Processes of Collective Action

Period of duration of course
Course info
Number of course hours
Number of hours of lecturers of reference
Number of hours of supplementary teaching

Modalità esame



Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Political Science and Sociology"

Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Transnational Governance"

Optional for the 4th and 5th year students of the MA Programme in "Political and Social Sciences"


Course format
: The course is articulated into 8 sessions according to the syllabus. Every session will be primary organized as a collective discussion rather than a lecture. For each of the meetings, students are required to adopt a pro-active stance based on the reading of all the articles/chapters in the reading list. All students must do the readings and active participation in the seminar is compulsory.

Master (50%) and PhD students will be evaluated through their participation and active participation in class. PhD students are not required to write a paper as the instructor will only determine whether they have passed (or failed) the course. Those PhD students who are willing to write their term paper on the topic of the course, between 5,000 and 6,000 words, must agree the topic of the paper with the professor. Master students must produce a final paper (in Italian or English) of not more than 3,000 words on one of the topics covered during the course (50%). Students are expected to attend all class meetings except in cases of Covid reasons, illness or urgent family issues. More detailed information on the requirements of the course will be discussed on the first day of class.





Session N. 1 Introduction: Monday 8, April 2024




Bosi and Malthaner. 2022. “Processual perspectives” David A. Snow, Donatella della Porta, Bert Klandermans and Doug McAdam “Encyclopaedia of Social and Political Movements” Blackwell

Pettigrew, A.M. (1997). What is processual analysis? Scandinavian Journal of Management 13 (4): 337–348.

Bidart, C., Longo, M.E., and Mendez, A. (2013). Time and process: An operational framework for pro- cessual analysis. European Sociological Review 29 (4): 743–751.


Session N. 2 Contentious politics and strategic interactionism: Monday 15, April 2024




McAdam, Doug, Sidney Tarrow, and Charles Tilly. 2001. “What are they shouting about” in Dynamics of Contention. New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 3-37.


Jasper, J. M. (Forthcoming). “Strategic interaction: how players engage each other in arenas
 in Bosi and Malthaner (eds.) Processes of Collective Action. TUP.



Session N. 3 Collective actors trajectories: Monday 22, April 2024

(h.10-12) with the participation of Mans Lundstedt (University of Gothenburg)



Bosi, Lorenzo and Lorenzo Zamponi. 2020. “Paths Toward the Same Form of Collective Action: Direct Social Action in Times of Crisis in Italy” Social Forces 99(2): 847–869.

Mans Lundstedt. 2023. “Space, time, and violence” in Mans Lundstedt. Pathways to violence against migrants. Routledge.


Session N. 4 Individual pathways: Friday 3, May 2024

(h. 10-12)



Viterna, Jocelyn. 2006. “Pulled, Pushed and Persuaded: Explaining Women’s Mobilization into the Salvadoran Guerrilla Army” American Journal of Sociology 112(1): 1–45.

Fillieule, Olivier and Erik Neveu. 2019. “Activists’ trajectories in space and time” in Fillieule and Neveau (eds.) Activists forever. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Session N. 5 Social change: Monday 6, May 2024




Bosi, Lorenzo and Katrin, Uba. Forthcoming. “Collective actions’ dynamics of social change: a processual perspective.” in Bosi and Malthaner (eds.) Processes of Collective Action. TUP.


Session N. 6 Processes of radicalization: Monday 13, May 2024

(h.10-12) Guest Lecturer Dr. Stefan Malthaner (HIS) – in presence and online



Malthaner, Stefan. 2017. “Radicalization: The evolution of an analytical paradigm” European Journal of Sociology 58: 369-401.


Der Spiegel, “The Bomb Plot: Terror from the German Heartland”, 36/2008 (04.09.2008).


Tiny Hand, “The Inspiring Story of Greta Thunberg”.



Session N. 7 “Riots”: The dynamics of weakly coordinated collective action: Tuesday 14, May 2024

(h.10-13) Guest Lecturer Dr. Stefan Malthaner (HIS) – in presence and online



Malthaner, Stefan. (Forthcoming). “Anarchy is Hard Word: Negotiating a Riot at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, 2017”.


Katz, Jack. 2016. “An Epiphany of Invisibility. On Turning Points in Episodes of Anarchy”.


Session N. 8 Projects discussion: Wednesday 29, May 2024

(h.10-13) – in presence and online


Obiettivi formativi

This seminar aims to provide students with a solid grounding in processual perspectives on collective action. This means research perspectives that trace how episodes of political contention and individual pathways evolve (and interact) over time, and how collective actors, frameworks of interpretation, forms of action, and political opportunities are constructed and transformed. In the first part of the seminar we will review major processual approaches; in the second part, we will discuss how to apply processual approaches to ongoing research on collective action. By the end of the seminar, the hope is that students will be on their way to develop processual research on collective action.