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On 1 November 2015 COSMOS has been transferred from the European University Institute to the Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence 


The Centre on Social Movement Studies (Cosmos) focuses on social movements as part of broader contentious politics. It promotes theoretically-driven empirical analyses on forms, dimensions, causes and impacts of social movements, in established democracies as well as authoritarian regimes. Particular attention is given to social movements as promoters of democratization processes.



Principal Investigator: Donatella della Porta

Research Collaborators: Massimiliano Andretta, Kivanc Atak, Matteo Cernison, Luisa Chiodi, Daniela Chironi, Priska Daphi, Teije Donker, Tiago Fernandes, Joseba Fernandez, Milan Hrubes, Jochen Kleres, Hugo Leal, Juan Masullo, Mariana Mendes, Chiara Milan, Francis O'Connor, Grzegorz Piotrowski, Emin Poljarevic, Martin Portos, Herbert Reiter, Daniel Ritter, Eduardo Romanos, Federico Rossi, Julia Rone, Anna Subirats, Simon Teune, Lili Torek, Markos Vogiatzoglou, Jana Warkotsch

Funded by: European Research Council (ERC) Grant [269136].



The ERC Advanced Grant Project Mobilizing for Democracy addresses social movements participation in democratization processes, from transition to the deepening of democracy.
The research is directed by Donatella della Porta.



As planned the first months of the research project have been devoted to a better refinement of the theoretical model presented in the proposal, to the conceptualization as well as to the selection of the sources and the specification of the instruments for the empirical research. The results of this theoretical work helped me in conceptualizing the phenomena to investigate as eventful democratization as well as democratic deepening and locating them within the social science literature on democratic transitions and democratic quality. The results of this part of the work are reported in a Donatella della Porta, Can Democracy be Saved?, Polity Press, 2013 as well as in some entries I have written for the Blackwell Encyclopedia on Social and Political Movements, David Snow, Bert Klandermans, Donatella della Porta, and Doug McAdam (Blackwell, 2013). Issues of deepening democracy are also addressed in the volume Meeting Democracy, edited by Donatella della Porta and Dieter Rucht (Cambridge University Press 2013) as well as in several articles.



The second part of the project consisted of the analysis of a (relatively) large number of cases of democratization in Eastern Europe, and was oriented to testing under which conditions civil society organizations a) support democracy; b) play an important role in the transition to democracy. As foreseen in the original project, in this “large N” part of my research I have proceeded through the analysis of secondary literature, as well as interviews with experts. Given the relevance of the Arab Spring (which was not included in the project, as it had not yet unfolded at the time of submission) some of the recent cases were added in order to introduce a cross-area comparative view to the research. While different in many respects (geopolitical area, previous regime, social structures etc.), the two waves of protest for democracy in 1989 and 2011 show some similarities in the processes of participation of civil society, going from the mobilization of existing resources to the framing of the emerging actors and the appropriation of political opportunities. The results of this analysis are reported in 14 expert reports as well as in the volume Donatella della Porta, Mobilizing for Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Researchers who contributed to this part

  • Kivanc Atak, who analysed transitions to democracy in Turkey.
  • Luisa Chiodi, who analysed transition to democracy in Albania.
  • Teije Donker, who analysed transition to democracy in Tunisia.
  • Grzegorz Piotrowski, who analyses transition to democracy in Poland.
  • Federico Rossi, who analysed paths of transition in the Baltic area, in Bulgaria and in Rumania.
  • Daniel Ritter, who analysed cases of transition in the Balcans, in the Czech Republic and in the GDR.
  • Jana Warkotsch, who analysed transition to democracy in Egypt.



This part will look at failed mobilization for democracy, bridging literature on social movements, democratization and revolution. 

Researchers who are contributing to this part include:

  • Teije Donker, who is conducting research on Syria
  • Emin Poljarevic, who is conducting research on Libya
  • Daniel Ritter, who is conducting research on Ukraine and Russia



Another aim of the project is to understand the consequences of previous participation of civil society organizations in transition on the successive stages of consolidation. Paired comparisons of cases of ‘democratization from above’ and ‘democratization from below’ are developed, addressing the time evolution as well as the causal mechanisms of civil society participation in democratization processes. Empirical evidences come from quantitative analyses of protest events, collected from the press and other sources, as well as oral history and archival research. Comparison addresses Poland, Hungary and Spain as cases of participated pacts with Czechoslovakia, GDR and Portugal as cases of eventful democratization, Portugal a. In a longer term perspective, the research address processes of democratization in Italy and Germany. Comparison on effects is also addressed in the MENA regions (in particular, Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey).

Researchers working on this part include:

  • Kivanc Atak, on effects of democratic transition on consolidation in Turkey
  • Tiago Fernandes,on the effects of democratic transition on consolidation in Portugal
  • Herbert Reiter, comparing the development of conception of democracy in the labour movement in Italy and Germany
  • Eduardo Romanos, on the effects of democratic transition on consolidation in Spain

Interviews with former activists were conducted by:

  • Teije Donker in Tunisia
  • Milan Hrubes in the Czech Republic
  • Jochen Kleres in the GDR
  • Grzegorz Piotrowski in Poland
  • Lili Torek in Hungary
  • Jana Warkotsch in Egypt

Protest event analysis is conducted by:

  • Kivanc Atak on Turkey and Tunisia
  • Matteo Cernison on Central Eastern Europe
  • Hugo Leal on Egypt



Another part of the research addresses the deepening of democracy. Research is underway on recent campaigns of protest for "real" or "direct" democracy, embedding these protests in the historical development of social, political and cultural systems. A volume titled Bringing Capitalism Back In. Protest and Democracy in Times of Crisis is forthcoming with Polity Press; another on Spreading Protest is forthcoming with ECPR Press. Another volume, on Participatory democracy in Southern Europe has been just published by Rowman and Littlefield.

Researchers working on this part of the project, based on in depth-interviews and press analysis, include:

On protests against austerity

  • Massimiliano Andretta on Italy
  • Tiago Fernandes on Portugal
  • Joseba Fernandez on Spain
  • Francis O’Connor on Ireland
  • Eduardo Romanos on Spain
  • Markos Vogiatzoglou on Greece, Iceland and Cyprus

On conceptions of democracy in specific movements

  • Matteo Cernison on environmental conflicts
  • Lorenzo Cini on student movements

On the “2013 protest”

  • Kivanc Atak, on the Gezi Park protests in Turkey
  • Chiara Milan, on protests in 2013 in Bosnia
  • Mariana Mendes, on protests in 2013 in Brasil
  • Juan Masullo, on protests in Latin America
  • Francis O’ Connor on South Africa
  • Julia Rone, on protests in 2013 in Bulgaria

On social movements in institutional politics

  • Daniela Chironi, on social movements within political parties
  • Francis O’ Connor, on mobilization from below for the consultation on Catalonia independence
  • Martin Portos, on mobilization from below for the consultation on Catalonia independence
  • Anna Subirats, on mobilization from below for the consultation on Catalonia independence



A final part of the project addresses eventful democratization, focusing on how transformative events influence strategic interactions among political actors and shape public debates over contentious issues. The focus is on the Charlie Hebdo shooting that took place in Paris in January 2015, which we consider as a critical juncture that affected the content and nature of public debates on the accommodation of cultural and religious diversity in Western European societies. This part of the research is built upon two main theoretical axes: on the one hand, we refer to literature on the impact of transformative events, investigating how these shape environmental opportunities, allocation of resources, and ultimately the strategic interaction among actors. Critical junctures are turning points that pave the way for changes and may have long-lasting effects on the relations that are established in new assets or regimes. On the other hand, in this research we aim to account for the degree of deliberativeness of various public spheres in the aftermaths of the Charlie Hebdo attacks: our goal is to investigate to which extent, through which mechanisms and under which circumstances, transformative events trigger deliberation or rather polarization in the public spheres.

The research design is based on a small N cross-national comparison (France, Denmark, Germany, Italy and the U.K.), which bridges most similar and most different research design. Within a most similar research design, we focus on the impact of different citizenship regimes and religion-state relations; within a most different research design, we look at how robust causal mechanisms work in -the different cases, focusing on brokerage, agenda setting, embeddedness, transnationalism, adaptation and deliberativeness. Yet, the comparative design is not limited to comparisons across country cases and over time (covering the first anniversary of the shooting in January 2016), but also addresses several public spheres, comparing the unfolding of public debates in mainstream media to subaltern and social movements’ public spheres. In so doing, we aim to analyse the interactions among institutional and civil society actors in different fields and across the multiple issues related with the Charlie Hebdo attacks: migration and integration, secularism and cultural and religious diversity, security and civil rights.

From the methodological point of view, the research is based on a triangulation of quantitative and qualitative analysis. The first part of the research focuses on coverage, and it will use quantitative claims analysis to interpret media discourse in one mainstream quality newspaper in each country case. In addition to this, we will conduct qualitative framing as well as discourse analysis of web platforms, websites, speech acts and selected online material produced by different types of nationally based social movement actors. In this way, we will look at the responses to transformative events in social movements’ spheres focusing on the discursive activity and strategic action of 1) radical left groups, 2) radical right groups, 3) migrant organizations, 4) civil right groups, 5) religious organizations.

