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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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The Missing Actor: The Meaning of Political Cultures for Media/Movements Interactions

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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This seminar questions the role of ‘political cultures’ when studying interactions between media and movements, which we provocatively identified as the ‘missing actor’. Current research on social movements and media technologies has been profoundly affected by techno-deterministic, positivist and ethnocentric analyses. This is to detriment of a thorough understanding of the complex relationship between political cultures, imagination and media/movements interactions.

The aim of this seminar is to shed light on this complexity through three different panels a) political imaginations in media/movements interactions b) extreme-right political cultures and media/movement interactions c) left-wing political cultures and media/movement interactions. Scholars and activists will be invited to explore culturally and context specific examples, and to create a space in which we can re-think the role of the political in contemporary research on activism when it comes to interactions between different types of media technologies and social movements.

Here you can find the final programme of the event and the abstracts of the papers and keynotes 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.

News

06/10/2017

Open Democracy Post - "The streets will always be ours" - Catalonia, a referendum from below

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Although some still conceive of the referendum as launched by a pro-independence vanguard, the elite story falls short of explaining the resilient participation of a large part of Catalan civil society. This post at Open Democracy addresses this issue from a different angle.

24/09/2017

New Publication Out - "Social movements and referendums from below. Direct democracy in the neoliberal crisis"

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A timely publication to shed light on the link between social movements that formed as a consequence of the 2008 financial crash and the referendums' dynamic and results.

25/08/2017

Donatella Della Porta con Yanis Varoufakis alla 13esima conferenza ESA

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Wednesday, August 30th (8pm-9.30pm) professor della Porta, who directs the Center on Social Movement Studies(Cosmos), will dialogue with Yanis Varoufakis, Greek Minister of Finance during the first Tsipras government, about the future of Europe and the social consequences of neoliberal economies

Publications

Monograph - 2018

Social Movements and Civil War : When Protests for Democratization Fail

Donatella della Porta, Teije Hidde Donker , Bogumila Hall , Emin Poljarevic
This book investigates the origins of civil wars which emerge from failed attempts at democratization. The main aim of this volume is to develop a theoretical explanation of the conditions under which and the mechanisms through which social movements' struggles for democracy ends up in civil war.

Monograph - 2017

Social movements and referendums from below. Direct democracy in the neoliberal crisis

Donatella Della Porta, Francis O'Connor, Martin Portos and Anna Subirats Ribas
Out now "Social movements and referendum from below", the first book that bridges the gap between social movement studies and research on direct democracy. It draws on social movement theory to understand the nature of popular mobilisation in referendums using unique case studies such as the referendum on independence in Scotland, the consultations on independence in Catalonia, the Italian referendum on water, the referendum on the Troika proposals in Greece and the referendum on the debt repayment in Iceland.