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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

10/11/2017

Call for Application Now Open: Summer School on Youth Political Participation in Times of Inequalities

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We are pleased to announce that the call for applications is now open for the Summer School on Youth Political Participation in Times of Inequalities, sponsored by the Reinventing Democracy in Europe: Youth Doing Politics in Times of Increasing Inequalities project (EURYKA) and the Centre on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS).

26/10/2017

Now Online! The plenary session (Un)making Europe of the 13th ESA Conference

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During the plenary session, Donatella della Porta and Yanis Varoufakis spoke about the future of Europe and the social consequences of neoliberal economies.

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.

Publications

Journal Article - 2017

Digital Capitalism and the End of Politics: The Case of the Italian Five Star Movement

Loris Caruso
This article investigates the political and cultural nature of the Movimento Cinque Stelle (Five Star Movement, M5S) by (1) analyzing its discourse on democracy, its organizational choices and its main issues; (2) comparing these elements with populism and the left; and (3) linking its fundamental characteristics to contemporary economic processes usually termed “digital capitalism.”

Journal Article - 2017

Framing exclusion in the public sphere: Far-right mobilization and the debate on Charlie Hebdo in Italy

Pietro Castelli Gattinara
While the January 2015 Paris terrorist attacks presented a crucial opportunity for far-right mobilisation, the focus on liberal democratic values and Charlie Hebdo’s non-conformist progressive profile presented challenges for right-wing discourse. Taking Italy as a paradigmatic case of public controversies on cultural and religious affairs, this article examines the opportunities and constraints generated by multicultural crises for far-right framing choices.