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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

06/10/2017

Open Democracy Post - "The streets will always be ours" - Catalonia, a referendum from below

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Although some still conceive of the referendum as launched by a pro-independence vanguard, the elite story falls short of explaining the resilient participation of a large part of Catalan civil society. This post at Open Democracy addresses this issue from a different angle.

24/09/2017

New Publication Out - "Social movements and referendums from below. Direct democracy in the neoliberal crisis"

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A timely publication to shed light on the link between social movements that formed as a consequence of the 2008 financial crash and the referendums' dynamic and results.

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

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.

Monograph - 2017

Social movements and referendums from below. Direct democracy in the neoliberal crisis

Donatella Della Porta, Francis O'Connor, Martin Portos and Anna Subirats Ribas
Out now "Social movements and referendum from below", the first book that bridges 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 using unique case studies such as the referendum on independence in Scotland, the consultations on independence in Catalonia, the Italian referendum on water, the referendum on the Troika proposals in Greece and the referendum on the debt repayment in Iceland.