Researchers who contributed to this part

  • Pietro Castelli Gattinara: public debates in Italy and claims analysis
  • Konstantinos Eleftheriadis: public debates in France
  • Andrea Felicetti: public debates in the U.K. and deliberative theory
  • Georgia Mavrodi: public debates in Germany
  • Linda Pedersen and Emin Poljarevic: public debates in Denmark




Principal Investigator: Donatella della Porta

Research Collaborators: Massimiliano Andretta, Lorenzo Bosi



This research project is part of a broader cross-national comparative project, coordinated by Bert Klandermans (Free University of Amsterdam) and Stefaan Walgrave (University of Antwerp) and financed by the European Science Foundation.

Protest participation has been surging throughout Europe and the world as a whole. In most countries political protest has become the modal repertoire citizens employ to demand political changes or to express indignation. Increasingly, governments are confronted with citizens in the act of protest. At the same time, societies have changed dramatically during the last few decades. In our globalizing world, transnational and supranational political institutions impact on people's daily lives and have transformed the supply of politics. Simultaneously, networks rather than formal organizations have become the prime mode of organizing in our society, while new technologies such as the Internet, e-mail, and cell phones have dramatically changed our means of communication. Yet, how people mobilize for protest in these 'new' societal arrangements remains poorly understood.

This project attempts to find answers to the questions of who participates in protest, for what reason, and how they are mobilised. As the motivational dynamics of different forms of participation vary, we chose to focus on one particular type of protest, namely, protest demonstrations. The decision to take part in a protest demonstration is not taken in isolation but within a wider social and political context. We will investigate the impact of contextual variation on the dynamics of protest by comparing demonstrations in different countries and mobilizing contexts. Studies of protest behavior typically focus on a single protest event, which takes contextual variation out. Instead, we will develop comparative designs that enable us to study the influence of the national and mobilizing context. To that end we have developed a common theoretical framework, standardized measures, and techniques of sampling and data collection.

The central tenet of this study is that a specific national context generates a specific mobilizing context; that the interaction of nation and mobilizing context produces a specific type of demonstration; that a specific type of demonstration brings a specific group of protestors into the streets. We assume that the composition of the group of protestors, their motives and the way they are mobilized result from the interaction of national context, mobilizing context, and type of demonstration

The EUI team deals in particular with the effects of Europeanization processes on social movements.



This is a major research project aimed at investigating which factors promote or hinder the development of effective anti-corruption policies. The objective of ANTICORRP is to investigate factors that promote or hinder the development of effective anti-corruption policies. The project is to start in March 2012 and last for five years. The project consists of twenty-one research groups in EU countries. ANTICORRP will investigate the causes of corruption, how corruption can be conceptualized and measured as well as the impact of corruption on various aspects of human well-being. A central issue will be how policy responses can be tailored as to deal effectively with various forms of corruption. The knowledge about the negative impact that corruption has on various aspects of human well-being (such as economic prosperity, health, life, satisfaction, gender equality, social trust, poverty and political legitimacy) has been well established. At the same time, knowledge about how corruption can be successfully fought by political means is much less developed. The project will identify general global trends concerning corruption and select ‘over-performing’ and ‘under-performing’ countries (in Europe and in other regions) in terms of their progress towards less corrupt governance regimes and conduct more detailed qualitative analyses of these cases. In addition, a large-scale survey of various aspects of “the quality of ” in all EU member states will be conducted.

At the European University Institute, the research will also focus on the role of social movements and civil society actors against corruption and organized crime. 



Principal Investigator at European University Institute: Donatella della Porta

Research Collaborators at European University Institute: Alice Mattoni, Salvatore Sberna, Alberto Vannucci.

Funded by: European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme.[269136]

Management: the Quality of Government Institute at University of Gothenburg acts as manager and coordinator of the project and Professor Bo Rothstein will have the role as Principal Investigator. Management team also includes Professor Alena Ledeneva, University College London, Professor Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and Professor Donatella della Porta, European University Institute in Florence.



Principal Investigators : Lorenzo Bosi (EUI) and partners from European institutions in a consortium led by Marco Giugni (University of Geneva)

Awarding Body:  European Commission, Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) on Citizens Resilience in Times of Crisis



Title of Research: Living with Hard Times: How European Citizens Deal with Economic Crises and Their Social and Political Consequences (LIVEWHAT)

External Website: 

Duration: 36 months, from 1st December 2013.

The proposed research deals with citizens’ reactions to economic crises and their social and political consequences. It examines in particular the ways in which European citizens have reacted to the crisis that, at different degree of intensity in different countries, struck Europe since 2008, but also how they deal with economic crises and their consequences more generally. We examine both individual and collective responses by citizens, both the “private” and the “public” dimensions of such responses, and both political and non-political responses. In addition, while the focus of the research is on citizens’ responses, we also examine policy responses so as to have a baseline for assessing citizens’ reactions to crises.

The project has three main objectives:

  1. To provide systematic evidence of the ways in which European citizens react to economic crises and their social and political consequences, both individually and collectively;
  2. to advance knowledge on the connections between individual factors, contextual factors, and the ways in which European citizens react to economic crises and their social and political consequences;
  3. to suggest a number of good practices as to how to deal with economic crises, both at the social and political level, through which their negative consequences on European citizens can be avoided or limited.

The project’s objectives are addressed by means of six main types of data and methods:

  1. the creation of a cross-national comparative dataset on economic, social, and political indicators;
  2. an analysis of policy responses to crises;
  3. an analysis of collective responses to crises in the public domain;
  4. an analysis of individual responses to crises by private citizens;
  5. experiments designed to assess causal effects of different dimensions of crises on citizens’ attitudes and behaviors;
  6. an analysis of alternative forms of resilience in times of crisis.



Type: Cosmos talks
Date: 16 September 2015, 4 PM - 9 PM
Location: Conference Hall "L'Altana". Scuola Normale Superiore, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze. 
Speaker: Eirik Eiglad, editor of the New Compass Press
Abstract: Eirik Eiglad, during the COSMOS Talks at SNS, will elaborate on the issue of the Rojava Revolution, sharing his first hand experiences with self-governing people’s councils, representatives of the broad-based Movement for a Democratic Society, local journalists and political parties, members of the self-government in charge of health care, economic development and foreign affairs in the cities and rural areas of Rojava


Type: Cosmos conference
Date: 6 October 2015, 9:30 AM - 7 PM
Location: Scuola Normale Superiore, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze. 
Speakers: Donatella della Porta, Sydney Tarrow, Swen Hutter , Martin Portos, Anna Subirats, Frank O’Connor, Jonas Bergan Draege, Daniela Chironi, Hara Kouki,Joseba Fernandez, Lorenzo Mosca, Ken Roberts
Abstract: The stunning electoral success of movement parties like Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain and the 5 Star Movement in Italy challenged expectations of an increasing separation of movement and party politics in social movement studies as well as those of a decline of the radical left in studies of political parties. While the downward trend in party-movement relations had pushed towards expectation of further separation, a new wave of movement parties emerged. This became visible, first, in Latin America since the 1990s with a parallel move in Europe (in particular, in Southern Europe) more than a decade later. From the theoretical point of view, while it has been often noted that parties are important for movements and vice-versa, the literature on relations between the two is at best sparse. Reciprocal indifferences has been further fueled as research on parties moved away from concerns with the relations between parties and society, focusing on parties within institutions, and social movement studies mainly framed them as a social phenomenon, whose political aspects had to be located outside of the political institutions. A contribution of this conference is in the bridging of concepts and theories developed in two quite successful subfields in the social and political sciences: social movements’ and political parties’ studies. In particular, focusing on relations between parties and movements, we will address the relevant issues of social movement effects as well as literature on party system changes. Bridging both traditions of studies we shall reflect on the transformation of movement/parties relations induced by the neoliberal critical junctures, as well as on the organizational transformation that from social movements spilled over into party politics.


