The Centre on Social Movement Studies


Comparing Digital Protest Media Imaginaries: Anti-Austerity Movements in Greece, Italy & Spain

Emiliano Treré, Sandra Jeppensen and Alice Mattoni

Drawing on 60 semi­-structured interviews with activists involved in anti-austerity protests, the article brings together social movement studies and communications theories to compare digital protest media imaginaries in Greece, Spain and Italy

Type: Journal Article
Year: 2017

This article presents findings from an empirical study of repertoires of contention and communication engaged during anti-austerity protests by the Indignados in Spain, the precarious generation in Italy, and the Aganaktismenoi in Greece. Drawing on 60 semi­structured interviews with activists and independent media producers involved in the 2011 wave of contention, we bring together social movement and communications theoretical frameworks to present a comparative critical analysis of digital protest media imaginaries. After examining the different socio-political and protest media contexts of the three countries translocally, our critical analysis emphasizes the emergence of three different imaginaries: in Spain the digital protest media imaginary was technopolitical, grounded in the politics and political economies of communication technologies emerging from the free culture movement; in Italy this imaginary was techno-fragmented, lacking cohesion, and failed to bring together old and new protest media logics; and finally in Greece it was techno-pragmatic, envisioned according to practical objectives that reflected the diverse politics and desires of media makers rather than the strictly technological or political affordances of the digital media forms and platforms. This research reveals how pivotal the temporal and geographical dimensions are when analyzed using theoretical perspectives from both communications and social movement research; moreover it emphasizes the importance of studying translocal digital protest media imaginaries as they shape movement repertoires of contention and communication; both elements are crucial to better understanding the challenges, limitations, successes and opportunities for digital protest media.

Treré, E., Jeppesen, S. and Mattoni, A. (2017) ‘Comparing Digital Protest Media Imaginaries: Anti-Austerity Movements in Greece, Italy & Spain’, tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique 15(2):406-424




"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.