Solidarność trade union. At the same time many smaller grassroots groups from that time remain unnoticed and their influence on the democratization process… more

Libya's Violent Revolution

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Emin Poljarevic

Libya is unlike other states in North Africa mainly because of the distinctive arrangement of different socio-economic and political features it combines. This arrangement came into sharper focus in the wake of the recent collapse of its 40-year-old authoritarian regime. What had begun as a series of peaceful protests against the regime's administrative misconducts became… more

Mass Migration, Student Protests and the Intelligentsia Popullore in the Albanian Transition to Democracy

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Luisa Chiodi

After decades under a Stalinist regime, the latecomer transition in Albania began thanks to the large-scale exodus of hundreds of young people which stimulated the mobilization of university students. In turn, the student movement became the catalyst of a wider social mobilization once fear faded away from December 1990 onwards. These experiences were nevertheless short-lived… more

Mobilizing for Democracy: A research project

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Donatella della Porta

The project addresses the role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in democratization processes, bridging social science approaches to social movements and democracy. The project starts by revisiting the 'transitology' approach to democratization and the political process approach to social movements, before moving towards more innovative approaches in both areas. From the theoretical point of view,… more

Nationalism and Transitions: Mobilizing for democracy in Yugoslavia

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Daniel P. Ritter

The Yugoslav transition(s) to democracy is perhaps the most complex of all the Eastern European cases. It can be argued that Yugoslavia enjoyed the most favorable initial conditions of any country in the region: the regime was relatively liberal, there was an indigenous, vibrant civil society, an economic crisis had put politicians on the defensive,… more

News

25/08/2017

Donatella Della Porta con Yanis Varoufakis alla 13esima conferenza ESA

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Wednesday, August 30th (8pm-9.30pm) professor della Porta, who directs the Center on Social Movement Studies(Cosmos), will dialogue with Yanis Varoufakis, Greek Minister of Finance during the first Tsipras government, about the future of Europe and the social consequences of neoliberal economies

08/06/2017

Call for Papers - Cosmos Conference "The Contentious Politics of Higher Education. Student Movements in Late Neoliberalism"

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The Centre on Social Movement Studies, directed by Professor Donatella Della Porta, calls for papers addressing the recent global wave of student protests for a two-days conference to bel held in Florence, at the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Scuola Normale Superiore (SNS), on 15-16 November 2017.

19/05/2017

Video available for the International Conference – Beyond Borders: Refugees and Struggles in Europe Mobilization, Solidarity and Political Challenges in the Long Summer of Migration

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Watch the video of the International Conference – Beyond Borders, which was held at Palazzo Strozzi on May 12, 2017

Publications

Monograph - 2018

Social Movements and Civil War : When Protests for Democratization Fail

Donatella della Porta, Teije Hidde Donker , Bogumila Hall , Emin Poljarevic
This book investigates the origins of civil wars which emerge from failed attempts at democratization. The main aim of this volume is to develop a theoretical explanation of the conditions under which and the mechanisms through which social movements' struggles for democracy ends up in civil war.

Journal Article - 2017

Successful student activism in contemporary Italian universities

Lorenzo Cini
This article assesses the strategies that the Italian student activists adopted in order to influence the revision process of the governance structure of their universities in 2011