Type: Movimenti del Mondo Series - Film Screenings and Debates
Date: 11 June 2015, 3 - 7:30 PM
Location: Conference Hall "L'Altana". Scuola Normale Superiore, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze. 
Abstract: Movimenti del Mondo is a series of events promoted by the Scuola Normale Superiore and curated by Lorenzo Bossi (SNS) Donatella della Porta (SNS/EUI) and Alice Mattoni (EUI). The second event of the cycle focuses on the mobilizations that are opposing to water privatization in the world, and in particular on the emergence and on the characteristics of the Bolivian and Italian movements that are promoting the idea of water as a common. 
Fifteen years ago, in 1999 and 2000, the citizens of Cochabamba (Bolivia) forced their government to end the contract with the private company Aguas del Tunari, reclaiming with strikes and street protests a public and community-oriented management of water. Four years ago, in 2011, a network of hundreds of Italian organizations convinced 26 million Italians to vote for two referendums, which blocked a large scale attempt to privatize the water services in the country. 
The Instituto di Scienze Umane e Sociali of the Scuola Normale Superiore, at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, gives voice to the protagonists of these struggles, to compare their experiences and describe the shared backgrounds of the water movements in the world. In a debate chaired by Cesar Guzman-Concha (Scuola Normale Superiore), Matteo Cernison (European University Institute), Carlos Crespo (Centro Estudios Superiores Universitarios/Universidad Mayor de San Simón) and Simona Savini (Forum Italiano dei Movimenti per l’Acqua) will share their views on the water mobilizations, on the idea of water as a common, on the different forms of actions adopted in Italy and in bolivia to oppose to water privatization attempts. 
After the discussion, the event will continue with the projection of “Even the rain – También la lluvia”. The movie, centered on the 2000 Cochabamba Water War, won three Goya prizes and was the official candidate for Spain and Latin America to the 2011 Academy Awards. Oscar Olivera, spokeperson of the Coordinadora por la Defensa del Agua y la Vida and one of the protagonists of the Cochabamba struggle, will introduce the movie in a discussion chaired by Leonidas Oikonomakis (European University Institute).


Type: Cosmos Talks - Social Movements and the State
Dates: 12th June. 11 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Seminar room (ground floor), Villa Pagliaiuola , Via delle Palazzine 17-19
Speakers: Oscar Olivera (Fundacion Abril – Coordinadora por la Defensa del Agua y la Vida), Leonidas Oikonomakis (COSMOS - EUI)
Discussant: Daniela Chironi (COSMOS - EUI)
Abstract: When Evo Morales’ MAS made it to the government seat in 2005, the national and international left cheered with joy. It was the first time an indigenous person was elected President in this country whose indigenous population was not allowed even to walk outside the Palacio Quemado some decades ago. But that was not the only reason. The formation of the first government cabinet of 2006, with its strong participation of syndicate and indigenous leaders, was making evident that the MAS was bringing to the political frontline the movements that helped it grasp state power.
To such an extent that Vice President Garcia Linera famously argued that “the MAS represents a new form of government, one which is run by and for Bolivia’s social movements “which “are now in control of the state apparatus”. But what has happened to this “government of movements” almost a decade later? How has their relationship developed? Are we still talking about a “new form of government”, or about a government like all the others?
The speakers will focus on how the MAS was conceived as a political tool of the Six Federations of Coca Producers of the Chapare in the 90s, what social and political alliances helped it make it to the government seat in 2005, and how these alliances have developed during the course of time.


Type: Cosmos Talks
Dates: 10th June. 1-2:30 PM
Location: Seminar room (ground floor), Villa Pagliaiuola , Via delle Palazzine 17-19
Speakers: Dr. Priska Daphi Goethe (Universität Frankfurt)
Discussant: Dr. Donagh Davis (COSMOS - EUI)
Abstract: Social movement scholars have become increasingly interested in the effects of protest events on the internal communication and organization of movements. This paper seeks to contribute to this emergent literature on transformative events with a focus on organizational effects. Drawing on recent developments in research on meetings and organizational fields it proposes to explore protest events as organizational infrastructures. The approach adds to existing literature by considering protest events as constitutive of movement’s organizational structures and by broadening the definition of organizational effects to include more general expectations about cooperation and competition within a movement.
In order to illustrate the ways in which protest events may constitute organizational infrastructures, a second part of the paper analyses the organizational effects of the counter-summit in Genoa in 2001. Focusing in particular on the role of the events’ spatial setting, the analysis shows how the protest shaped activists’ subsequent interactions by providing interpretational devices for delineating the GJMs internal and external boundaries: activists define commonality and differences of the movement in relation to places and place-bound activities of the event. 


Type: Workshop
Dates: 20th May 2015, 5-7 PM
Location: Aula "Simone del Pollaio", Scuola Normale Superiore, Palazzo Strozzi
Speakers: Elisabeth Wood (Yale University) 
Abstract: Volumes on qualitative methods provide great advice on how to plan and conduct field research, including techniques of data collection such as interviews, focus groups, and participant observation. Useful software is available to help us transcribing, organizing, and codifying these data. All in all, researchers willing to use or using qualitative data from field research in their work are well equipped. However, something seems to be missing: how do we use these data in our writing? A quick glance through published work using this type of data reveals that there are several ways in which it can be incorporated in our writing, either as background information or evidence backing arguments. Which are the best ways to use these data? How do we best move from having the data ready for writing up to actually doing it? Does the best way of doing it vary according to the research objectives? With a special focus on interview data, contextualized along with participant observation, these and other related questions will be cover in this two-hour workshop conducted by Elisabeth Wood and organized by COSMOS for both EUI and SNS students and faculty.


Type: Marxism(s) in Social Movements Working Group
Dates: 22nd May 2015, 3-5 PM
Location: Altana Room, Scuola Normale Superiore, Palazzo Strozzi
Speakers: Prof. Colin Crouch (Emeritus Univ. of Warwick) and Prof Wolfgang Streeck (MPIfG)
Moderator: Prof. Donatella della Porta (SNS)
Abstract: Neoliberalism is a challenge to the democratic capitalism? If so, which are the potential alternatives that can help us to overcome a crisis that is both related with both market and politics ? Starting from their recent and important academic contributions, three scholars (two as speakers and one as moderator) will discuss the role of neoliberalism in the current crisis.
This debate concludes the series of meetings that the Marxism(s) in Social Movementsorganized during the current academic year.


Type: Cosmos Talks
Dates: 13th May 2015, 1:30 - 3 PM
Location: Seminar Room (first floor), Villa Pagliaiuola , Via delle Palazzine 17-19
Speaker: Prof. Jeff Goodwin (New York University)
Discussant: Cesar Guzman (SNS)
Abstract: In recent years the field of social movement studies, especially in the U.S., has almost totally ignored political contention involving the American working class. In addition, the field has almost completely ignored contention involving African Americans and Latinos in the post-civil rights era. Many scholars remain concerned with working-class, Black, and Latino politics, but they generally affiliate themselves with labor studies and race and ethnic studies, not with social movement studies. This is clearly detrimental to the theoretical development of social movement studies and also prevents the field from addressing some of the most important developments in the United States over the past 40 years.


Type: Cosmos Talks  
Date: 15th May 2015, 11 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Seminar Room (first floor), Villa Pagliaiuola , Via delle Palazzine 17-19
Speaker: Paul Routledge (University of Leeds)
Discussant: Lorenzo Bosi (SNS)
Abstract: This paper considers the politics of land occupation in Bangladesh. Contentious politics have been conceptualised as 'societies in movement' by Raul Zibechi, defined through their attempts to disperse power through the reconfiguration of social relations between peasants, the state and capital. Drawing upon the author’s ethnographic engagement with peasant farmer movements in Bangladesh since 2002, the paper analyses the differential powers generated in, by and through the production of relations and connections involved in land occupations. This requires a consideration of both relational and structural understandings of contentious politics. Organizational structures and dynamics, as well as the ‘resourcefulness’ of social movements (e.g. their capacities to deploy material resources, skills and knowledges) enable land occupation since these are crucial in creating and maintaining the socio-material relations necessary for political activity to be prosecuted. Drawing together these insights, the paper conceptualises land occupation as a process of ‘territorializing movement’ articulated through three interwoven spatial practices: strategic occupation, reconfiguration of social relations and territorialization of translocal solidarities.


Type: Cosmos Talks  
Date: 21st May 2015, 11 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Seminar Room (first floor), Villa Pagliaiuola , Via delle Palazzine 17-19
Speaker: Elisabeth Jean Wood (University of Yale)
Discussants: Juan Masullo Jimenez (EUI) and Alexandra Ana (SNS)
Abstract: Much of the literature assumes that when rape occurs frequently on the part of an armed organization, it is a strategy. If by “strategic rape,” we mean a pattern of rape purposefully adopted in order to realize group objectives, the definition begs consideration of rape that occurs but is not purposefully adopted by the organization. In contrast to the prevailing literature, I argue that many armed groups that engage in frequent rape do so as a practice: it is not ordered (even implicitly) but is tolerated by commanders. Indeed, commanders may even perceive it as costly for the realization of the organization’s goals, but do not prevent it, possibly because they judge its effective prohibition more costly still. The category includes not only opportunistic rape (for private motives, a category present in the literature) but also rape that arises from the social interactions of units on the ground. I develop a general typology of political violence that illuminates differences between violence that occurs as a practice or as a strategy. I analyze the conditions under which rape is likely to be prevalent as a practice and different forms of rape as a practice. I conclude with an assessment of the argument’s implications for researchers and policy-makers, emphasizing that commanders are legally responsible for rape as a practice when the usual conditions under international law are met.


