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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Democracy, Communication and social movement studies – Keynote Speech, Prof. Donatella della Porta (SNS)

In the framework of the Summer School on Media in Political Participation and Mobilization, Prof. Donatella della Porta will give a keynote speech on democracy, communication and social movement studies.

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On the 26th of June 2017, from 5:30pm to 7:00pm, Prof. Donatella della Porta (SNS) will give the inaugural keynote speech of the Summer School on Media in Political Participation and Mobilization. The keynote is open to the whole SNS community and COSMOS members.

Abstract

Literature on social movements, mass media and democracy have rarely interacted. Research on democracy has tended to focus on representative institutions, pragmatically using “minimalistic” operationalization of democracy as electoral accountability, and providing structural explanation of democratic developments. Research on the mass media also tended to isolate the mass media as a separate power, reflecting on the technological constraints and opportunities for communication. Social movement studies have mainly considered democratic characteristics as setting the structure of political opportunities social movements have to address and—more rarely—looked at the constraints the mass media impose upon powerless actors. Structural, instrumental and institutional biases, in various combination, tended to characterize the three fields of studies. More recently, in all three fields of knowledge, some opportunities for reciprocal learning and interactions developed, moved by some exogenous, societal changes as well as disciplinary evolution. I would suggest that looking at the intersection of democracy, media and social movements could be particularly useful within a relational and constructivist approach, that takes normative positions by the different actors into account. More broadly, this would mean to pay attention to the permeability of the borders between the three concepts, as well as between the three fields they tend to separate. In doing this, the chapter will pay particular attention to what social movement studies can learn from recent empirical and theoretical developments in communication studies and vice-versa.

News

30/07/2018

ERC Starting Grant 2018 for Alice Mattoni

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Alice Mattoni, Research Fellow at COSMOS and Assistant Professor at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the Scuola Normale Superiore, has been awarded the ERC Starting Grant 2018 for the research project BIT-ACT: Bottom-up initiative and anti-corruption technologies: how citizens use ICTs to fight corruption.

16/06/2018

Martin Portos wins the Juan J. Linz Prize to the Best thesis in Political Science 2017

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Martin Portos was just awarded with the Juan J. Linz Prize to the Best thesis in Political Science 2017 with his tesis “Voicing outrage, contending with austerity. Mobilization in Spain under the Great Recession”, realized under the supervision of prof. Donatella della Porta.

18/05/2018

Donatella della Porta at the Belleuve Forum in Berlin - May 23, 2018

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On May 23rd, 2018, the Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier talks with Donatella della Porta, Christoph Möllers and David Van Reybrouck about anti-politics, anti-establishment and the dangers of indifference to the political to address the 2018 topic of the Forum "Society without Politics - Testing Liberal Democracies".

Publications

Journal Article - 2018

Comparing hybrid media systems in the digital age: A theoretical framework for analysis

Alice Mattoni and Diego Ceccobelli
The relationship between media and politics today is deeply entrenched in the wide use of information and communication technologies to the point that scholars speak about the emergence of hybrid media systems in which older and newer media logics combine. However, it is still unclear how the configuration of hybrid media systems changes across countries today, especially with regard to the interconnection between media and politics. The article develops a theoretical framework to capture such national differences.

Journal Article - 2018

New Technologies as a Neglected Social Movement Outcome: The Case of Activism against Animal Experimentation

Manès Weisskircher
Based on novel empirical research, this paper analyzes a crucial and understudied case of a movement pushing for new technologies: the animal rights movement and its efforts to push for alternatives to animal experimentation.