The Centre on Social Movement Studies


A situated understanding of digital technologies in social movements. Media ecology and media practice approaches

Alice Mattoni

The article explores the potential of media ecologies and media practices approaches to grasp the role of digital technologies in current social movements. Moreover, it adopts a media practice perspective to reflects on the relationship between the communicative dimension of social movements and the mundane individual use of digital technologies.

Type: Journal Article
Year: 2017

The article tackles two main aspects related to the interaction between social movements and digital technologies. First, it reflects on the need to include and combine different theoretical approaches in social movement studies so as to construct more meaningful understanding of how social movement actors deals with digital technologies and with what outcomes in societies. In particular, the article argues that media ecology and media practice approaches serve well to reach this objective as: they recognize the complex multi-faceted array of media technologies, professions and contents with which social movement actors interact; they historicize the use of media technologies in social movements; and they highlight the agency of social movement actors in relation to media technologies while avoiding a media-centric approach to the subject matter. Second, this article employs a media practice perspective to explore two interrelated trends in contemporary societies that the articles in this special issue deal with: the personalization and individualization of politics, and the role of the grassroots in political mobilizations.

Mattoni, Alice. 2017. ‘A Situated Understanding of Digital Technologies in Social Movements. Media Ecology and Media Practice Approaches’. Social Movement Studies 0(0): 1–12.




"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.