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Political and Social Sciences

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Working Papers


Call to Global Social
Movements Scholars

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por Donatella della Porta y Lorenzo Mosca


Donatella della Porta and Lorenzo Mosca
“In movimento: ‘contamination’ in action and the Italian Global Justice Movement”
in Global Networks 7, 1 (2007) 1–27.

Abstract: In this article we explore the process of ‘contamination’ (namely cross-fertilization) in the development of the Global Justice Movement in Italy during the 1990s. We focus on two specific organizational sectors of this movement: labour organizations and associations for solidarity with the global South. We concentrate on a stage of the protest cycle that has been overlooked in social movement studies, namely the emergence of mobilization after a period of latency, and shed light on the process through which individual and organizational networks actually facilitate mobilization and vice versa. The process of ‘contamination’ in action is presented as the combination of structural, cognitive and affective mechanisms. It operates through both individual and organizational networks that together facilitate logistic coordination, enable the emergence of tolerance and mutual trust and allow frame bridging and the transnationalization of identities.

Global Justice Movement, Protest Cycle, Labor Organizations, Social Movements, Italy


The Global Justice Movement:

Cross-national and Transnational Perspectives



Edited by Donatella della Porta
Boulder: Paradigm Publishers 2007

More information at:


“Imagining Europe: Internal and External Non-State Actors at the European Crossroads”

in European Foreign Affairs Review 2007, 12, pp. 385-400.

Abstract: This article studies the construction of ideals and images associated with Europe and the European Union by non-state actors (social movements, trade unions and NGOs) based outside Europe. First, we analyse the external image of Europe and the EU through the content analysis of meaning attributed to the EU and EU politics on the homepages of non-EU NGOs, trade unions and social movements within the global justice movements. Secondly, we study the perspective of non-Western European activists within the European Social Forum process as a transnational forum ‘from below’ for ‘another’ Europe. The European Union seen from outside is an ambivalent powerful political community with both a hegemonic but also a socially transformative and democratic aspiration. While internal EU organizations and groups claim the internal democratization of Europe, activists based outside the EU see it as an important external ally for the implementation of human rights and democratization (or gender equality), though they are very critical on materialistic issues, such as trade relationships.


Global Democracy and the World Social Forums



Jackie Smith, Christopher Chase-Dunn, Donatella Della Porta, Marina Karides, Marc Becker, Dorval Brunelle, Rosalba Icaza Garza, Jeffrey S. Juris, Lorenzo Mosca, Ellen Reese, Peter Jay Smith, Rolando Vazquez

Boulder: Paradigm Publishers 2007

More information at:

Nicole Doerr
“Is ‘another’ public space actually possible? Deliberative democracy and the case of ‘women without’ in the European Social Forum process”
in Journal of International Women’s Studies.
Special Issue on the Forum Social Mundial, Vol. 8 (3) April 2007, pp. 71-87.

Abstract: This paper presents results of a cross-national comparative research project on the case of democracy in the European Social Forums (ESFs) process over the period from 2003 to 2005. The various progressive social movements engaged in the European Social Forums process try to construct “another world” and “another public sphere” internally within their own practices of participatory and deliberative democracy in public forums. This includes fighting discriminations against women in general and women from non-western European parts of the world in particular. I take as my point of departure the case of “women without” that is women activists who lack financial resources and/or have problems participating in transnational meetings because of border or visa restrictions. In the context of the European, preparatory meetings to the ESF, these women are for the most part either migrants living in the European Union or women coming from Eastern, South or Central Europe. To what extent do the effective processes of decision-making in the ESF preparatory process include the perspective and claims of materially less privileged participants, in particular these distinct groups of “women without”? Based on a feminist critique of the Habermasian model of deliberative democracy, I discuss the quality of democratic deliberation in the ESF‘s assemblies from the perspective of the networks of “women without”. Then, as a second step, I show how the strategies of these materially less privileged activists break discursive mechanisms of exclusion inside the ESF process and build their own transnational networks subverting the ruling discourse structure of the ESF.
Public Sphere, Feminist, Deliberative Democracy.







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