The Politics of Movement-Parties in Europe

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Prova scritta e orale


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"


titolo nuovo: The Politics of Movement-Parties in Europe (and beyond)

The course focuses on a new type of political organization (and its politics) which have proved successful in mobilizing citizens in various countries (Kitchelt 2006): movement party organizations. As transitional phenomena, definitional and conceptual boundaries will be set, distinguishing ‘movement parties’ by other forms of contentious politics. The causes and consequences of their emergence will be explored in an attempt to bridge the party political literature and social movement studies. A specific focus will regard left-wing and ideologically hybrid organizations, as well as radical right groups, which so far have not yet obtained adequate attention.  Understanding movement parties through their communication will constitute the final part of the course. During the course we will link theoretical debates with empirical manifestations through the illustration of concrete case studies in various parts of Europe (Southern Europe, Eastern, Northern) and applied research.

Course format:

The course will be divided into seven sessions of 3 hours each.  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.

More in particular, each session will begin with a presentation by the instructor, followed by a general discussion. Then, there will be time for one student to present one ‘work in progress’ product (e.g. a portion of the PhD project, a paper to be presented to a conference, etc.) authored by him/her and related to the topic of the course. The aim is to use the readings to let emerge doubts, questions and comments related to the topic and the students’ research projects (not just a summary of the readings). Students might also bring very practical research dilemma about data gathering and data analysis in comparative politics when dealing with movements and parties in Europe and beyond; the relationships between social movements and political parties; the transformation of social movements into parties; and in general the relation between street protest and elections.

Obiettivi formativi

The course will serve as a guide for further independent study. The aim is to use the readings to let emerge doubts, questions and comments related to the topic and the students’ research projects (not just a summary of the readings).


The assessment of the course is based on: i. class participation, ii. home assignment (see 'meeting the authors'), iii. one 'position paper'.


Assignment: (1) ‘Meeting the authors’ (last session), prepare at home a list of 4/5 questions each that you would like to ask to the author; (2) A final ‘position paper’ (of approx.. 1 and half page) is expected by students at the end of the course containing a brief reflection on “How the Movement-Parties literature, in terms of concepts, ideas, hyps., approaches, etc. can be used for your own research project” (if yes, why and for what; if not why) (date TBA).


Riferimenti bibliografici


 ‘Movement-parties’: a new type of organization?



Manuela Caiani and Ondrej (eds.), 2018, Radical Right ‘movements- parties’, Routledge, Introduction and Conclusion.

Della Porta, Donatella (2017), Movement Parties in Times of Austerity, Polity, Introduction and Conclusion

 Andrea L. P. Pirro and Pietro Castelli Gattinara (2018) Movement Parties of the Far Right: the organization and strategies of nativist collective actors. Mobilization: An International Quarterly: September 2018, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 367-383.

Sidney Tarrow (2022) Movement andParties, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.