Donatella della porta

Donatella della porta
European University Institute | EUI · Department of Political and Social Sciences

Phd

About

306
Publications
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise
Additional affiliations
April 2003 - November 2015
European University Institute
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (306)
Article
Social movement studies have addressed the issue of nostalgia within two perspectives, focusing, respectively, on emotions and on memory. Our contribution looks at nostalgia in social movements by building upon the combination of these two streams in social movement studies. Going beyond a stereotypical vision of reactionary movements as backward l...
Article
While the normative debate on European integration has addressed the importance of the construction of truly democratic institutions as well as the establishment of social rights at EU level, the role of progressive social movements has not been much debated. Building upon theorization and research in social movement studies, I argue that progressi...
Article
Since the beginning of the Millennium, attention to globalization as well as transnational forms of political participation has grown. Economic globalization has been a main target for progressive social movements, which have held it responsible for changing material conditions, labor market dynamics, and increasing inequalities within and across n...
Article
Full-text available
The Oxford Handbook of Political Participation provides the first comprehensive, up-to-date treatment of political participation in all of its varied expressions. It covers a wide range of topics relating to the study of political participation from different disciplinary and methodological angles, such as the modes of participation, the role of th...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between working conditions and the development of collective solidarity has been much debated in sociology over the past century. The article contributes to this debate by exploring two recent cases of worker mobilization in the context of the Italian platform economy, concerning Amazon delivery drivers and food delivery couriers....
Article
Following the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 and inspired by the actions of the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States, in June 2020 a wave of protest events spread across Europe as well. Based on in‐depth interviews with key informants involved in the BLM campaign and a systematic mapping of protest events, the article analyses th...
Chapter
This chapter examines the concept of political violence. Political violence is analysed through the process of radicalization, escalation, transformation, and disengagement resulting from interactions between multiple actors. The chapter explains how processual approaches offer a new way of trying to understand dynamic and continuously changing phe...
Book
Drawing upon 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. With a focus on Italy and the reaction to increasing inequalities and welfare state retrenchmen...
Article
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In 2018, Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg began a school strike that quickly spread across the globe. After a ritual strike every Friday by school pupils to call for urgent action against climate change had gone on for several months, what had become Fridays for Future (FFF) called for various global days of action throughout 2019, bringing millions...
Chapter
Full-text available
Political violence by non-state actors, whether in the form of clandestine groups, riots, violent insurgencies, or civil wars, o en emerges in the context of social movements, can shi back to non-violent methods of contentious collective action, and in many cases does not mark a new and separate phase of contention but proceeds in parallel with str...
Article
The special issue of Structural Change and Economic Dynamics on ‘The political consequences of inequality’ introduces an interdisciplinary perspective on the drivers and effects of divides in incomes and wealth, with contributions from economists, sociologists and political scientists. The focus of the articles is on Europe and the United States, w...
Article
To what extent, among progressive social movements, has critical Europeanism ceded terrain to Euroscepticism, including within this alter-European vision, is a central question this article seeks to address. After summarizing the theoretical debate on Europeanization and social movements (part 2), the article looks at three main sets of frames. As...
Book
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The violent death of George Floyd caused by a police officer on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, MN, has not only sparked mass mobilizations in the United States, but also led to an unprecedented diffusion of “Black Lives Matter” protests in Europe. Floyd’s death served as a catalyst for civil society actors to more broadly denounce police violence and...
Article
Since the Global Financial Crisis, European countries have faced economic stagnation, rising inequalities, worsening social conditions and strains on public services. The capacity of nation-states to combine economic growth with social cohesion has declined and domestic social compromises have been undermined. Attachments to the nation-state have i...
Article
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Our interest in feminist alliances and intersectional solidarity originates from the belief that they have the potential to breed inclusive political projects and strengthen the fight against all inequalities. Given that social justice struggles are inevitably connected by the presence of interlocking systems of domination, several questions arise....
Article
In this article, I discuss the conceptualization of movement parties and bridge it with that of communication practices. In particular, I show how the analysis of communication practices within movement parties allows going beyond the technological determinism implicit in concepts such as online populism or digital parties. At different moments in...
Chapter
The Catalan 1-O referendum can be read as a massive contentious performance, a key turning point within the independentist cycle of mobilization which contributed to shape secessionist milieus. While large civil society organizations took the lead of mobilization, staging several mass demonstrative events since 2010, the 1-O events represented a la...
Article
The focus of this special issue is on social movements' alternative visions and practices of ‘another Europe’. As trust in the European Union (EU) is dramatically falling amongst its citizens, research on alternative visions of Europe ‘from below’ appears all the more relevant in order to understand the potential for changes in EU politics, policie...
