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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Publications

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Paths toward the Same Form of Collective Action: Direct Social Action in Times of Crisis in Italy

Journal Article - 2020

Author: Lorenzo Bosi, Lorenzo Zamponi

Heterogeneous collective actors often select the same form of action, but there is no academic investigation into how and when this happens. This article does so focusing on direct social action, that is, a form of collective action that does not primarily focus upon claiming something from the state but instead focuses upon directly transforming… more

Politicizing support and opposition to migration in France: The EU asylum policy crisis and direct social activism

Journal Article - 2020

Author: Pietro Castelli Gattinara, Lorenzo Zamponi

This article focuses on the migration policy crisis in France to illustrate how social movements contribute to the epistemic construction of ‘crises’ of European Integration. To tackle politicization, we compare the framing and mobilization choices by grassroots actors in solidarity with asylum-seekers and groups aiming to defend national borders from them. Using original Protest Event… more

Populism and the (Italian) crisis: The voters and the context

Journal Article - 2020

Author: Manuela Caiani & Enrico Padoan

This article, focusing on Italy, aims to broaden our understanding of the recent striking electoral fortunes of (differing types of) populism in the country, by locating them within multiple crises (political, economic, migration) that have shocked Europe in the last two decades. By combining individual-level survey data on voters with organizational-level interviews conducted with national… more

Rethinking the digital democratic affordance and its impact on political representation: Toward a new framework

Journal Article - 2020

Author: Marco Deseriis

This article advances a new theory of the digital democratic affordance, a concept first introduced by Lincoln Dahlberg to devise a taxonomy of the democratic capacities of digital media applications. Whereas Dahlberg classifies digital media affordances on the basis of preexisting democratic positions, the article argues that the primary affordance of digital media is to… more

Reverting trajectories? UKIP’s organisational and discursive change after the Brexit referendum

Journal Article - 2020

Author: Ofra Klein & Andrea Pirro

The article focuses on the transformation of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) after the 2016 Brexit referendum. It describes how, after securing its chief political demand, UKIP opened up to grassroots far-right politics and assesses whether this strategy involved a concomitant shift towards a more radical discourse. Against a backdrop of organisational change, the findings… more

Shelter from the Storm: «Virtuous» Systems of Urban Asylum Governance Coping with Italy’s Immigration Crackdown

Journal Article - 2020

Author: Raffaele Bazurli, Francesca Campomori & Mattia Casula

Immigration and asylum became tremendously contested in Italy over the last decade. Especially since 2017, left-leaning executives eroded asylum rights for the sake of competing with their right-wing opponents. The climax was then reached in 2018, when Matteo Salvini – leader of the far-right Lega party and newly appointed Minister of the Interior – authored… more

Social media time, identity narratives and the construction of political biographies

Journal Article - 2020

Author: Veronica Barassi, Lorenzo Zamponi

The question of identity narrative is at the core of the interaction between social movements and temporalities. In this paper, we draw on long-term qualitative research amongst activists engaged in Italian social movements and argue that identity narratives are often the result of a complex mnemonic, contradictory and open-ended process that spans through a life-time… more

Social Movements: An introduction, 3rd edition

Monograph - 2020

Author: Donatella della Porta, Mario Diani

Systemic Unsustainability as a Threat to Democracy

Journal Article - 2020

Author: Andrea Felicetti

Resilient socioeconomic unsustainability poses a threat to democracy whose importance has yet to be fully acknowledged. As the prospect of sustainability transition wanes, so does perceived legitimacy of institutions. This further limits representative institutions’ ability to take action, making democratic deepening all the more urgent. I investigate this argument through an illustrative case study, the… more
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The Contentious Politics of Expertise. Experts, activism and grassroots environmentalism

Monograph - 2020

Author: Riccardo Emilio Chesta

Based on mixed-methods research and ethnographic fieldwork at various sites in Italy, this book examines the relationship between expertise and activism in grassroots environmentalism. Presenting interviews with citizens, activists and experts, it considers activism surrounding infrastructure in urban areas, in connection with water management, transport, tour- ism and waste disposal. Through comparisons between different political… more

News

17/05/2024

An open letter on freedom of expression and protest on Palestine by the European social movement studies community

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As social movement scholars we express strong concerns about the growing trend to restrict the right of expression, critique, and protest in several countries in Europe. Signed by research centres, journals and standing groups.

21/03/2024

CFP: Feminism as a method - Feminist Epistemologies, Methodologies and Methods in Social Sciences

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International Conference 14-15 November 2024 Anastasia Barone, Giada Bonu Rosenkranz and Donatella della Porta (Scuola Normale Superiore)

16/05/2023

CFP: Analyzing protest in the digital age. Challenges and opportunities in combining text and video sources

Organizers Donatella della Porta, Scuola Normale Superiore Swen Hutter, Freie Universität Berlin & WZB Berlin Social Science Center Place and date WZB Berlin Social Science Center, December 7-8, 2023

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.

Publications

Journal Article - 2023

Resisting right-wing populism in power: a comparative analysis of the Facebook activities of social movements in Italy and the UK

Niccolò Pennucci
This paper aims to present a comparative study of the civil society reaction to right-wing populism in power through social media, by looking at cases in Italy and the United Kingdom.

Journal Article - 2023

Emotions in Action: the Role of Emotions in Refugee Solidarity Activism

Chiara Milan
This article investigates the different types of emotions that result from participation in refugee solidarity activism, investigating how they change over time and to what extent they explain why individuals remain involved in action in spite of unfavorable circumstances.

Journal Article - 2023

‘Love is over, this is going to be Turkey!’: cathartic resonance between the June 2013 protests in Turkey and Brazil

Batuhan Eren
This study addresses the question of why and how a protest can inspire individuals in distant countries. Taking the June 2013 protests in Turkey and Brazil as cases, it investigates the reasons why the Turkish protests were framed as one of the inspirational benchmarks by some Brazilian protesters.

Journal Article - 2023

Mutual aid and solidarity politics in times of emergency: direct social action and temporality in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Lorenzo Zamponi
From the spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing measures introduced created a series of social problems and needs that were partially addressed in Italy as well as in other countries by grassroots mutual aid initiatives. While many of these initiatives were strongly rooted in the Italian social movement and civil society landscape and the choice to engage in mutual aid activities was the result of long years of reflection and planning, the article shows how strongly the temporality of emergency affected the nature of these initiatives, their development and their outcomes, in particular with regard to the extraordinary number of people who volunteered and their relationship with politicisation processes.

Monograph - 2023

Populism and (Pop) Music

Manuela Caiani, Enrico Padoan
The book provides a detailed account of the links between production of popular culture to the rise of populism and contributes to studies on populism and popular culture in Italy, using a comparative approach and a cultural sociology perspective

Monograph - 2022

Labour conflicts in the digital age

Donatella della Porta, Riccardo Emilio Chesta, Lorenzo Cini
From Deliveroo to Amazon, digital platforms have drastically transformed the way we work. But how are these transformations being received and challenged by workers? This book provides a radical interpretation of the changing nature of worker movements in the digital age, developing an invaluable approach that combines social movement studies and industrial relations. Using case studies taken from Europe and North America, it offers a comparative perspective on the mobilizing trajectories of different platform workers and their distinct organizational forms and action repertoires.

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 - 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.

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.

Journal Article - 2021

Populism between voting and non-electoral participation

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. While challenging common understandings of populism as inherently distrustful and apathetic, and protest as an exclusive practice of the left, the study critically places NEP at the heart of populism in general, and populist right politics in particular.