Type: Cosmos Talks  
Date: 27th May 2015, 1:30 - 3 PM
Location: Seminar Room (first floor), Villa Pagliaiuola , Via delle Palazzine 17-19
Speaker: Markus Holdo (Uppsala Universitet)
Discussant: Priska Daphi (Goethe Universitat)
Abstract: In Habermas’ theory of the public sphere, social movements are the central actors: activists both perform the roles of critical-rational speakers that challenge the state, and the roles of defenders of this sphere of independence from the state. Yet, the scholarship on social movements and theorizing on deliberative democracy have remained separate, even as deliberation studies have become more empirically oriented. Young’s fictive dialogue between “the deliberative democrat” and “the activist” (2001) indicates that the two are divided on whether to embrace “contentious politics” or “consensus politics”. This paper instead will argue that deliberative democrats have been too ready to exclude contributions as “not deliberative enough”. In particular deliberative democrats should welcome both social movements and social movement theory as contributions to our understanding of contemporary challenges of public deliberation. At the same time, social movement researchers, in particular those seeking a deeper understanding of impacts that are discursive or cultural, would gain from considering some breakthroughs in deliberation studies in explaining deliberative uptake. These quite abstract points are illustrated with the case of the global movement to reduce CO2 emissions. By bringing these literatures together we can get a better understanding of the impacts of this movement on climate change discourse and a better grasp at how social movements can contribute to make the planet hospitable in the future.


Type: Marxism(s) in Social Movements Working Group
Date: 29th April 2015, 5-7 PM
Location: Seminar Room 4, Badia Fiesolana
Abstract: How and to what extent collective movements manage to successfully transform their own potential into political power to bring about significant institutional change has always been one of the key issues both for political activists and scholars of social movements. In sociological terms, this can be interpreted as the long-standing question of the relationships between parties and movements. This question seems even more relevant today, as in several countries new types of leftist parties, direct emanation of specific social movements, are (or are likely to be soon) in government. What kind of movement-parties or party-movements are we talking about? What kind of relations between parties and movements are taking place in these countries? Are these political experiences an instance of a successful process of institutionalization of social struggles? Comparing some current Latin American and European experiences of such sort, the political militant and Marxist intellectual, Professor Sandro Mezzadra is going to offer his own interpretation of the issue on the basis of his workerist perspective.


Type: Traveling Seminars on Ricerca Precaria
Date: 25 May 2015, 10:00AM - 05:30PM
Location: Sala del Capitolo, Badia Fiesolana
Abstract: In the past years, many scholars across Italy and Europe began to work on labour insecurity in academia, with different approaches and various viewpoints, like mobility, gender, career, and political mobilization, to name a few. The Travelling Seminars on Precarious Research aims at comparing the results of such body of work, through a series of seminars that will take place all over Italy with the aim of creating a space of critical discussion and analytical reflection on the many aspects that characterize precarity in academia.In such a framework, the seminar organized at the European University Institute will deal with the following aspects linked to flexibility and precarity in the European academia. After an introductory session that offers an historical perspective on flexibility and precarity in the academic environment, the morning session will deal with gender and precarity in different European contexts, with the presentation of empirical findings from three comparative research projects. The afternoon roundtable will consider the regulation of flexibility and the opposition to precarity in different European countries, with the aim of contrasting the experiences of precarious academics across Europe.


Type: Movimenti del Mondo Series - Film Screenings and Debates
Date: 21 May 2015, 3:30 - 7 PM
Location: Scuola Normale Superiore, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze
Abstract: Movimenti del Mondo is a cycle of events promoted by the Scuola Normale Superiore and organized by Lorenzo Bosi (SNS), Donatella della Porta (SNS/EUI) and Alice Mattoni (EUI). 
The first meeting focuses on the 2013 protests in Turkey. These protests, arisen following the decision of building a new mall in the Gezi Park in Istanbul, lately shifted to more generic political issues. In this way the event had a great resonance at the national level, permitting to the protest to spread to the rest of the country.


Type: Seminar Series on Media Technologies and Social Movements: Present Challenges and Future Developments
Date: 14th-15th May 2015
Location: Goldsmiths University of London, Professor Stuart Hall Building, LG02 and 314
Keynote Speaker: Jennifer Earl (University of Arizona)
Chairs: Veronica Barassi (Goldsmiths University of London) and Alice Mattoni (European University Insitute)
Abstract: This first workshop will look at contemporary ‘protest cultures’ and explore the changing relationship between political participation and media technologies in the age of social media by considering three different dimensions a) organisation b) political imaginations c) lived experience. Scholars and activists will be invited to discuss this relationship by considering culturally and context specific examples. The aim of this workshop is to overcome much of the ethnocentric bias, which can be found in current research, to enable processes of meaningful comparison and to develop a critical and culturally sensitive approach to the analysis of Web 2.0 and social movements.


Type: Political Violence and Civil War Dynamics Working Group; International Relations Working Group, HEC Department
Date: 16th April 2015, 11:30 AM - 1 PM
Location: Sala Belvedere, Villa Schifanoia
Speaker: Jaremy McMullin (University of St. Andrews)
Discussants: Jennifer Welsh (EUI, SPS)
Abstract: How is successful ex-combatant reintegration conceptualized and measured? Are there reintegration ‘success stories’ and, if so, what are the features that make particular program components or DDR interventions successful? In approaching these questions, it becomes apparent that there are important conceptual, theoretical, and practical differences between ‘public transcripts’ of success on one hand, and ‘hidden transcripts’ of success on the other. This paper will identify the ways in which reintegration thought and practice have tended to frame success, and will problematize such framing in the context of definitional and programmatic approaches to reintegration. It problematizes competing conceptualizations of success for three reasons. First, prevailing public transcripts of success tend to be both incomplete and contradictory. Second, they mask ways in which preference for some reintegration outcomes precludes the pursuit of others. Third, they have implications for violence reduction strategies, since dominant reintegration practices simultaneously reduce/manage and exacerbate/deepen violence during post-war transition. The paper concludes by articulating alternative conceptualizations of success, asking whether there are various possible, but as yet unconsidered or excluded, ways that success could be imagined and reformulated.


Type: Marxism(s) in Social Movements Working Group
Date: 8th April 2015, 5-7 PM
Location: Emeroteca, Badia Fiesolana
Speaker: Sergio Bologna (Independent)
Discussants: Priska Daphi (Goethe Universität Frankfurt), Jamie Woodcock (Goldsmiths University- London)
Abstract: Prof. Sergio Bologna will give a lecture on the roots, evolution, and nature of what he calls the "freelancers' movement". He define this concept through five steps. First, he observes the movement as a long process of self-consciousness, replacing an initial egotistical mentality with a different more solidarity oriented mind-set. Second, he focuses on the evolution of different categories of independent workers, including lawyers, engineers, white collars. Third, he explores ten main points of difference in the work experiences of a wage earner and a freelancer. Fourth, he investigates how  independent work changed over the last forty years, with a particular focus on outsourcing, flexibility, digital technologies, and emergence of new jobs. Fifth, he compare the processes of unionization of freelance workers in the US (unionized) and in Europe (less unionized).


Type: Conference - ERC Mobilizing for Democracy event
Date: 26th May 2015, 9:30  AM - 6 PM
Location: Villa Pagliaiuola, Via delle Palazzine 17-19, San Domenico di Fiesole (FI).
Keynote Speakers: Donatella della Porta (EUI and SNS); Jan Kubik (School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London )
Abstract: 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.
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.


Type: Summer School
Dates: 14th -25th September 2015
Location: Scuola Normale Superiore, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze.
Director: Donatella della Porta (EUI and SNS)
Co-Director: Alice Mattoni (EUI)
Abstract: The Summer School will last 10 teaching days for a total of 60 hours of didactic activities, from the 14th to the 25th of September 2015. The Summer School will cover the following topics through 2 and 4 hours teaching slots: archival research; comparative historical studies and methods; participant observation; doing fieldwork during violent conflicts; interviewing activists; discourse analysis in social movement research; frame analysis in social movement research; social network analysis, how and when in social movement research; protest event analysis; surveys in political participation and mobilization; online tools and digital methods for the study of mobilizations; visuals in the study of social movements.


Type: COSMOS Talk
Date: 11th March 2015, 1:30 PM
Location: Villa Pagliaiuola, Via delle Palazzine 17-19
Speaker: Cesar Guzman-Concha (SNS)
Discussant: Leonidas Oikonomakis (EUI)
Abstract: there has been little comparative research on the differences across radical social movements in the context of consolidated democracies. In a recent paper Cesar Guzman-Concha analyses the squatting movement, as an exemplary case of contemporary radical movement. This study aims to identify the causal contexts that explain the differences of strengths within these movements across 52 large cities in Western Europe. It examines three main hypotheses drawn from the literature on social movements concerning the characteristics of political systems, the availability of resources and the presence of economic grievances. We use fuzzy sets qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to identify configurations of causal conditions. The findings show that diverse contexts (multi-causation) lead to strong movements. A first causal context combines grievances, resources and closed or unresponsive institutions, and is typically found in Southern European cities. A second context highlights the presence of robust far-right parties in combination with less severe grievances and relative scarcity of resources, and is typically found in Northern European cities. These findings demonstrate that resources and grievances are quasi-necessary conditions for strong radical movements, although polarization can lead to a similar outcome where these characteristics are not present?


