Civil Society and Social Movements


The course aims to give students an understanding of the major analytical traditions, conceptual innovations, and themes researched in the sub-fields of civil society and social movement studies.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Available soon


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Bermeo, Nancy, Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times: The Citizenry and the Collapse of Democracy, Princeton University Press, 2003
Fernandes, Tiago, «Rethinking Pathways to Democracy: Civil Society in Spain and Portugal, 1960s – 2014», Democratization, March 2014
Putnam, Robert D., Making Democracy Work. Civic Traditions in Modern Italy, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1993
Tarrow, Sidney, Democracy and Disorder. Protest and Politics in Italy, 1965-1975, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1989
Tocqueville, Alexis de, Democracy in America, New Jersey, Humanities Press, 1993

Teaching method

Lectures introducing the major themes of the course (60%), and presentation and discussion of assigned readings by students (40%).One examination test, written in the classroom, at the end of the term. Students may also enroll for a final examination, in order to improve their marks. Active participation in the classes is taken into account for the final marks.

Evaluation method

Subject matter

The intellectual history of the study of civil society and social movements. Classic authors: Tocqueville, Marx, Von Stein, Weber, Durkheim and Gramsci. Modernization processes and organized interests. Modernization processes and social protest. Sistems of Interest Intermediation: Corporatism and Pluralism. Civil Society and political regimes: protest and organized interests in the transition to democracy. Civil society and the quality and collapse of democracy. Patterns of civil society in european democracies. Social Capital. Protest cycles and the relationship between social movements, institutions and political parties. Violence and protest. The long-run consequences of protest cycles and social moviments.


Programs where the course is taught: