The Centre on Social Movement Studies


The Activist, the Academic and Digital Media: Challenging Research, Re-thinking Theory

This seminar is part ot the Social Movements and Media Technologies: Present Challenges and Future Developments Seminar Series, designed to tackle and critically understand one of the crucial societal changes of our times: the relationship between political participation and media technologies.

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The goal of this  seminar is to reflect on the often under-investigated relationship between academic knowledge, activist practice and digital technologies. Academics researching social movements and media technologies often find themselves either working in close contact with social movement actors and becoming advocates of specific causes, or they find themselves dealing with a dual identity: the one of the academic and the one of the activist. This seminar aims to create a space where this dual identity could surface with its complexity and contradictions through the exploration of the relationship between theoretical involvement, activist practice and digital media. Activists and academics will focus on three dimensions of this relationship a) the disconnection between academic theory and political activism b) the dual identities of activist academics c) participatory research projects.

Here you can find the final programme of the event and the abstracts of the papers that will be presented at the seminar.

The Social Movements and Media Technologies: Present Challenges and Future Developments Seminar Series is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and jointly organised by the Centre for Global Media and Democracy (CGMD) at Goldsmiths University of London and the Centre on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS), Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence.



"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.