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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Distorsiones tecnopolíticas: represión y resistencia algorítmica del activismo ciudadano en la era del big data

Emiliano Treré

Based on a critical analysis of various social and political phenomena of contemporary Mexico, this article demonstrates that diverse political parties and governments have successfully used new forms of algorithmic repression to manufacture consent, sabotage dissent, threaten and monitor activists and obtain citizens’ personal data.

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Type: Journal Article
Year: 2016

Several strands of literature on social engagement, digital media and big data conceive digital platforms as a shortcut to government accountability and citizen empowerment. According to these visions, social media and the new possibilities offered by the analysis of big data represent the solution to the issues of contemporary democracies. Based on a critical analysis of various social and political phenomena of contemporary Mexico, this article demonstrates that diverse political parties and governments have successfully used new forms of algorithmic repression to manufacture consent, sabotage dissent, threaten and monitor activists and obtain citizens’ personal data. This paper argues that these new strategies clearly show the limitations of digital platforms —and of social media in particular— for democratic participation, as activists have to fight against refined techniques of control and oppression that efficiently adopt and manipulate new communi-cation technologies. In the conclusions, the article discusses broader considerations about the limits and the benefits of the new forms of algorithmic resistance in the current technopolitical scenario, proposing a technoambivalent approach to digital technologies.

E. Treré, 2016, "Distorsiones tecnopolíticas: represión y resistencia algorítmica del activismo ciudadano en la era del big data", Trípodos, 39, Facultad de Comunicación y Relaciones Internacionales Blanquerna. Universidad Ramón Llull, Spain, p. 35-51

http://www.tripodos.com/index.php/Facultat_Comunicacio_Blanquerna/article/view/379

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.