Questioning while walking: the ‘disobedient movement’, and the centro sociale revolta in Italy

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Montagna, Nicola

This thesis examines the organisational principles, repertoires of contention, practices, and the political culture of the Centro Sociale Occupato Rivolta as an expression of the\ud Disobedient movement. The study, which is based on 42 interviews, participant observation and original documents, discusses the main theories on social movements which combine different theoretical perspectives, namely resource mobilisation, new social movements and the theory of political opportunity structure.\ud Providing a definition of CSO as a convenient name to indicate a number of profoundly heterogeneous experiences that rely on illegal occupations of empty buildings and the\ud principle of self-management, the study interprets the Rivolta as a proactive subject and political entrepreneur. These two concepts refer to the attempt of the Rivolta to overcome their identity as a new-left organisation, its ability of mobilising symbolic and material resources and to its continuous change and development. The case of the Rivolta shows that a movement actor has to continually 'destroy' old conditions and create new ones in order to survive and expand.\ud The combination of different theoretical approaches and the analysis of the Rivolta has allowed the research to highlight some specific issues. Firstly, this movement area has\ud overcome the dichotomy between conflict for recognition and for socio-economic resource distribution. While the Rivolta is an actor that mobilises resources, it also aims to promote its autonomous cultural identity and to extend social and political rights in society. Secondly, the relations between local and national institutions and the Disobedient movement area, far from being linear, either in terms of conflict or dialogue, are changeable and discontinuous. The study shows that the extra-institutional advocacy of this movement network still persists and has been combined with institutional\ud participation. Finally, the thesis shows that the movement area to which the Rivolta belongs, in exploiting the opportunities offered by the general context, has set its\ud struggles, claims and protests both at the local and the global dimension, marginalising national issues and targets.
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