The Centre on Social Movement Studies


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.



"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.