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.



A dialogue on labour, trade unions and conflicts

On the 22nd of March, from 4pm to 7pm, Donatella della Porta (Scuola Normale Superiore) and Maurizio Landini (Secretary General of CGIL) will discuss about labour, trade unions and conflicts.


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.


17 Fully funded 4-years PhD positions in Political Science and Sociology and in Transnational Governance, Scuola Normale Superiore

The grant is for 4 years. It is open to students of all nationalities. Coverage of research expenses (conferences, summer schools, research periods abroads) is provided.


Journal Article - 2019

Ballots and barricades enhanced: far‐right ‘movement parties’ and movement‐electoral interactions

Andrea Pirro
This contribution enhances our understanding of the contemporary far right by focusing on the neglected links between movements and elections within the broader context of contention.

Journal Article - 2019

From the Rainy Place to the Burnt Palace: How Social Movements Form their Political Strategies. The Case of the Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba

Leonidas Oikonomakis
Exploring the case of the cocaleros of the Chapare, this article argues that more emphasis should be placed on mechanisms that are internal to the movements, such as: (a) the resonance of other political experiences at home and abroad, (b) internal struggles for ideological hegemony, and (c) the political formation of their grassroots.