Chapter
Chapter 5 compares the debates that took place among left-wing groups and those engaged in civil-rights advocacy after the Charlie Hebdo attacks. It argues that the attacks had a serious impact on reemphasizing differences inside left-wing public spheres, particularly on unsettled issues with religion and freedom of expression. These tensions refer...
Book
This volume focuses on the debate that developed in France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom after the terrorist attacks against Charlie Hebdo and the kosher supermarket, in January 2015. The book offers an in-depth analysis of the unfolding of the public debate in terms of content of claims making, framing, and justifications as well as the...
Chapter
Chapter 7 addresses the discourses by religious groups, including Christian (both Catholic and Protestant), Jewish, and Muslim actors. An important but often neglected part of those debates took place between mainstream actors and religious organizations but also among religious organizations themselves. These debates were embedded within distinct...
Chapter
The introductory chapter presents the theoretical framework of the research, its empirical design and the content of the volume. Our analysis of the Charlie Hebdo attacks addresses in particular the claims, frames, and justifications that civil society actors introduce in multiple public spheres. We want to understand both the content and the forms...
Chapter
Chapter 8 is devoted to an analysis of the justifications used by the different actors in debating the Charlie Hebdo attacks. In particular, it looks at the ways in which participants in the public debates use justifications for their claims, which become all the more relevant in “critical moments.” Referring to the “imperative to justify,” the cha...
Chapter
Chapter 3 introduces time into the picture, exploring how and to what extent a discursive critical juncture triggered by the Charlie Hebdo attacks changed the nature of public discourse, the tone used to address the different dimensions of conflict embedded in the controversy, and the way in which political actors engaged in the debate. By looking...
Chapter
The aim of this chapter is to provide background information about the political context in which the debate on the Charlie Hebdo attacks developed within the different national arenas. Besides some general political trends developing at the European level (including the financial crisis and its political consequences), Chapter 2 presents the main...
Chapter
The concluding chapter goes back to the theoretical debates presented in chapter 1, synthetizing the main empirical results of the various parts of our analysis as well as reflecting on the theoretical implications. From the theoretical point of view, the aim has been to analyze transformative events in order to trace their effects on the content a...
Chapter
Chapter 4 discusses the deliberative qualities of the Charlie Hebdo debate in alternative public spheres. The chapter explains the way in which deliberation has been operationalized for qualitative analysis. It then focuses on the deliberative qualities of the Charlie Hebdo debate among the three main groups of public-sphere actors under examinatio...
Chapter
Chapter 6 focuses on a collective actor that has played a crucial role in migration and identity politics across Europe, at least since the early 1990s: the contemporary far right. Relying on frame analysis of web portals, social media pages, blogs, and websites of far-right collective actors in France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom, we in...
Article
Licenza d'uso L'articoloè messo a disposizione dell'utente in licenza per uso esclusivamente privato e personale, senza scopo di lucro e senza fini direttamente o indirettamente commerciali. Salvo quanto espressamente previsto dalla licenza d'uso Rivisteweb,è fatto divieto di riprodurre, trasmettere, distribuire o altrimenti utilizzare l'articolo,...
Article
In Catalonia and beyond, the recent upheaval of secessionist mobilizations has challenged not only extant territorial frameworks and integration processes but also one’s understandings around nationalism and its social bases of support. Upper-class and bourgeois sectors of the population have been traditionally considered as overrepresented within...
Article
Social movement studies and studies on civil society and, related to them, studies on voluntarism and the third sector, are burgeoning fields of knowledge, which have, however, only rarely interacted with each other. In fact, social movement scholars have devoted little attention to the concept of civil society, not even when addressing issues of “...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In September 2019, the third Global Climate Strike organized by the Fridays For Future (FFF) protest campaign mobilized 6000 protest events in 185 countries and brought 7.6 million participants out onto the streets. This report analyses survey data about participants from 19 cities around the world and compares it to data from an international surv...
Preprint
Full-text available
In September 2019, the third Global Climate Strike organized by the Fridays For Future (FFF) protest campaign mobilized 6000 protest events in 185 countries and brought 7.6 million participants out onto the streets. This report analyses survey data about participants from 19 cities around the world and compares it to data from an international surv...
Chapter
Protest campaigns linked to episodes of democratization are often described as sudden: surprise, excitement, and innovation are terms often used to describe eventful democratization, as times are perceived as exceptional. I suggest that one major transformation during those events is what we can conceptualize as time intensification. The latter app...
Article
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This article seeks to understand the trajectory of radicalization in the Catalan 'procés'. Regardless of their formal legal standing, referendum campaigns are distinct political opportunities which also generate further opportunities. Contrary to what some theories of protest would predict, when political opportunities are closed down at national l...