Type: COSMOS Talk
Date: 4th March 2015, 1:30 PM
Location: Villa Pagliaiuola, Via delle Palazzine 17-19
Speaker: Lorenzo Bosi (EUI)
Discussant: Jonas Bergan Draege (EUI)
Abstract: in his work Lorenzo Bosi presents how the wave of contention commencing in late 1960s with the mobilization of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Movement (henceforth CRM) gradually institutionalized. Different strands of the movement institutionalized at different stages during the same existance of the movement itself and afterwards, while other never took such path. However, this work is not limited to empirically describing different stages in a process of institutionalization. It also builds on the tenets of a strategic-relational approach and of a process tracing research strategy so as to provide a nuanced understanding of how and when the phenomenon of institutionalization of political mobilization unfolds via particular sequences of mechanisms. This work advances an approach to institutionalization based on a theoretical synthesis capable of capturing and explaining the dynamic, relational interplay between social movements and the state.


Type: COSMOS Talk
Date: 21st January 2015, 1:30 - 3:30 PM
Location: Villa Pagliaiuola, Via delle Palazzine 17-19
Speakers: Alice Mattoni (EUI)
Discussant: Lorenzo Zamponi (EUI)
Abstract: Alice Mattoni will present some key concepts that she developed in her research on media and social movements, and in particular in a recent paper published on Communication Theory with Emiliano Trerè.
This article explores the use of three concepts of media studies – media practices, mediation, and mediatization – in order to build a conceptual framework to study social movements and the media. In this presentation Mattoni first provides a critical review of the literature about media and movements. Secondly, it offers an understanding of social movements as processes in which activists perform actions according to different temporalities and connect this understanding with the use of the three media related concepts mentioned above.
Then, the resulting conceptual framework is applied to the Italian student movements.


Type: COSMOS Talk
Date: 17th December 2014, 10:30 AM - 12 PM
Location: Villa Pagliaiuola, Via delle Palazzine 17-19
Speakers: Donatella della Porta (EUI/SNS) and Tiago Fernandes (EUI)
Discussant: Eduardo Romanos
Abstract: One of the aims of the project "Mobilizing for Democracy" is to understand the consequences of previous participation of civil society organizations in transition on the successive stages of consolidation. Paired comparisons of cases of ‘democratization from above’ and ‘democratization from below’ are developed, addressing the time evolution as well as the causal mechanisms of civil society participation in democratization processes. Empirical evidences come from quantitative analyses of protest events, collected from the press and other sources, as well as oral history and archival research. Comparison addresses Poland, Hungary and Spain as cases of participated pacts with Czechoslovakia, GDR and Portugal as cases of eventful democratization, Portugal.


Type: Gender, Race and Sexuality (GRaSe) event
Date:10th December 2014, 1:30-3 PM
Location: Seminar Room 2
Speaker: Margot Béal (HEC, EUI)
Discussant: Waltraud Schütz (HEC, EUI)
Abstract: By comparing two cases of domestic thefts, prosecuted in the region of Saint-Etienne (France) in 1869, this presentation will deal with the formation of racialized and gendered identities in the paid domestic workforce. In the context of an expanding colonial enterprise, how were non-White workers treated? How did a white, working-class identity emerge? Was it unified? How gender assignation influenced these racial constructions? These questions will be addressed at several levels (institutions, domestic employers and workers, as well as working-class peers’ perceptions).


Type: Marxism(s) in Social Movements Working Group
Date: 9th December 2014, 5-7 PM
Location: Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana
Speaker: Richard Bellamy (EUI, Director of Max Weber Programme)
Discussants: Thuc Linh Nguyen Vu (EUI), Lorenzo Zamponi (EUI)
Abstract: The writings of Professor Bellamy on Gramsci date back to the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, and reflect a very different world – one where the cold war was on-going, the Soviet bloc still existed (or had only just passed away), and the Italian Communist Party was (or had only recently been) the largest political party in Italy. Against this background two groups of Marxist thinkers in the UK sought to theorise the economic crisis and the crisis of the left of the mid-1980s and early 1990s, an era dominated by Mrs Thatcher and the decline of both the Labour Party and the traditional working class, based in heavy and manufacturing industry, which were in the process of being privatised and closed down.
On the one hand, Stuart Hall and Eric Hobsbawm saw Gramsci as articulating a third way between social democracy and Leninism for a more truly socialist Labour Party in the UK that would be capable of taking on Mrs Thatcher’s post-Fordist ‘authoritarian-populism'. On the other hand, thinkers such as Ernest Laclau and Chantal Mouffe saw Gramsci as a post-Marxist thinker, capable of providing a libertarian strategy for the new social movements that were emerging, reflecting a different form of activism. Richard Bellamy disagreed with both these analyses at the time and in two articles, originally published in the late 80s and early 90s , he criticized the previously presented views, through a close reading of Gramsci and a comparison with Croce.


Type: Political Violence and Civil War Dynamics Working Group
Date:8th December 2014, 10 AM-12 PM
Location: Seminar Room 3, Badia Fiesolana
Speaker: Dr. Valeria Pizzini Gambetta (Max Weber Programme, EUI; Oxford)
Abstract: Anonymity is a form of political violence that has received little attention and no systematic analysis among scholars of political violence until now. This paper focuses on clandestine political violence identified by the paradigm of “propaganda by the deeds” according to which by signalling their identity, perpetrators advocate a cause and signal commitment to a number of audiences. Yet Between 1970 and 2006 only 27.694 out of 73.961 terrorist attacks worldwide were attributed to a perpetrator, leaving 62.5 per cent unclaimed. This paper presents a quantitative profiling of anonymous political violence between 1970 and 2010 based on the data recorded in the Global Terrorism Database between 1970 and 2012, the largest source on terrorist events to date. Most attributes of anonymity resulting from the analysis are not consistent with the hypothesis that it is the mark of a new phase of terrorism where the incentives of the perpetrators are substantially different from the past. Rather it seems that political violence has moved to a different habitat and adapts its means of communication through violence accordingly.


Type: Cosmos Talks
Date: 19th November 2014, 10 AM - 7:30 PM
Location: Seminar Room (first floor) Villa Pagliaiuola. Via delle Palazzine17-19, San Domenico, Firenze
Organizers: Lorenzo Bosi (EUI) and Stefan Malthaner (EUI)
Speakers and presentations:Jocelyn Viterna (Harvard University) | Uncontestable: How 'Motherhood' shapes Micro-level Mobilization Options in Politically Violent Organizations
Joost Jongerden (Wageningen University) | The PKK as an institutional complex: fluid fields, interconnections, multiple trajectories
Donatella della Porta (EUI / SNS Florence) | Militant enclosure: keeping commitment in clandestine political organizations
Stefan Malthaner (EUI) | Microdynamics of clandestine-network formation
Lorenzo Bosi (EUI) and Niall O'Dochartaigh (Galway University) | Micro-mobilization into the Provisional IRA, an armed struggle for recognition?
Abstract: How and why individuals come to join armed groups and perpetrate violent attacks has been a constant concern of research on political violence. Initial approaches that focused on individual predispositions and “profiles”, as well as simplistic notions of radicalization as a linear process determined by “exposure” to ideas or radicalizing agents have gradually been replaced by more nuanced pathway-models. Micro-mobilization into armed groups is increasingly understood as being shaped by multiple causes and as a process that is characterized by multi-finality as well as equi-finality. Different pathways can lead to participation in armed groups; they may involve quite different motives, contexts, and mechanisms, while similar pathways and contextual factors can result in very different outcomes. Also, attention has been drawn to the fact that commitment to a cause and political perspective does not necessarily precede involvement in armed groups, but is often acquired as a result of political experiences and processes of socialization in group-settings. Research inspired by theoretical approaches and paradigms from social movement studies has been among the driving forces behind this shift in perspective, contributing an understanding of individual trajectories as embedded in social contexts and shaped by relational dynamics.


Type: Marxism(s) in Social Movements Working Group
Date: 12th October 2014, 5-7 PM 
Location: Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana 
Speaker: Prof. Colin Barker (Metropolitan University of Manchester) 
Discussants: Parthena Xanthopolou-Dimitriadou (EUI), Tommaso Giordani (EUI)
Abstract: The way we think about movements is commonly a response to movement developments themselves. Arguments in both social movement theory and Marxism have reflected changes in their objects. The two literatures have developed with relatively little communication between them. What might they possibly learn from each other? Marxists have used the terms "movement" and "social movement" without much theoretical reflection. How might Marxism’s master term, class struggle, be related to the language of movements? In that sense, how might Marxism be enriched or clarified by engaging with the past half century of social movement theorizing? In particular, what place might "social movement" find in a Marxist lexicon? What, in turn, might social movement theorizing hope to gain by a more serious engagement with Marxism, beyond recognition of some value in its critique of political economy? Four themes will be briefly explored: social revolution, transformations in struggle, totality, and the working class.


