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 on the Growing Criminalization of Protest

The criminalization of protest is growing: there are many signals of this both in ‘hybrid’ regimes and in democratic countries. In this interview, Donatella della Porta discusses the dynamics and consequences of such trend.


Andrea Pirro appointed as new editor of East European Politics

Andrea Pirro has been recently appointed as new editor of the journal East European Politics published by Taylor and Francis.


Volkswagen foundation Grant 2018 for Manuela Caiani

Manuela Caiani has been awarded the Volkswagen Grant 2018 for the research project Popular Music as a Medium for the Mainstreaming of Populist Ideologies in Europe, that will be directed by Mario Dunkel (University Carl von Ossietzky of Oldenburg, Germany).


Journal Article - 2018

Movement parties of the far right: The organization and strategies of nativist collective actors

Andrea Pirro, Pietro Castelli Gattinara
Despite theoretical commonalities, very little empirical research has focused on far-right “movement parties” as collective actors operating both in the protest and the electoral arenas. The article redresses this inconsistency by exploring the organizational and strategic configuration of two far-right collective actors—the Hungarian Jobbik and the Italian CasaPound.

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.