• About SNS

    The Scuola Normale Superiore is a public institute for higher education that in its two centuries of life has earned itself a special place, both in Italy and abroad, a place characterised by merit, talent and scientific rigour. Two types of course are available: the undergraduate course and the PhD course.The teaching activity is distributed among four academic structures: the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Sciences, placed in Pisa; the Department of political and social sciences and the Ciampi Institute, located in Florence.  

  • Admission

    The evaluation for entrance to the first year of the undergraduate course does not include the high school leaving certificate, and the bachelor's degree is not taken into consideration in the entrance examination for the fourth year course. For each PhD course, candidates’ level of competence, talent, motivations and aptitudes to scientific research will be assessed on the basis of their qualifications and research project and an interview.

  • Academics

    The Scuola Normale Superiore offers two types of course: the undergraduate course, leading to first and second level university degrees, and the PhD course, the international equivalent of the Italian Dottorato di ricerca.The teaching and research activity is distributed among three academic structures: the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of  Sciences, and the Department of Political and Social Sciences.The first two academic structures, housed at the Pisa site, organize courses for both the  undergraduate course and the PhD course. The Department of Political and Social Sciences, situated in Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, deals only with the PhD course.

  • Research

    A highly qualifying feature of the Normale way is the strong link between teaching and research that is a characteristic of both the undergraduate and the graduate programmes of the Scuola. The research structures of the two Faculties welcome students with a relevant study interest, enabling them to collaborate in a mature way with the activities of the researchers.

  • International

    The Scuola Normale is an institute of a decidedly international nature. Examinations for admission to the undergraduate degree course and for the PhD course are open to all citizens worldwide. A certain number of places on the PhD course are reserved for students from other countries. During the pre laurea and  post lauream teaching courses, study and research programmes are made available at overseas universities and research centres with which the Scuola forms an intense network of collaboration.  The doctorate course in particular is taught in a veritable graduate school in line with the highest international standards. 

ESA RN25 Social Movements Midterm conference

Friends and Foes of Social Movements

Thursday, 6 October 2016 to Saturday, 8 October 2016
Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence, Italy


Organizing committee

Dr. Lorenzo Bosi, Scuola Normale Superiore

Dr. Katrin Uba, Uppsala University

Call for papers

Social movements almost always have some allies and often they also have some fierce opponents. Some are real and acting supportively or hindering the movement’s mobilization and impact, while others are just perceived by the activists themselves or from the general public. Allies and opponents of social movements can change across time and space within the same mobilization. In moving away from movement-centric approaches, the social movements’ literature has progressively shifted its interest to the interaction that social movements have with other actors, but this has not yet provided an analysis of the interactions between social movements and their allies and opponents. This midterm conference of the ESA RN25 will focus on these issues and welcomes particularly papers which focus on four following topics:

  1. How movements are mobilizing the allies or how do they get allies they never asked for? Who are the “best” allies, at what time-point and for what?
  2. Which kinds of allies and opponents the movements tend to have? Inside the movement? Or outside the movement, at local, national and transnational level?
  3. Do the allies really matter? - How allies affect (in terms of opportunities or constraints) the movements and activists, movements’ mobilization strategies and eventual achievements of the movement?
  4. Strategies for fighting the opponents and its development over time. How does the social movement - opponent interaction looks like and what are its consequences for the mobilization and the movement in general.
  5. How social movements change their allies and opponents across time and space.

We invite submissions from a variety of theoretical and disciplinary perspectives and using a variety of methodologies. To submit an abstract please review the proposed mid-term conference topics and email Dr. Katrin Uba (katrin.uba@statsvet.uu.se) with an abstract of no more than 250 words. We are also looking for volunteers to be discussants! If interested, please email to Dr. Uba.

The deadline for all abstract submissions is March 1st, 2016.

Applicants will be informed of the outcome by email no later than 1st of April. Those offered places must confirm their participation within 10 days, after which places may be offered to applicants on the reserve list. Participants to the Conference will be required to write and submit a 7000-8000 word paper before 15th of September. The Conference has no fees and will provide a dinner, two lunches. Travel and accommodation costs are not included, however we can offer two travel and accommodation grants (450euro) to selected participants.

The conference will feature keynote speeches from internationally-renowned scholars,

Professor Mario Diani, Universita’ degli Studi di Trento

Professor Florence Passy, University of Lausanne

Two roundtables will be organized discussing important new books:

Donatella Della Porta and Mario Diani. 2015. The Oxford Handbook of Social Movements. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Olivier Fillieule and Guya Accornero. 2016. Social Movement Stduies in Europe. Oxford: Berghahn.



Events on all days of the conference will be held at Palazzo Strozzi, which is located at Piazza Strozzi, Firenze, Italia.


The program will begin Thursday, October 6 at 14:00 and conclude at 18:00 on Saturday, October 8.


Two travel and accommodation grants (450euro) will be provided to selected participants




Conference check-in will be held at Palazzo Strozzi from 12:00 on Thursday, October 6.


A dinner and two lunches will be available during the conference. There will be refreshment breaks between sessions.


SNS offers guests free wireless access.


For questions about paper submissions, please contact Dr. Katrin Uba at katrin.uba@statsvet.uu.se

For questions about conference logistics, please contact Dr. Lorenzo Bosi at