Type: Gender, Race and Sexuality (GRaSe) event
Date: 31th October 2014, 10:30 AM 
Location: Emeroteca, Badia Fiesolana 
Speaker: Lina Gálvez Muñoz 
Abstract: Taking advantage of the presence of the feminist economist Lina Gálvez Muñoz at the EUI, GRaSe wishes to invite you to engage in a collective discussion with her where we will widely consider three crucial themes for feminist economists: the relationship between patriarchy and capitalism, which includes issues like the instrumentalisation of the feminist agenda for the furthering of neoliberal goals, the effects of austerity politics on gender relations, and the incomprehension though necessary relation between feminist and antineoliberal advocacy strategies. The relationship between capitalism and body politics, which will focus on the social effects of the distinction between reproduction and production. And lastly the relationship between feminist economy and other emancipatory struggles such as environmentalism, antispecism etc.
Lina Gálvez Muñoz, who did her PhD at the EUI, is Professor of History and Economic Institutions and Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies in the Pablo de Olavide University of Seville. Her research has focused on providing a gender analysis to the organization of work in enterprises and markets, the use of time and unpaid work, themes on which she has published extensively. In 2013 she was commissioned by the United Nations (UNICRI) to conduct a study on the impact of austerity measures on women and gender violence in Southern Europe.


Type: Cosmos Talks. Book Presentation 
Date: 29th October 2014, 1:30 PM 
Location: Seminar Room (first floor) Villa Pagliaiuola. 
Speaker: Dr. Swen Hutter (EUI) 
Discussant: Dr. Massimiliano Andretta (Università degli Studi di Pisa)
Abstract: Dr. Swen Hutter will present his recently published book "Protesting Culture and Economics in Western Europe: New Cleavages in Left and Right Politics". Swen Hutter demonstrates the usefulness of studying both electoral politics and protest politics to better understand the impacts of globalization. Hutter integrates research on cleavage politics and populist parties in Western Europe with research on social movements. He shows how major new cleavages restructured protest politics over a thirty-year period, from the 1970s through the 1990s. This major study brings back the concept of cleavages to social movement studies and connects the field with contemporary research on populism, electoral behavior, and party politics. Hutter’s work extends the landmark 1995 New Social Movements in Western Europe, the book that spurred the recognition that a broad empirical frame is valuable for understanding powerful social movements. This new book shows that it is also beneficial to include the study of political parties and protest politics. While making extensive use of public opinion, protest event, and election campaigning data, Hutter skillfully employs contemporary data from six West European societies—Austria, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland—to account for responses to protest events and political issues across countries. Protesting Culture and Economics in Western Europe makes productive empirical, methodological, and theoretical contributions to the study of social movements and comparative politics.


Type: Conference organized by GRaSe (Gender, Race and Sexuality Working Group) and COSMOS
Date: 22nd October 2014, 9:00
Location: Sala Capitolo, Badia Fiesolana
Keynote Speakers: Professor Donatella della Porta; Professor Ruth Rubio
Abstract: Since the 1970’s, feminist research has struggled to make its way into mainstream academia by showing the relevance of gender as a crucial category of analysis. Today, concerns about how gender shapes politics and society – understood in a very broad sense – are now addressed in a variety of disciplines, becoming mainstream. And yet, many feel that, due to the crisis and consequent shrinking of academic opportunities, gendered approaches risk to be dismissed once again.With this in mind, GRaSe and COSMOS have invited scholars who are (or have been) based at the EUI to exchange their views on the relevance of gender for their own research. The aim is indeed to consolidate the importance of gender in academia and build a broad platform for future discussions which includes EUI professors, fellows and researchers as well as the network of alumni and alumnae.The program consists of one morning and one afternoon session. The conference will open with a keynote lecture from Professor Donatella Della Porta. A second keynote lecture from Professor Ruth Rubio will take place at the afternoon session. These lectures will be followed by thematic panels with short presentations by (current and past) EUI scholars and discussion. People from outside the EUI are warmly invited to join all sessions and take part in the discussion.


Type: Cosmos Talks 
Date: 20th October 2014, 1:30 PM 
Location: Seminar Room (first floor), Villa Pagliaiuola, Via delle Palazzine17-19, San Domenico, Firenze.
Speaker: Prof. Sydney Tarrow, Cornell University
Discussant: Prof. Hanspeter Kriesi (EUI)
Abstract: Sydney Tarrow presents his contribution to the Oxford Handbook of Social Movements, edited by Donatella della Porta and Mario Diani.
Over the past decade and more, students of social movements have begun to employ the concept of “contentious politics”. Coined by the late Charles Tilly in a series of works he began in the 1970s, the concept encompasses social movements but extends to a wider range of conflictual phenomena, including strike waves, civil wars, revolutions, and insurgencies. It shifts the focus from the subjects and objects of contention to the mechanisms that connect them to each other and to broader institutions and actors. Much questioned when it emerged, the contentious politics approach has ripened to influence work on intra-movement relations, on links between movements and parties, the radicalization of movements, civil war mechanisms, and escalation into revolutionary situations. This chapter introduces the approach, sketches some of its problems, touches on five areas of research it has influenced, and proposes four areas to which it can propose solutions.


Type: Gender, Race and Sexuality Working Group 
Date: 15th October 2014, 13.30-15.00 
Location: Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana
Guest Speaker: Sonal Sharma (Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi)
Discussants: Kathryn Lum (MPC, EUI) and Margot Beal (HEC, EUI)
Abstract: In India, rapid economic growth and urbanization in the last few decades have led to a striking increase in the number of full-time and part-time domestic workers, a majority of whom are women. To understand the phenomenon of domestic work and dynamics associated with it, it is crucial to recognize that it has an inherently gendered dimension. Based on an on-going ethnographic study, this paper draws upon the narratives of women domestic workers in the city of Delhi, about their notions of mobility and their perceptions of everyday spaces. It argues that looking at urban spaces through the lens of paid domestic workers enables us to see Delhi in its subalternity, alongside the characteristics of urban development that attempt making it a “world-city”. The paper locates the experiences of women domestic workers in relation to larger processes of urbanization, su ch as displacement and resettlement, creation of gated communities as elite neighbourhoods and informality of service provision, and tries to offer insights on how the urban / in its evolution and reproduction / is negotiated by these workers on a daily basis. It attempts to spatialize domestic workers’ experiences, both in an external and internal sense: it discusses how they negotiate city spaces in general, as well as spaces of their own and their employers’ homes.
Sonal Sharma is currently a Research Associate with Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. Trained in economics and development studies, he is interested in informality, gender, work and human geography in cities, on which he has published a number of opinion pieces and presented at international conferences. Before joining CPR, he was involved in researching migration and industrial work in Delhi. He has a Master’s degree in Development Studies from Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University, New Delhi.


Type: Marxism(s) in Social Movements Working Group
Date: 8th October 2014, 4 PM 
Location: Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana
Speaker: Prof. Donatella della Porta (Director of Cosmos, Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies and Scuola Normale Superiore)
Discussants: Federico Tommasello and Alice Mattoni
Abstract: Recent years have seen an enormous increase in protests across the world in which citizens have challenged what they see as a deterioration of democratic institutions and the very civil, political and social rights that form the basis of democratic life. Beginning with Iceland in 2008, and then forcefully in Egypt, Tunisia, Spain, Greece and Portugal, or more recently in Peru, Brazil, Russia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Ukraine, people have taken to the streets against what they perceive as a rampant and dangerous corruption of democracy, with a distinct focus on inequality and suffering.
Donatella della Porta addresses the anti-austerity social movements of which these protests form part, mobilizing in the context of a crisis of neoliberalism. She shows that, in order to understand their main facets in terms of social basis, strategy, and identity and organizational structures, we should look at the specific characteristics of the socioeconomic, cultural and political context in which they developed.


Type: Cosmos Talks  
Date: 17th September 2014, 4 PM 
Location: Seminar Room (first floor), Villa Pagliaiuola , Via delle Palazzine 17-19
Speaker: Prof. Ondrej Cisar | Charles University, Prague
Discussants: Dr. Swen Hutter (EUI) and Chiara Milan (EUI)
Abstract: Debating the effects of democratization and Europeanization, the general goal of this presentation is to analyse contentious politics in four very similar national environments, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland, namely the so-called Visegrad Group (V4). On many accounts, these countries represent a uniform pattern of post-communist transformation, both in political and economic terms. They are typically taken as four cases of a single model of transition political economy, currently conceptualized as the embedded neoliberal regime. Accordingly, their patterns of collective action are usually captured and explained by a single narrative that starts with the quiescent 1990s, followed by the end of patience brought about by the current great recession. In contrast to this perspective, the presentation focuses on differences among the selected countries. Probably surprisingly, given their usual uniform treatment in terms of protest, they do not form a homogeneous group; in fact, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are very different from Hungary and Poland. The presentation concentrates on issue variation, proposes an explanation of the observed differences across the V4 countries, and relates its conclusions to current discussions such as the Europeanization debate.


