The Centre on Social Movement Studies


Protest Media Ecologies: Communicative Affordances for Social Change in the Digital Era

From the 20th to the 21st of April, at the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences in the Room Filippo Strozzi: a two day workshop on activists media practices in protest media ecologies from anti-austerity movements in Southern Europe to global perspectives on movements and digital technologies.

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This two-day workshop is organized in the framework of the research project Protest Media Ecologies: Communicative Affordances for Social Change in the Digital Era at Lakehead University (Canada) and Scuola Normale Superiore (Italy), funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant. Our investigation focused on activists media practices in the framework of anti-austerity movements in three Southern European countries – Greece, Italy and Spain.

With this workshop we aim at sharing the knowledge produced through our research with other scholars that focus on topics related to the use of media in the context of mobilizations. We want to engage with the research of people working in the same field, to learn about your projects and findings, and together create research synergies that will deepen our understanding and theoretical considerations of protest media ecologies in Europe and beyond.

In our project, we have gathered and analyzed about 60 interviews with activists, journalists and other social movement media practitioners in the three countries. In particular, the workshop revolves around five main themes that emerged as relevant from our analysis: (1) social movement cultures and activist media practices; (2) technologies of resistance in the algorithmic society; (3) social media platforms and the organization of protest (4) smartphones and other mobile devices in protest settings; (5) alternative journalism, citizen media and protest practices.

The workshop is also part of and supported by the research project PiCME – Political Participation in Complex Media Environments at Scuola Normale Superiore, funded by a Scientific Independence for Young Scholar Grant of the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research. Comparing Greece, Italy and Spain, PiCME investigations connect media infrastructures, media imaginations and media practices as the three explanatory processes that sustain political participation and social movements.


Protest Media Workshop - Final Programme 060417



"Standing up for Science" - a documentary by Dieter Rucht

A documentary by Dieter Rucht on the 2017 March for Science in Washington, D.C. - now available on YouTube.


COSMOS Talks Calendar - Second Semester 2018

Read here the full calendar of the COSMOS Talks Series


Call for Application Now Open: Summer School on Concepts and Methods for Research on Far-Right Politics

We are pleased to announce that the call for applications is now open for the 1st Summer School of the ECPR Standing Group on Extremism & Democracy on ‘Concepts and Methods for Research on Far-Right Politics’, sponsored by the Centre for Research on Extremism (C-REX), the European Council for Political Research (ECPR), and the Centre on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS).


Edited Volume - 2018

Solidarity Mobilizations in the ‘Refugee Crisis’. Contentious Moves

Donatella della Porta (ed.)
This edited volume ddresses a gap in research on social movements that has disregarded the origins of discontent and overlooks protest as a resource of the powerless; it offers insight into how the movement of refugees across the European Union and elsewhere activates political opportunities; it explores claims to citizenship made by refugees within processes of knowledge production and the mobilization of emotions

Journal Article - 2017

Reshaping Citizenship through Collective Action: Performative and Prefigurative Practices in the 2013–2014 Cycle of Contention in Bosnia & Hercegovina

Chiara Milan
This essay analyses the strategic practices adopted by social movement actors during the 2013 and 2014 mobilisations in Bosnia & Hercegovina. By bridging critical citizenship studies with literature on social movements, it classifies them as belonging to the realm of activist citizenship, but also as having a performative and prefigurative dimension.