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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Publications

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Learning from Democratic Practices: New Perspectives in Institutional Design

Journal Article - 2021

Author: Andrea Felicetti

Contemporary democracies feature an increasingly diverse and complex variety of democratic practices. The systematic observation of these practices offers a valuable yet neglected source of insight for current debates on democratic systems and for institutional design. Taking democratic practices as the starting point for theorization counters the tendency to think that democracy has some sort… more
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Migrant Protest. Interactive Dynamics in Precarious Mobilizations

Monograph - 2021

Author: Elias Steinhilper

Over the past two decades, migrant protest has proliferated worldwide, explicitly posing questions of identity, rights, and equality in a globalized world. Nonetheless, such mobilizations are often considered anomalies in social movement studies and political sociology more broadly, due to "weak interests" and a particularly disadvantageous position of "outsiders" to claim rights connected to citizenship.… more

Online Hate Speech and the Radical Right in Times of Pandemic: The Italian and English Cases

Journal Article - 2021

Author: Manuela Caiani & Benedetta Carlotti & Enrico Padoan

Social media is considered a particularly conducive arena for hate speech, a form of communication often linked to the radical right. The goal of this study is to offer an empirical contribution that comparatively explores the presence and features of hate speech in the social media discourse of the radical right (leaders and parties) in… more

Populism between voting and non-electoral participation

Journal Article - 2021

Author: 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. The study addresses the question that populist parties and movements of the left and right originate from distinctive political experiences, and drive different forms of… more

The use of religion by populist parties: the case of Italy and its broader implications

Journal Article - 2021

Author: Manuela Caiani & Tiago Carvalho

The rise of populist parties in Europe and the increasing salience of religion in political discourse are two relevant, sometimes discussed as interrelated, phenomena of recent decades. While most analysis focuses on right-wing populism, this does not exhaust all possible relationships. This study addresses the role of religion in populist parties by focusing on the… more
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Varieties of Populism in Europe in Times of Crises

Edited Volume - 2021

Author: Manuela Caiani & Paolo Graziano

The volume, composed of eight chapters, investigates how different populist parties in the European Union have been affected by the various crises, disentangling the role of the Great Recession vis-à-vis other factors (such as political and party system factors, but also structural social changes or cultural opportunities) in the growing strength of populist parties in… more

Anti-Neoliberal Populisms in Comparative Perspective. A Latinamericanisation of Southern Europe?

Monograph - 2020

Author: Enrico Padoan

In this book, Enrico Padoan proposes an original middle-range theory to explain the emergence and the internal organisation of anti-neoliberal populist parties in Latin America and Southern Europe, and the relationships between these parties and the organised working class. Padoan begins by tracing the diverging evolution of the electoral Lefts in Latin America and Southern… more
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CasaPound Italia: Contempory Extreme Right Politics

Monograph - 2020

Author: Caterina Froio, Pietro Castelli Gattinara, Giorgia Bulli & Matteo Albanese

In 2003, the occupation of a state-owned building in Rome led to the emergence of a new extreme-right youth movement: CasaPound Italia (CPI). Its members described themselves as 'Fascists of the Third Millennium', and were unabashed about their admiration for Benito Mussolini. Over the next 15 years, they would take to the street, contest national… more

Challenging precarity, austerity and delocalisation: Italian labour struggles from Euro-criticism to Euro-disenchantment

Journal Article - 2020

Author: Lorenzo Zamponi

How has the experience of crisis, austerity, and precarity affected visions of Europe in the labour movement? The article answers this question through the analysis of interviews of representatives of organisations engaged in labour struggles in Italy and of documents published by the same organisations. The analysis shows that, although the crisis has challenged ‘critical… more

Chicha-Coronavirus: 1-0. On trust, natural disasters, and pandemics in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Journal Article - 2020

Author: Leonidas Oikonomakis

Sarayaku is an Amazonian Kichwa community on the shores of Río Bobonaza, Ecuador. There is no road connecting it to the rest of the country no electricity and no telephone network. I happened to be there on fieldwork during the times of a double disaster: the COVID19 crisis, and the biggest flood in the community’s… more

News

22/02/2023

15 fully funded PhD positions

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The Faculty of Political and Social Sciences at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence, Italy is pleased to announce 15 PhD fellowships beginning on November 1, 2023. The deadline for applications is April 13, 2023.

16/02/2023

Applications now open! Fourth Edition of the ECPR-COSMOS Summer School on Methods for the Study of Political Participation and Mobilisation

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Applicants must send their application materials no later than March the 17th 2023.

