Professor Grasso is an Associate Investigator, since May 2013, on the Caught in the Act of Protest: Contextualising Contestation research project on which she was previously a Research Fellow.

Awarding Body: European Science Foundation (ESF) and for the UK the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
People Involved: Maria Grasso (Associate Investigator, prev. Research Fellow 2009-2011), Clare Saunders (University of Exeter, prev. University of Southampton) and partners from other European institutions in a consortium led by Bert Klandermans (VU-Amsterdam)
Title of Research: Caught in the Act of Protest: Contextualising Contestation
Duration: ongoing - the surveys of demonstrations/database are still in progress



This project's principal aim is to create an international inter-university network of research teams interested in collective action and protest surveying. By doing so this project wants to:

  • expand our knowledge on protest dynamics by conducting a comparative study of protest demonstrations in 7 European countries, that investigates the impact of contextual variation such as nations, mobilizing contexts, demonstrations, and mobilization techniques on who participates for what reasons;
  • employ a common theoretical framework, a standardized research design, and standardized measures in the individual projects;
  • construct a dataset to be made available to the individual teams for analyses, which will produce new insights that only systematic comparison of the kind we plan can generate;
  • organize workshops and to publish articles in order to disseminate the results of the project; to help societal actors understand and deal with the changing dynamics of protest;
  • archive and make the data available to the wider scientific community.