The Centre on Social Movement Studies


The Subversion of Big Data. Cultures, Discourses and Practices of Big Data in Social Movements Contexts

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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The goal of this  seminar is to address the concept of big data as a contested terrain of imagination and practice which is understood in different ways by economic and political powers on the one hand and political activists on the other. This seminar focuses on these discursive tensions by exploring activists practices and beliefs about big data. In particular, we aim at deconstructing the concept of big data from an activist perspective and at discussing how social movement actors related to big data. More specifically, we explore big data in three different panels: a) activists’ data cultures and big data b) activists’ discourses on big data; and c) activists’ practices involving big data.

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.