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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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PiCME – Political participation in Complex Media Environments

TEAM

Alice Mattoni, Emiliano Treré, and Diego Ceccobelli

WEB SITE

START YEAR 2015

END YEAR 2018

OVERVIEW

PiCME – Political participation in Complex Media Environments investigates political participation in complex media environments. It does so by looking at how mechanisms and processes of political participation evolve in complex media environments and the consequences within the political sphere at large and in relation to political actors in particular.

This is a crucial topic in contemporary societies, since profound changes in the media sphere have significant impact on how political participation develops today and will evolve in the near future. In the current media environment, political actors tend to interact with a variety of communication technologies, organizations, and professionals in the political sphere. In fact, political participation – from individual involvement to electoral campaigns and protest demonstrations – is intertwined with complex flows of communication, where older and newer media technologies and their logics dispute, collide, and, more often, combine.

However, we still lack a comprehensive understanding of how mechanisms and processes in political participation actually changed in complex media environments and with what consequences for the political sphere as well as the media sphere.

PiCME seeks to fill this void through an interdisciplinary methodology that integrates diverse research traditions from media studies, Internet studies, political science, and political sociology. In doing so, the research project employs an innovative approach that is:

1) Multi-dimensional: the empirical investigation will focus on four interrelated dimensions providing an holistic explanation of political participation in complex media environments: the infrastructures, imaginations, practices, and outcomes related to media technologies employed in the context of political participation;

2) Multi-level: the empirical investigation will address three interrelated levels of analysis seldom combined in studies on political participation: the micro-level of individual citizens who become politically active despite not being affiliated to collective political actors; the meso-level of collective political actors (i.e. political parties and social movements); and the macro-level of big (digital) media corporations that shape the architecture and the affordances of complex media environments;

3) Comparative: the empirical investigation will develop a cross-country comparison focusing on three Southern European countries: Italy, Spain, and Greece. In each country, the analysis will focus on case-studies in the realm of institutional politics and in the realm of non-institutional politics;

4) Mixed methods: the empirical research will combine different methodological traditions, including expert and in-depth interviewing; digital and non-digital ethnography; frame and discourse analysis; and statistical analysis.

*Original picture by Robin Iversen released under the CC License Attribution 2.0 Generic and here partially cut and modified with Gimp.

                                  

FUNDING

Funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research through the grant S.I.R. – Scientific Independence of young Researchers.

Codice Unico Progetto: E52I15000500001. Codice Cineca: RBSI14GUJE

 

News

19/12/2017

10 Fully funded 4-years PhD positions in Political Science and Sociology, for the AA. 2018/2019, Scuola Normale Superiore

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The grant is for 4 years. it is open to students of all nationalities. Coverage of research expenses (conferences, summer schools, research periods abroads) is provided.

13/12/2017

Call for Paper: Conference “1968-2018, fifty years after: Where is the social movements field going?”

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Taking the 1968 anniversary as a stimulating moment for reflection, this conference seeks to provide space for looking at the implications of that period on social movement research as well as addressing a number of key questions in current social movement research.

04/12/2017

Martin Portos Garcia wins the ISA's Seventh Worldwide Competition for Junior Sociologists

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The International Sociological Association has just announced the list of the winners of the Seventh Worldwide Competition for Junior Sociologists engaged in social research, amongst which Martin Portos Garcia - post-doc fellow at COSMOS

Publications

Journal Article - 2017

Repertoires of knowledge practices: Social movements in times of crisis

Donatella della Porta and Elena Pavan
Starting from the assumption that knowledge becomes all the more important for movements in times of crisis, as old structures are challenged and new ones envisaged and proved feasible, the purpose of this paper is to suggest ways to expand the toolkit of social movement studies in order to empirically address knowledge practices as a meaningful part of contemporary progressive activism.

Journal Article - 2017

Keeping dissent alive under the Great Recession: no-radicalisation and protest in Spain after the eventful 15M/indignados campaign

Martín Portos
Traditional theories of collective action would predict that, after a triggering event, the trajectory of a wave of protest is determined by the institutionalisation–radicalisation tandem. Based on the Spanish cycle of anti-austerity and against the political status quo protest in the shadow of the Great Recession, this article contends with this approach, as a clear trend towards radicalisation is never observed as the cycle unfolds. An alternative interpretative framework is developed to understand protest trajectories when collaborative inter-organisational strategies prevail.