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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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MAKERS – Movements as Knowledge Producers and Learning Spaces in the Digital Age

TEAM

Elena Pavan, Andrea Felicetti, and Arianna Mainardi

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START YEAR 2016

END YEAR 2018

This project aims at fostering and exploring the virtuous encounter between two vibrant research strands that have hitherto developed quite independently one from the other: movements as spaces for knowledge production and learning and the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) within collective action dynamics. It does so by focusing on two transnational action networks: the one coordinated by the Association by Progressive Communications Women’s Right Programme (APC) for reclaiming ICTs  to achieve gender equality, and the Transition Network for environmental sustainability.

By reconstructing the evolution of knowledge production and diffusion practices enacted over time within these two networks across the online/offline boundary, the project seeks to achieve two strictly interrelated aims.

On the one hand, it aims at clarifying the contribution of ICTs in relation to the practices of critical knowledge production and diffusion for the pursuit of social change.

On the other hand, it seeks to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of ICTs not only as organizational and knowledge tools but also as “contested objects”. More specifically, the project aims at providing a systematic and account of grassroots and critical views about the implications of ICTs usage for achieving gender equality and environmental sustainability.

The project leans on an ad-hoc analytic and methodological framework, which combines three traits of innovations.

First, it starts from a unique sociotechnical perspective for which ICTs are considered a preferred tool through which such knowledge is produced and diffused but also as an object of critical reflection in themselves.

Second, it innovates current approaches within movements’ knowledge studies and discussions on the role of ICTs as it considers simultaneously the contents and the practices of knowledge production and diffusion.

Third, it is supported by the triangulation of multiple analytical techniques that aims specifically at the simultaneous consideration of contents and practices within the APC WRP and the Transition Netwok. More particularly, the project combines in-depth interviewing with digital methods (a set of digital research techniques for deriving and analyzing digital data from several platforms, e.g., websites, social media platforms, search engines), qualitative and automated content analysis (a specific set of techniques for systematizing and analyzing the contents of a corpus of selected texts), and big data approaches to online social media and social network data.

 

*Project banner adapted from the Original Photo by Dhyta Caturani, included in the Multimedia Campaign Package of the Take Back The Tech! campaign.

 

                                  

FUNDING

Scuola Normale Superiore – Grant interno

 

News

26/02/2020

CFP Athens conference "Capitalism, Democracy, Contention: A Decade of Crisis" 13-15 May 2020

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Aspiring to shed light on the Greek experience in the era of crisis in a comparative, inter-disciplinary perspective, the Laboratory on Contentious Politics (Department of Political Science and History, Panteion University, Athens), the Centre on Social Movement Studies (Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence) and the Hellenic Political Science Association are organizing an international conference to be held at Panteion University, on 13, 14 and 15 May 2020.

12/12/2019

Prof. Donatella Della Porta to Be Awarded Honorary PhD

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On Friday 13, 2019, the University of the Peloponnese (PSIR) will award an honorary doctorate to Professor Donatella Della Porta, Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at the Scuola Normale Superiore.

22/07/2019

Protest for a future: international report on #FridaysForFuture and the climate strike

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Composition, mobilization and motives of the participants in Fridays For Future climate protests on 15 March 2019, in 13 European cities. A multi-country collaboration report, with contributions from COSMOS researchers Lorenzo Zamponi, Donatella della Porta, Martín Portos, Niccolò Bertuzzi and Daniela Chironi.

21/06/2019

Call for papers: "The Nation and the Radical Left - Practices and Discourses of National Identity in Left-Wing Politics"

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The call for papers is now open for a conference on national identities and left-wing politics.

18/06/2019

Call for papers: “Class without consciousness” – The Politics of Fragmented Class Identities

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The call for papers is now open for a two-day conference on class and identities at the Scuola Normale Superiore on 14-15 November 2019

05/03/2019

A dialogue on labour, trade unions and conflicts

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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.

Publications

Journal Article - 2020

Don’t Call it Climate Populism: On Greta Thunberg’s Technocratic Ecocentrism

Mattia Zulianello and Diego Ceccobelli
The growing popularity of Greta Thunberg has led an increasing number of pundits and scholars to consider her message to be an instance of ‘climate’ or ‘environmental’ populism. This paper challenges this view, and argues that her message is far from being a case of populism.

Journal Article - 2020

Populism between voting and non-electoral participation

Andrea Pirro & Martín Portos
The article focuses on a neglected aspect of populist mobilisation, i.e. non-electoral participation (NEP), and elaborates on the extent to which populist party voters engage politically outside the polling station. While challenging common understandings of populism as inherently distrustful and apathetic, and protest as an exclusive practice of the left, the study critically places NEP at the heart of populism in general, and populist right politics in particular.

Journal Article - 2020

Reverting trajectories? UKIP’s organisational and discursive change after the Brexit referendum

Ofra Klein & Andrea Pirro
While showing UKIP’s projection into a new phase of its political lifecycle, the findings qualify the notion that the party has radicalised its (online) discourse as a result of (offline) organisational changes.

Special Issue - 2020

The Cultural Side of Populism: Politics, Emotions, Music and Subcultures in Populist Times

Manuela Caiani & Enrico Padoan
This special issue aims to combine an analytical perspective with an empirical focus on current populism(s) in Europe and their cultural aspects.

Journal Article - 2020

Filling the Gaps in Populism Studies

Manuela Caiani & Enrico Padoan
This article introduces the conceptual and analytical framework for the special issue, which explores the cultural side of populism: the relationships between politics, emotions, music, and subcultures in populist contexts.

Journal Article - 2019

Alliance building and eventful protests: comparing Spanish and Portuguese trajectories under the Great Recession

Martín Portos & Tiago Carvalho
Social movement research has shed light on the relationship between processes of alliance building and multiple factors related to political opportunities, framing, identities, networks and resource mobilization. However, less is known about the impact of eventful protests on coalition building dynamics.

Monograph - 2019

Social Mobilization beyond Ethnicity. Civic Activism and Grassroots Movements in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Chiara Milan
This book offers an in-depth investigation of the emergence and spread of social mobilizations that transcend ethnicity in societies violently divided along ethno-national lines. Using Bosnia Herzegovina as a case study, the book explores episodes of mobilization which have superseded ethno-nationalist cleavages.

Journal Article - 2019

Close ever, distant never? Integrating protest event and social network approaches into the transformation of the Hungarian far right

Andrea Pirro, Elena Pavan, Adam Fagan & David Gazsi
In this article, we extend our understanding of fringe politics to include relational and thematic elements, namely, the relationship of far-right collective actors with their broader network and the claims made within it. By focusing on often neglected relational and thematic aspects, the study provides new ways to analyse fringe collective actors, the relationship with their environment and the evolution of such a relationship over time.

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.