Type: Cosmos Talks  
Dates: 24th September 2014, 1:30 PM
Location: Seminar Room (first floor), Villa Pagliaiuola , Via delle Palazzine 17-19
Speaker: Prof. Jeffrey Broadbent | University of Minnesota
Discussant: Markos Vogiatzoglou (EUI)
Abstract: Capitalist democratic societies display considerable variation in the composition of power formations that determine policy outcomes. Debate continues about the nature and origin of these differences. New analytical tools, specifically the measurement of multiple networks among the organizations in a policy domain, offer more precise ways to analyze and compare the inner dynamics of such formations. This paper compares the interaction of three networks (public political support, vital information flow, and expected long-term reciprocity) in the labor policy domains of three polities (US, Germany and Japan). The analysis reveals distinct interaction patterns among the networks in each case, producing power via different relational media with distinct outcomes. In Japan, reciprocity networks glued together the core of the polity and conveyed information, with public political support sidelined. The US displayed a scattered distribution of information and stronger influence of public political support, but no reciprocity except among unions. Germany lacked reciprocity and diminished policy support, while allowing wide information flow. These indicate different theoretical models. From an institutional perspective, established corporatist institutions govern business/labor direct negotiations by formal law in Germany, minimizing public political contention. In the US, actors use widespread information to form shifting issue coalitions that pressure the political institutions. Central ministries avoid politics and formal regulations in Japan, forming policy by flexibly guiding negotiations between big business and big labor to minimize conflict, but working to reduce union power and neglecting unorganized sectors. Regarding action orientations, German actors would seem more embedded in bureaucratized roles and logics; US actors in constant individual rational choice bargaining; and Japanese actors in vertical chains of long-term exchange partners leading to a central mandated state agency. The three explanatory models require quite different core theoretical elements and hybrid integrations, critiquing theoretical reductionism.


Type: Section at the ECPR General Conference of Glasgow 2014 
Dates: 3-6 September 2014 
Organized by the Standing Group on Political Violence (Covenors Dr. Lorenzo Bosi and Dr. Niall Ó Dochartaigh) of the European Consortium for Political Research. The Standing Group invites proposals for papers.
Section Chairs: Lorenzo Bosi | EUI and Stefan Malthaner| EUI
Abstract: Have forms of political violence changed in contemporary socio-political conflicts? How are different forms of political violence legitimized? Do forms of political violence change and/or coexist during the same episode? Do we need different analytical approaches to study different forms of political violence? Are periods of economic crises conducive to particular forms of political violence? Why are some groups more likely to adopt particular forms of political violence? Do forms of political violence change across geographical areas, types of conflict or historical periods?
These questions, which form the core puzzle of this section, are in our view fundamental for furthering the debate on political violence, which so far has largely been segmented into specific fields which focus on particular forms of political violence.


Type: Keynote Lecture at the 8th Max Weber Fellows June Conference 
Dates: 11 June, 2014, 5-7 PM. Refectory, Badia Fiesolana  
Speaker:  Sarah A. Soule (Stanford University) 
Chair: Phillip Ayoub (EUI - Max Weber Fellow)
Abstract: A methodological staple for sociologists and political scientists interested in the study of social movements and contentious politics is protest event data. These data are typically gleaned from various media sources, and researchers content code media accounts for basic information about protest events, to create large databases (often referred to as event catalogs). These data are then coupled with various other large datasets to make arguments about the causes and consequences of protest and contentious politics.  Over time, scholars have grown increasingly sophisticated in the use of these data in quantitative research. This talk will describe several historical trends in the quantitative analysis of protest data, emphasizing current research that has made leaps and bounds because of both the increasing availability of protest event data, and the diffusion of computationally intensive techniques of analysis.  
The session will be chaired by MWF Phillip Ayoub. 


Type: Workshop at the European University Institute 
Dates: 29-30 May, 2014, 9-17. Sala del Capitolo 
Convenors: Daniela Chironi (EUI) and Anna Subirats (EUI) 
Sponsors: Donatella della Porta (EUI) and Lorenzo Bosi (EUI)
Abstract: This workshop will address the main theoretical and methodological aspects of the relationship between space and contentious politics, which has been a fast growing sub-field in social sciences since the 1990s. Following the critical geography approach, the workshop will start from the assumption that space is produced by social and political action rather than ontologically given. We will discuss the different ways in which the concept of space has been conceptualized and operationalized in different disciplines and how socio-spatial thinking has been incorporated in the study of social movements. In particular, we will analyse how space represents both a constraint and an opportunity for the constitution of social movements and how social movements strategically approach and produce space. We have invited speakers from different disciplines, such as geography, sociology, political science, and architecture, and scholars who have analysed some of the most significant and recent movements that have based their actions on the defence of a common space, such as the Italian No TAV, the Spanish Indignados, and the Turkish Gezi Park movements.


Type: Workshop at the European University Institute 
Dates: 20-21 May, 2014 
Organizers: Donatella della Porta, Philip Balsiger and Alice Mattoni
Abstract: The neoliberal age characterized by deregulation and economic globalization has led to growing power of multinational corporations and ‘the markets’ all over the world. The financial collapse and ensuing debt crisis, largely caused by the deregulation of the financial industry, has led to austerity policies to ‘appease the markets’. Global companies keep shifting production and revenues across the globe to minimize costs and avoid regulation and taxes. But corporate power and austerity does not go uncontested. Firms are often directly targeted by social movement campaigns, and alternative forms of production and exchange thrive. Austerity policies, for their part, have provoked protests in recent years in Greece, Spain, or the UK. Corporations, markets, and the economy are thus sites of protest. In this workshop, we want to address the relationship between capitalism and protest and analyze different forms of resistance against companies and economic policies, thus bringing capitalism back into the study of social movements.


Type: Keynote Speech at the European University Institute 
Date: 20 May, 2014. 2pm-3:30pm (Sala del Capitolo, Badia Fiesolana, EUI - Florence) 
Guest Speaker: Laurence Cox (University of Ireland Maynooth)
Presentation of the speaker: Laurence Cox is a founding editor of Interface and co-chair of the Council for European Studies' social movements network. At the National University of Ireland Maynooth he runs a PhD programme of participatory action research in social movement practice and co-directs the MA in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism. He is co-author of We make our own history: Marxism and social movements in the twilight of neoliberalism (Pluto, September 2014) and co-editor of Marxism and social movements (Brill / Haymarket) , Understanding European movements (Routledge) and Silence would be treason: last writings of Ken Saro-Wiwa (Daraja / CODESRIA / Books for Change) among other books. His research interests include theorising and researching social movements; the contemporary wave of alterglobalisation and anti-austerity movements; working-class community organising; knowledge and learning in social movements; counter-cultures; and western solidarity with Asian anti-colonial movements. He has been involved in social movements since the 1980s.
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Type: Section at the General Conference of the European Consortium for Political Research in Bordeaux 
Dates: 4-7 September, 2013 
Chairs: Lorenzo Bosi| European University Institute, Niall Ó Dochartaigh| National University of Ireland Galway, Martha Crenshaw |Stanford University
Abstract: It is a truism that every kind of political violence, including riots, violent state repression of dissent, guerrilla warfare, insurgency, terrorism, rebellion and civil wars, occurs in time and space, but much of the literature is not informed by clear conceptions of time and space. Instances of violent conflict are often treated as independent events that can be understood outside their temporal and spatial contexts. This section will debate how the temporal and spatial structuring of political violence has important implications for its emergence, development, decline and impact. For these reasons we welcome papers that address three main issues: (1) conceptual and theoretical thinking about political violence in time and space, including refining existing definitions and typologies; (2) methodological reflections about how to deal with the subject matter and how to avoid the obstacles that have hindered previous research, from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective; (3) empirical analyses of political violence in time and space, in particular comparative studies encompassing different types of conflicts and/or countries. We welcome submissions that deal with actor groups such as social and protest movements, terrorist groups, insurgencies and other non-state armed formations, and radicalizing state institutions.The section will bring together distinguished scholars and younger scientists not only from political science, but from related disciplines, including sociology, geography, anthropology, psychology, historical science, international relations, and area studies. In organizing this section we seek to further the development of research on political violence in Europe and globally, to contribute to establishing an international network of scholars working in this field and to promote the publication of outputs such as co-edited books or special issues of international journals.This section is organised and supported by the standing group on Political Violence.


Type: Workshop at the ECPR Joint Sessions Mainz 2013 
Dates: 11-16 March 2013 
Organized in the framework of the ECRP Joint Sessions Mainz 2013 with the support of the ECPR Standing Group on Participation and Mobilization 
Directors: Donatella della Porta | EUI and Alice Mattoni | University of Pittsburgh
Abstract: The workshop intends to analyze the transnational dimension in the recent wave of global protests like the Arab Spring, the European Indignados, and Occupy Wall Street. Literature on transnational social movements flourished in the last decades, exploring social movement networks that organized counter-summits demonstrations and social forums meetings. Most recent protests across the world had, amongst their target, national governments and policies. But they also maintained a strong transnational stance. Starting from a comparative perspective, the workshop focuses on the transnational mechanisms and processes at work in the Arab Spring, the European Indignados, and Occupy Wall Street by paying particular attention to 1) imageries and practices of democracy and 2) communication and mediation processes.


