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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Publications

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No Way Back: Actors, structures and mobilization opportunities in the 2011-2013 Syrian uprising

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Teije Hidde Donker

The following report provides an in-depth, empirically focused, overview of contentious mobilization dynamics before and during the Syrian Uprising. The report describes the period between the beginning of Bashar al-Assad’s rule in 2000 until the end of 2012. Instead of an extensive chronological overview, the report is structured along a thematic “periodization”. It therefore focuses… more

Reluctant Rulers and the Negotiated Transition: Mobilizing for democracy in Hungary

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Daniel P. Ritter

Among the Eastern European democratization processes of the 1989 period, Hungary stands out as the least dramatic transition in the region. Whereas other countries experienced massive demonstrations in favor of democratic demands, or violent upheavals resulting in the execution of dictators, Hungary experienced neither and has been referred to as an 'uncomplicated' case. While some… more

The Elite Coup: The transition to democracy in Bulgaria

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Federico Matías Rossi

The transition to democracy in Bulgaria is commonly defined as a coup d'état carried out by the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) elites against the long-standing dictator Todor Zhivkov. The Bulgarian transition to democracy was a direct by-product of the economic and political collapse of the USSR. No contentious events had any important impact on the… more

The Unintended Consequence of the Struggle for Independence: The transition to democracy in the Baltic Countries

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Federico Matías Rossi

The Baltic countries' struggle was for independence more than any other thing. The achievement of democracy was a by-product of the secessionist project of increasing autonomy from Moscow. A possible explanation for this could be that representative democracy became an implicit and obvious ideal regime for the elites and local populations. As for the successes… more

Tunisia: Surprise, change and continuity. Relating actors, structures and mobilization opportunities around the 14 January 2011 revolution

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Teije Hidde Donker

The following report provides an in-depth and empirically focused overview of collective mobilization before, during and after the breakdown of the Tunisian authoritarian regime in 2010-11. It focuses on the relation between changing (political) contexts and dynamics within Tunisian collective mobilization concerning the peaceful character of the protests, the use of modern media tools, the… more

Whose Democratization? Periods of transition and voices from below in Turkey

Working Paper - 2012

Author: Kivanc Atak

Turkey's experience with democracy, at least in its procedural terms, is one which has been discontinuous thanks to repeated military interruptions to civilian rule. Since 1946, Turkey has experienced coups on an almost periodic basis, in the name of protecting the Kemalist foundations of the regime from counter-hegemonic currents however defined. These recurrent takeovers by… more

News

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

19/05/2017

Marco Deseriis wins Best Paper Award at the Cedem17 Conference for e-Democracy & Open Government

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Dr. Marco Deseriis, Marie Curie Fellow and Research Fellow at Cosmos, has won the Best Paper Award at the Cedem17 Conference for e-Democracy & Open Government (Danube University, Krems Au Donau, Austria)

Publications

Journal Article - 2017

The Electoral Success of the Radical Left: Explaining the Least Likely Case of the Communist Party in Graz

Manès Weisskircher
Recently, scholars have shown a growing interest in radical left parties (RLPs). In terms of electoral success, the rise of the KPÖ Graz, the Communist Party in Austria’s second biggest city, represents perhaps the most counterintuitive case in Western Europe. This analysis shows how the party has managed to ‘own’ the issue of housing and to exploit local political opportunities in order to be electorally successful. The findings point to the importance of agency and the subnational level for RLPs, and highlight more general questions in the study of this party family.

Journal Article - 2017

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

Andrea Felicetti
In this paper Andrea Felicetti first illustrates the main ideas of the systemic turn, explores the distinction between ‘deliberative’ and ‘non-deliberative’ politics and investigates the main arguments justifying non-deliberative politics. Then, he builds upon these arguments to shed new light on the relationship between deliberative and non-deliberative politics. He identifies three distinctive actors in deliberative systems (political institutions, empowered agents, and public space actors). Finally, he argues that deliberative democrats should adopt three different approaches (intensive, moderate, and free) in order to assess whether the use of non-deliberative politics by each of these actors is legitimate.