10/01/2022

SNS announces 14 fully-funded PhD positions

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The Faculty of Political and Social Sciences at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence, Italy is pleased to announce 14 PhD fellowships beginning on November 1, 2022.

16/07/2021

Prof. della Porta to lead VolkswagenStiftung-funded ECSEuro project

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Reflecting the European challenge of transnational cooperation and multiple crises, this project asks how local political initiatives across Europe enact citizenship and solidarity and contribute to the vision of a more democratic Europe from below.

09/07/2021

SNS announces 7 fully-funded PhD positions

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The Faculty of Political and Social Sciences at the Scuola Normale Superiore announces 7 fully-funded PhD positions. Deadline for applications: 21 August 2021.

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.” 

Publications

Journal Article - 2023

Reflective Inclusion: Learning from Activists What Taking a Deliberative Stance Means.

Andrea Felicetti, Markus Holdo
We propose to adopt a principle we call “reflective inclusion,” which allows us to engage abductively with new actions that might expand and deepen our understanding of what deliberation may look like.

Monograph - 2022

Resisting the Backlash: Street Protest in Italy

Donatella della Porta, Niccolò Bertuzzi, Daniela Chironi, Chiara Milan, Martín Portos & Lorenzo Zamponi
Drawing interview material, together with extensive data from the authors’ original social movement database, this book examines the development of social movements in resistance to perceived political "regression" and a growing right-wing backlash.

Journal Article - 2022

Populists in power and conspiracy theories

Andrea Pirro & Paul Taggart
Looking at three cases of populists in government – Orbán in Hungary, Trump in the United States, and Chávez in Venezuela – we examine the definition of conspiring elites (who), the circumstances under which conspiracy theories are propagated (when), and the ultimate purpose of conspiratorial framing (why).

Journal Article - 2022

The mobilization for spatial justice in divided societies. Urban commons, trust reconstruction and socialist memory in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Chiara Milan
The article contributes to the urban studies literature and the study of social movements in divided societies by disclosing the distinctive features and mobilizing potential that the notion of urban commons retains in a war-torn society with a socialist legacy.

Journal Article - 2022

(Water) Bottles and (Street) Barricades: The Politicisation of Lifestyle-Centred Action in Youth Climate Strike Participation

Lorenzo Zamponi, Anja Corinne Baukloh, Niccolò Bertuzzi, Daniela Chironi, Donatella della Porta, Martín Portos
This article explores the forms of action adopted by participants in two Fridays For Future (FFF) strikes, focusing on the repertoires of action of (young) climate justice protesters. Drawing on protest survey data, it shows demonstrated that young protesters do not participate less in claim-based action than older cohorts. Furthermore, a process of politicisation can be seen to be unfolding that leads to increased commitment in both lifestyle and political forms of participation – at least among active milieus.

Journal Article - 2022

Performing (during) the Coronavirus crisis: The Italian populist radical right between national opposition and subnational government

Andrea Pirro
The first year of COVID-19 confirmed the standing of the populist radical right in Italy. While sitting in opposition at the national level, Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy and Matteo Salvini's League shared common criticism of the Conte II government but experienced diverging trajectories in terms of popularity. These changes can be partly attributed to the different agency of their leaderships. Overall and collectively considered, the Italian populist radical right broke even during the first year of COVID-19, but the crisis exposed the first cracks in Salvini's leadership.

Journal Article - 2021

Far-right protest mobilisation in Europe: Grievances, opportunities and resources

Pietro Castelli Gattinara, Caterina Froio & Andrea Pirro
In this article, we bridge previous research on the far right and social movements to advance hypotheses on the drivers of far-right protest mobilisation based on grievances, opportunities and resource mobilisation models. We use an original dataset combining novel data on 4,845 far-right protest events in 11 East and West European countries (2008–2018), with existing measures accounting for the (political, economic and cultural) context of mobilisation.

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.

Edited Volume - 2021

Contentious Migrant Solidarity. Shrinking Spaces and Civil Society Contestation

Donatella della Porta & Elias Steinhilper
Building upon social movement and migration studies, this book maps the two sides of ‘contentious solidarity’: a shrinking civic space and its contestation by civil society.

Journal Article - 2021

Learning from Democratic Practices: New Perspectives in Institutional Design

Andrea Felicetti
Drawing from literature on democratic practices in social movements and democratic innovations, the article illustrates three ways to advance institutional design in the wake of the systemic turn.