The Centre on Social Movement Studies


The figure of social media in contemporary protest – Olu Jenzen, University of Brighton

A talk on the Gezi park protest of 2013 as a case study to elucidate how social media, and more specifically Twitter, has emerged as a signifier of contemporary protest.

Picture description

This talk uses the Gezi park protest of 2013 as a case study to elucidate how social media, and more specifically Twitter, has emerged as a signifier of contemporary protest. The importance of social media for contemporary protest movements is something that has by now been written about extensively. In previous research, the main emphasis has been given to the functionality of social media primarily as a means of information sharing and a tool for protest organisation. This paper seeks to redress this by directing our attention to the role of visual communication and how social media is symbolically implied in the protestors’ self image. Thus the paper focuses on how social media as a cultural signifier or symbol is employed both by protestors and the authorities seeking to rebuke the movement. The paper looks at how in the case of the 2013 Gezi Park protests in Turkey, social media is rhetorically evoked by both protestors (as the platform for freedom of expression) and the government (as a menace to the state). It also explores how social media becomes a symbolic part of the protest movement by visualising the possibility of imagining the movement as a decentralized networked digital mass; and finally discusses how Gezi activists appropriated the Twitter logo bird in visual representations of the movement.



Donatella della Porta at the Stein Rokkan lecture in Mons - 9 April 2019

Donatella della Porta invited to give the Stein Rokkan lecture during the next ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops in April 2019.


Call for Papers - Social Movements and Parties in a Fractured Media Landscape

The call for papers is now open for a two-day symposium held under the auspices of the journal ‘Information, Communication & Society’ (iCS) at the Centre on Social Movement Studies, 1-2 July 2019.


Call for Papers - International Conference on Feminist Alliances

The conference will focus on the role played by discourses, practices and politics in the construction and political consequences of feminist alliances with inequalities defined by class, race/ethnicity, citizenship, age, disability and sexuality.


Monograph - 2018

Political Strategies and Social Movements in Latin America. The Zapatistas and Bolivian Cocaleros

Leonidas Oikonomakis
This book investigates how social movements form their political strategies in their quest for social change and -when they shift from one strategy to another- why and how that happens.

Monograph - 2018

The Contentious Politics of Higher Education. Struggles and Power Relations within English and Italian Universities

Lorenzo Cini
Drawing on neo-institutionalist and social movement approaches, this book analyses the impact that recent student mobilizations have brought about within Italian and English universities in terms of student services, curriculum organization, and governance structures.