Social Movements in Europe, from the Past to the Present

  • Taborda Silva Célia Associate Professor, Lusófona University of Porto


Over time, the concept of social movement has evolved as society has changed, but has always implied collective action in the public space. The form of social contestation has changed, according to the conjuncture of each historical period. In 18th century, the transition from the Old Regime to Liberalism provoked movements considered by some authors as “primitive” or “premodern”, as they were spontaneous, sporadic and depoliticized. Industrial society of the 19th century gave rise to the labor movement and trade unionism, which from then on organized the social movements. In the 20th century there were changes and innovation in the collective way of acting, there was the emergence of a series of social movements that differ from the traditional in terms of the objectives and actors involved, such as the pacifist, ecologist, feminist movements, acting on the fringes of parties and unions. The 21st century has witnessed a set of movements that begin on social networks, such as Generation Scratch, Outraged, Occupy Wall Street, Screw the Troika, and quickly outgrow local scales to become global. Through the use of a theoretical and conceptual framework derived from the theories of social movements and taking into account the current transformation of collective action that has been witnessed in the 21st century, we intend to verify if we are facing a new social phenomenon or another phase of “repertoire” change.
Oct 12, 2020
How to Cite
CÉLIA, Taborda Silva. Social Movements in Europe, from the Past to the Present. European Journal of Social Science Education and Research, [S.l.], v. 7, n. 3, p. 17-26, oct. 2020. ISSN 2312-8429. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 13 apr. 2021.