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.
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.
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.
Monograph - 2018
Journal Article - 2017