Politics and International Studies


Cristina Flesher Fominaya PhD (University of California, Berkeley)

Photo of  Cristina Flesher Fominaya

Reader in Social Politics and Media


I hold an MA and a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. I am a political, cultural, and digital media sociologist whose work focuses on European and global social movement and politics. I have won numerous international scholarships including the Marie Sklodowska-Curie IEF Fellowship, the National Science Foundation Fellowship, the German Marshall Fellowship, and the Leo Lowenthal Prize for Outstanding Paper in Culture and Critical Theory awarded by the University of California, Berkeley. As of April 2018, I am Reader in Social Politics and Media at Loughborough University and a member of the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture. Previous positions include Senior Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth (2013-2015), Senior Lecturer at University of Aberdeen, Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University, and Assistant Professor at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.


I am an internationally recognized expert in social movement and politics. I have been researching and participating in European social movements since the early 1990s, exploring the dynamics of resistance, participation and collective identity formation in autonomous movements. I publish widely on European and global social movements, hybrid parties, digital politics and media, collective identity, democracy, autonomy, and political participation, including three books: Social Movements and Globalization: How Protests, Occupations and Uprisings are changing the world (2014), Resisting Austerity (2018 with Graeme Hayes) and Understanding European Social Movements (2013 with Laurence Cox).  I have delivered over 40 keynotes and expert speaker engagements around the world and I am a founding editor of Interface Journal and, as of October 1, 2018, co-Editor in Chief of Social Movement Studies. I was also co-founder and chair of the Council for European Studies (CES) Social Movements Research Network and served as Chair of the Andrew W. Mellon-CES Dissertation Fellowship Committee in 2015. I have served as an editor of the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, and on the editorial board of Sociological Research Online. I am an Associate Editor of the Amsterdam University Press Protest and Social Movements Series (edited by Jan Willem Duyvendak and Jim Jasper), and the Rowman and Littlefield Book series, Radical Subjects in International Politics: Action and Activism (edited by Ruth Kinna). I co-convened the 2013 “Comparative Social Movements and Global Crisis”, at the Transnational Institute, Amsterdam, and the 2012 Conference “Understanding the New Movement Wave: Arab Spring, European Summer, American Fall?” at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. I have served as an external expert evaluator for 10 international funding agencies, including the ERC and the ESRC, and served as a panel member for the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, National Research Plan (2010).



Journal articles, refereed (since 2015)


Special Issues


Chapters in Edited Collections

  • Flesher Fominaya C (2019) Collective identity in social movements: Assessing the limits of a theoretical framework. In Snow D et al (eds) The Blackwell companion to social movements. Oxford: Wiley.
  • Barberet R. and Flesher Fominaya, C (2018) Victims of terrorist associations after September 11 and March 11: Claims, demands, responses.In Andreopoulos, G et al (eds) The Rule of Law in an Evolving World Order: Political, Legal and Ethical Perspectives London: Springer.
  • Flesher Fominaya C (forthcoming 2019) Autonomous movements and their challenges. In Baker M, Pérez-González L and Blagaard B (eds) Routledge Encyclopedia of Citizen Media. London: Routledge.
  • Flesher Fominaya C (2016) The Madrid 2004 bombing: Understanding the puzzle of 11-M’s flawed commemorative process. In Tota AL and Hagen T (eds) Routledge international handbook of memory studies. London: Routledge.
  • Flesher Fominaya C (2015) International solidarity in social movements. In Bian S, Bormann S, Hartung M, Jungeülsing J and Schubert F  (eds) Last call for solidarity, Hamburg: Verlag. (In German).
  • Flesher Fominaya C (2015) Autonomous social movements and the paradox of anti-identitarian collective identity. In McGarry A and Jasper J (eds) The identity dilemma. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 65-84.
  • Flesher Fominaya C (2014) Movement culture as habit(us): Resistance to change in the routinized practices of resistance. In Baumgarten B, Daphi P and Ullrich P (eds) Conceptualizing culture in social movement research. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 186-205.
  • Flesher Fominaya C and Montañés Jiménez A. (2014) Transnational diffusion across time: The adoption of the Argentinian Dirty War “escrache” in the context of Spain’s housing crisis. In della Porta D and Mattoni A (eds) Spreading protest: Social movements in times of crisis. Colchester, UK: ECPR Press, 19-42.
  • Flesher Fominaya C (2014) Autonomous movements and the institutional left. In Karamichas J (ed) New and alternative social movements in Spain. London: Routledge.
  • Cox L and Flesher Fominaya C (2013) European social movements and social theory: a richer narrative? In Flesher Fominaya C and Cox L (eds) Understanding European movements: New social movements, global justice struggles, anti-austerity protests.London: Routledge, 7-30.
  • Flesher Fominaya C (2013) Movement culture continuity: The British anti-roads movement as precursor to the global justice movement. In Flesher Fominaya C and Cox L (eds) Understanding European movements: New social movements, global justice struggles, anti-austerity protests London: Routledge, 109-124.
  • Flesher Fominaya C (2013) The Madrid bombings and popular protest. In Drury J and Stott C (eds) Crowds in the 21st century: Perspectives from contemporary social science. London: Routledge, 17-35.


EU/Council of Europe Commissioned Articles

  • Flesher Fominaya C (2013) Occupation as Inspiring Practice for Youth Political Participation. Link Me In Youth Policy and Practice, Budapest, Salto-Youth, Council of Europe and EU Commission in the Area of Youth. http://www.linkmein.eu/files/inspiring.practice.youth.political.participation.flesher.fominaya.pdf
  • Flesher Fominaya C (2013) European Youth and Political Participation in Times of Crisis. Jugend für Europa, Building Tomorrow’s Europe, Bonn. https://www.buildingeurope.eu/en/agenda/details/a-new-form-of-democracy.41/

Other publications/public engagement


Media Engagement

  • Interviews for The New York Times (US), The Guardian (UK), Newsweek (World), Euroscientist (EU), Mingpao (Hong Kong); De Groene Amsterdammer (Netherlands); Russia Today (Russia); Morning Star (UK); Globe and Mail (Canada); The Monitor (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives), Al-Hurra ITNN (Middle East Region), ABC Radio National (Australia), Vice Motherboard (Canada), To Vima (Greece) Al-Jazeera (English), iPolitics (Canada), Open Democracy, Taloussanomat Economic Daily (Finland), Critcom, Council for European Studies (US), Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue, Agora Sol Radio (Spain), European Centre for International Affairs.


[1] “The best book on the new movements for radical social change in the 21st Century that I have read”, Professor John Foran, University of California, Santa Barbara, review.  Commissioned for second edition.

[2] Reviewer’s comments: “[This book] will fill a big gap in the academic literature on recent and contemporary social movements, and on the application of European social movement theory.”

[3] Most read article on Open Democracy for several days after publication, idem for LSE Euro Crisis blog.

[4] This article was one of the top posts for the news blog for several days after publication.

I have supervised PhDs in the areas of Historical Memory in Spain and Social Memory and Conflict in Colombia. I am currently supervising 4 PhD candidates in the areas of European citizenship, politics, cooperative movements and Tunisian Labour movements. I welcome PhD proposals in the areas of social movements, hybrid parties, digital democracy, autonomy, and related areas.