Type: Workshop at the European University Institute 
Dates: 13-14 May, 2013 
Organized and financed by: the ECPR Standing Group on Political Violence within the framework of COSMOS 
Chairs: Lorenzo Bosi | EUI and Niall O'Dochartaigh | GUI 
Main speakers: Professor Stathis Kalyvas (Yale University) and Professor Elizabeth Wood (Yale University)
Abstract: Political violence broadly defined, including guerrilla warfare, insurgency, terrorism, rebellion, revolution, rioting and civil war, can be distinguished in several ways, by the nature of the objectives; by the targets of attacks, by the repertoire of actions; by the organizational structure of groups. This workshop will develop comparisons across different types of armed actors, underlining similarities and identifying differences. It aims to query the robustness of existing typologies and to contribute to the development of new and more robust typologies of political violence.


Type: Workshop at the European University Institute
Dates: 15-16 May, 2013
Organizers: Juan Masullo J., Christine Isabel Andrä, Donatella della Porta, Diego Gambetta
Main speakers:  Professor Elizabeth Wood (Yale University) and Professor Ton Robben (University of Utrecht)
Abstract: The workshop will deal with the main theoretical, methodological, ethical and practical aspects of field research. We will discuss field research as an important part of research design, cover basic techniques for data collection through field research and for subsequently interpreting and analyzing these data, point out related political and ethical dilemmas and best practices for coping with them, and address the host of practical steps that need to be taken before, during and after being in the field. Although these topics pertain to all kinds of field research, the emphasis will be on field research in war-affected areas or otherwise risky social contexts, highlighting the specific difficulties, opportunities and trade-offs that these contexts may entail. Workshop discussions will be based both on scientific literature and on actual fieldwork experiences of both speakers and participants. We aim to look at these topics from an interdisciplinary point of view.


Type: Workshop at the European University Institute 
Date: 27-28 May 2013 
Convenors: Ilaria Favretto | Kingston University, London & Xabier Itçaina | Sciences Po Bordeaux - Marie Curie Fellow EUI, Florence
Abstract: We believe that a better understanding of old repertoires and their underlying cultures and symbolism is crucial to fully comprehend modern protest. Therefore, the purpose of the workshop is to bring together scholars from different subject areas -historians, social anthropologists, political scientists and social movement scholars- to reflect in an interdisciplinary and comparative European perspective upon the influence of popular cultures and old repertoires of contention on modern protest.


Type: Section at the European Sociological Association in Turin 
Dates: 28-31 August, 2013 
Chairs: Nicole Doerr| Mount Holyoke College
Abstract: The Conference theme Crisis, Critique and Change addresses what many of you may experience right now: that people in Europe live in interesting times. The Social Movements Research Network hosts panels and papers contributing to the sociology of social movements and empirical research on mobilisation addressing the conference theme: crisis, critique and change.


Type: Section at the General Conference of the European Consortium for Political Research in Bordeaux 
Dates: 4-7 September, 2013 
Chair: Alice Mattoni | European University Institute Co-Chairs: Eduardo Romanos | Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Donatella della Porta | European University Institute
Abstract: In the past years a new wave of contention developed across the world. Politics of dissent spread in widely separate regions with citizens mobilising around different, but interrelated, issues: from anti-austerity measures, including a strong criticism on multinational corporations and increased inequalities, to pro-democracy struggles, including protests against authoritarian regimes and demands for “real democracy now”. Although rooted in different contexts, mobilisations belonging to this wave of contention had some traits in common that deserve further investigation.Overall, this section seeks to understand the distinctive characteristics of current and recent mobilisations, also in comparison to previous waves of contention that developed locally, nationally and transnationally. In doing this, the section pays particular attention to some aspects that seem fundamental to understand how social change is developing in a moment of deep economic crisis and political mistrust. These aspects are: the use of internet platforms and tools in the organisation of protest; the development of democratic visions and practices in the making of protest; collective identities and discourses in the formation of political subjectivities; the outcomes and consequences of protest after stages of mobilisation; and the processes of local, national and transnational diffusion in the recent wave of contention. Beyond these themes, the section considers the role of some crucial actors in recent mobilisations: migrants; extreme-right groups; and traditional economic actors, like trade unions and workers movements.


Donatella della Porta - Professor of Sociology EUI

  • Massimiliano Andretta - Research Associate EUI
  • Kivanc Atak - Research Associate EUI
  • Lorenzo Bosi - Research Associate EUI
  • Pietro Castelli Gattinara di Zubiena - Research Associate EUI
  • Matteo Cernison - Research Associate EUI
  • Konstantinos Eleftheriadis - Research Associate EUI
  • Andrea Felicetti - Research Associate EUI
  • Tiago Fernandes - Research Associate EUI
  • Hara Kouki - Research Fellow EUI
  • Cesar Guzman-Concha - Research Fellow SNS
  • Stefan Malthaner - Marie Curie Fellow EUI
  • Alice Mattoni - Research Associate EUI
  • Georgia Mavrodi - Research Associate EUI
  • Francis O' Connor - Research Associate EUI
  • Louisa Parks - External Collaborator
  • Linda Lund Pedersen - Research Associate EUI
  • Emin Poljarevic - External Collaborator
  • Herbert Reiter - Research Fellow EUI
  • Daniel Ritter - External Collaborator
  • Eduardo Romanos - External collaborator
  • Salvatore Sberna - Research Fellow EUI
  • Alberto Vannucci - Research Fellow EUI

  • Lars Erik Berntzen
  • Riccardo Chesta 
  • Daniela Chironi 
  • Lorenzo Cini
  • Donagh Davis
  • Jonas Draege 
  • Bogumila Hall 
  • Robert Hemker
  • Helge Hiram Jensen
  • Joldon Kutmanaliev
  • Hugo Joel Leal
  • Marion Lecoquierre
  • Juan Masullo J.
  • Mariana Mendes 
  • Leonidas Oikonomakis
  • Didem Oral 
  • Martín Portos García
  • Julia Rone 
  • Anna Subirats Ribas
  • Markos Vogiatzoglou 
  • Jana Warkotsch
  • Manès Weisskircher
  • Part. Xanthopolou 
  • Lorenzo Zamponi 
  • Oleg Zhuravlev
  • Mihály Gyimesi

  • Helmut Anheier - Hertie School of Governance
  • Lance Bennett - University of Washington
  • Laszlo Bruszt - European University Institute
  • Craig Calhoun - London School of Economics
  • Nick Couldry - Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Christian Davenport - University of Notre Dame
  • Mario Diani - Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  • Klaus Eder - Humboldt-Universität
  • Olivier Fillieule - Université de Lausanne
  • William (Bill) Gamson - Boston College
  • Marco Giugni - Université de Genève
  • Jack Goldstone - George Mason University
  • Jeff Goodwin - New York University
  • Bela Greskovits - Central European University
  • Bert Klandermans - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Hanspeter Kriesi - European University Institute
  • James Jasper - The City University of New York (CUNY)
  • Gary T. Marx - MIT
  • Doug McAdam - Stanford University
  • John McCarthy - Pennsylvania State University
  • Abby Peterson - Göteborgs Universitet
  • Alessandro Pizzorno - European University Institute
  • Dieter Rucht - Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB)
  • Philippe Schmitter - European University Institute
  • Martti Siisiäinen - University of Jyväskylä
  • David Snow - University of California, Irvine
  • Suzanne Staggenborg - University of Pittsburgh
  • Sidney Tarrow - Cornell University
  • Verta Taylor - University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Michel Wieviorka - École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales

  • Javier Alcalde
  • Phillip Ayoub
  • Philip Balsiger
  • Manuela Caiani
  • Luisa Chiodi
  • Ayça Çubukçu
  • Elena Del Giorgio
  • Chares Demetriou
  • Nicole Doerr
  • Teije Hidde Donker
  • Julia Eckert
  • Leila Hadj-Abdou
  • Swen Hutter
  • Xabier Itçaina
  • Lasse Lindekilde
  • Raffaele Marchetti
  • Georgia Mavrodi
  • Stefania Milan
  • Pierre Monforte
  • Mayo Fuster Morell
  • Lorenzo Mosca
  • Timothy Peace
  • Daniela R. Piccio
  • Grzegorz Piotrowski
  • Sónia Pires
  • Anja Röcke
  • Federico M. Rossi
  • Julien Talpin
  • Mate Nikola Tokic
  • Claudius Wagemann

  • Päivi Pirkkalainen
  • Priska Daphi 
  • Priscilla Álamos-Concha
  • Viviana Asara
  • Gary T. Marx
  • Cédric Masse
  • Tuomas Yla-Anttila


Page last updated on 18 August 2017

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