The Centre on Social Movement Studies


Memories and Movements

On May 26th 2015, COSMOS will host the conference “Memories and Movements. Protesting for Justice and Democracy in Southern Europe“, at Villa Pagliaiuola. The event is organized within the ERC project “Mobilizing for Democracy”, which is financed by the European Union.

The conference will discuss results of a part of the ERC project Mobilizing for Democracy, focusing on long term effects of democratic transitions on social movements themselves. The research has two aims: one theoretical and one empirical.

From the theoretical point of view, a main focus of reflection is on the long term impact of eventful moments on social movements. In particular, it investigates the causal mechanisms through which memories of transformative protest events are produced and reproduced in times, enhancing and constraining contemporary movements’ agency, coalitions, repertoires and frames. The paths of democratic transitions are considered as most relevant by setting norms and institutions that affect protests in the long terms. Without taking a deterministic view, we consider the ways in which the past is revisited and read anew, how stories are selected, what is resilient and what is transformed.cimzelam

From the empirical point of view, the volume addresses protests in areas of Europe, Southern Europe, which have been only occasionally addressed by “mainstream” social movement studies. What is more, given the unexpected dynamism of the 2011 protests as well as the depth of their political effects (it suffices to think about Syriza and Podemos as new political parties) a comparative empirical study is particular relevant. By looking at the protest forms, framing, organizing, the comparative analysis contrasts the ways in which the paths of democratization affects anti-austerity protests. Research is based on interviews with activists, analysis of documents and of selected press review.