Article
Full-text available
En este artículo desarrollamos un marco interpretativo para comprender la trayectoria de radicalización en el “procés” catalán. Independientemente del estatus legal del referéndum en cuestión, las campañas de referéndum son capaces de crear, y de hecho son en sí mismas, oportunidades políticas. En contraste con las predicciones desde las teorías de...
Article
We investigate the interaction between democratic innovations and social movements in the context of the growing stress on representative democracy in Europe. In particular, we focus on citizen-led democratic innovations that emerged from popular protests against national political systems. We explore the crowd-sourced Constitutional Reform in Icel...
Article
This concluding article of the special issues summarizes the empirical results presented in the previous contributions within a comparative perspective, with particular attention to locate them within previous research on youth mobilizations. From the theoretical point of view, the articles, based on the research conducted in the context of the CRY...
Article
This introductory article to the special issue presents a theoretical framework built on a bridging of youth studies and social movement studies. Building on some preliminary observations and empirical evidence, the article introduces the interrelated research questions that this issue addresses, based on the work of the CRY_OUT project: What leads...
Chapter
The afterword by Donatella della Porta presents the book’s contribution to theory and research on migrant rights, one of the main issues of this collection. It emphasizes that there has been a gap in social movement studies, which have focused mainly on “new”, post-materialist actors, while the analysis of social movements for or against forced mig...
Article
Recent times have been defined as momentous: great transformation, great recession as well as great regression have been frequently used short-cut terms to characterize the period following the financial breakdown of 2008. As for contentious politics in these times, we frequently hear references to crisis as well as eventful protests, as calls for...
Article
The Great Recession that hit the world in 2008 functioned as a critical juncture, nurturing socioeconomic but also political transformations. Some of the political developments during the crisis have challenged civil, political and social rights, triggering a Great Regression. In the geographical areas that have been hardest hit by the financial cr...
Article
The year 1968 has been considered a historical moment in the study of protest. What is celebrated on its fiftieth anniversary, as for any historical event, is a particularly specific vision of that year. This article bridges social movement studies with memory studies, arguing that social movement studies should give more attention to how movement...
Chapter
Globalization encompasses several spheres of human action – the economic, the political and the cultural. This chapter, for analytical purposes, focuses on the relations between social movements and the three spheres separately. The discussion reveals the complexity of the processes of globalization and the multiple ways in which they affect and ar...
Article
Full-text available
Nuit debout represents one of the main mobilizations in France in recent years and the most important anti-austerity movement in the country since the financial crisis. Based on document analysis and fieldwork, this paper addresses the development of master frames within the context of free spaces. The introduction of the parliamentarian debate on...
Chapter
Rethinking Society for the 21st Century - by International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP) July 2018
Article
Radicalization is a process of escalation from nonviolent to increasingly violent repertoires of action that develops through a complex set of interactions unfolding over time. Looking at radicalization mainly through the lenses of a relational approach, this article suggests that social movement studies allow us to bridge structural and agentic ex...
Chapter
Full-text available
The chapter addresses the relations between social movements and deliberative democracy, pointing at opportunities but also at tensions in theorization and practices of democracy. While social movements are important for deliberative democracy, and vice versa, activists and deliberative democrats alike have addressed a number of tensions between de...
Book
Full-text available
Por largo tiempo, en la ciencia polí­tica, la búsqueda de una conceptualización compartida de democracia se ha orientado hacia criterios procedimentales mínimos, que consideraban principalmente la existencia de comicios libres, competitivos y periódicos, como indicador suficiente de su presencia. La elección de una elección minimalista de democraci...
Chapter
The introductory chapter presents the theoretical model, by discussing some assumptions about the impact of political opportunities, networks, framing, and repertoires of action on mobilisations for the rights of migrants. Bridging social movement studies with critical citizenship studies, it surveys in particular research on the so-called ‘poor pe...
Chapter
Throughout the course of our research, we aimed at combining social movement studies with migration studies, with particular attention to critical theories, in order to address continuities and ruptures in the mobilisation in solidarity with refugees during the long summer of migration. In this final chapter, Donatella della Porta summarises the re...
Article
Full-text available
Social movements in the wake of the financial crisis have shifted from the counter-summits and world social forums of the global justice movement to the camps of the anti-austerity mobilizations, and from a clear focus on building ‘another Europe’ to more domestically embedded issues. Among other reasons, this turn away from the EU can be linked to...
Chapter
The research collected in this volume not only takes up concepts from social movement studies, but also enriches them by providing knowledge about various types of transnational activists. It also encourages the dialogue, as yet only sporadic, between historians and social scientists and enriches the understanding of transnational activism, showing...
Book
This edited collection introduces conceptual innovations that critically engage with understanding refugee movements as part of the broader category of ‘poor people’s movements’. The empirical focus of the work lies on the protest events related to the so-called ‘long summer of migration’ of 2015. It traces the route followed by the migrants from t...
Book
This volume addresses long-term effects of democratic transitions on social movements in Italy, Greece, Portugal, and Spain. From the theoretical point of view, the main focus of reflection is on the long-term impact of eventful moments on social movements, especially the causal mechanisms through which legacies and memories of transformative prote...
Article
Mainstream social movement studies have developed a useful kit of concepts and theories, well adapted to understanding social movements in core capitalist countries at the peak of growth of the welfare state. Widespread assumptions about the role of political opportunities, resource mobilization and framing processes need to be updated to make sens...
Chapter
This chapter first outlines the types of crises to which movements had to react as they unfolded at the EU level. Second, it discusses the types of political responses to the crises, and their social and political consequences, setting the contextual political challenges for social movements in the Great Recession. Throughout, it stresses cross-tim...
Chapter
In this chapter, the results of the country cases are systematically compared in light of the hypotheses put forward in the introductory chapter. First of all, we assess in each country the characteristics of the anti-austerity protests—looking at their social base, framing, organizational forms and repertoire of actions. Second, we introduce and a...
Article
Purpose Starting from the assumption that knowledge becomes all the most important for movements in times of crisis, as old structures are challenged and new are to be envisaged and proved feasible, in this theoretical article we suggest ways to expand the toolkit of social movement studies in order to empirically address knowledge practices as a...
Chapter
This book examines how social movements exploited windows of opportunity offered by institutions of direct democracy, in particular through referendums ‘from below’, and the ways in which the socioeconomic and political crisis of neoliberalism affected the referendums' dynamics and results. It considers events that have been either promoted or appr...
Chapter
This chapter examines the 2011 water referendum in Italy, focusing on the appropriation of opportunities, resource mobilisation, and the framing of the campaign by social movements and civil society organisations. It shows that some of the characteristics of the referendums from below that were observed in Scotland and Catalonia also fit the Italia...
Chapter
This chapter examines the framing strategies in referendums from below in Scotland and Catalonia. It considers how the current context of economic austerity, along with the crisis of political legitimacy, have paved the way for the emergence of social justice and democratic-emancipatory frames with higher potential for resonance across audiences (a...
Chapter
This chapter examines the organisational aspects of the referendums from below in Scotland and Catalonia and the participation of various social movements in those campaigns. It first considers the role of pro-independent political parties and their interactions with the relevant movements before looking at some of the most significant movement org...
Chapter
This book has examined how referendums from below serve as opportunities that are particularly conducive to broadening participation as well as enhancing political engagement and understanding among the electorate. Using the campaigns in Scotland, Catalonia and Italy, the book has provided evidence that referendums offer social movements the chance...
Chapter
This chapter examines the context in which the Catalan and Scottish campaigns for independence developed. It explains how the referendum campaigns were initiated and by whom, arguing that both cases unfolded as the result of a concatenation of three coexisting crises: territorial, democratic and socioeconomic. First, Catalonia and Scotland suffered...
Book
In recent years, social movements on the left have increasingly begun to make themselves felt in referendums. This has been seen throughout Europe: in votes regarding independence in Scotland and Catalonia, on water rights in Italy, on debt repayment in Iceland, and on the financial proposals of the troika in Greece. This book presents case studies...
Book
Social movements formed in response to austerity measures have played an increasingly important role in referendums. The book uses unique case studies to illustrate the ways the social movements have affected the referendums’ dynamic and results. It also addresses the way in which participation from below has had a transformative impact.
Book
Full-text available
The main aim of this volume is to develop a theoretical explanation on the conditions under which and the mechanisms through which social movements’ struggles for democracy ends up into civil war. While the empirical evidence suggest that this is not a rare phenomenon, literature on social movements, democratizations and civil wars have grown quite...
Book
This book analyses protests against the Great Recession in the European periphery. While social movements have long been considered as children of affluent times - or at least of times of opening opportunities - these protests defy such expectations, developing instead in moments of diminishing opportunities in both the economic and the political r...
Chapter
The economic and financial crisis has particularly hit the European periphery. In the South, austerity policies imposed have provoked a strong wave of anti-austerity protests and dramatic rise of distrust towards national and European institutions. At the same time, new political actors, such as Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain rose in popular...
Chapter
Della Porta discusses the volume’s debt to the scholarship of social movements, as well as its original contribution to a better understanding of modern protest and its forms. As she argues, the book can be read as a homage to Charles Tilly and his life-long quest to broaden the conceptualization of repertoires of protest. Della Porta praises the v...
Article
In the last decades, a growing awareness has emerged in progressive social movements about the relevance of corruption as a hidden factor that negatively influences political and economic decision-making processes in both liberal-democratic and authoritarian regimes. Rampant corruption has been denounced by social movements, which have developed sp...