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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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The integrative power of online collective action networks beyond protest. Exploring social media use in the process of institutionalization

Elena Pavan

In this article, we aim at expanding the event-based and protest-centered perspective that is typically adopted to study the nexus between social media and movements. To this aim, we propose a network-based approach to explore the changing role that these tools play during the dynamic unfolding of movement processes and, more particularly, over the course of their institutionalization.

Type: Journal Article
Year: 2016

In this article, we aim at expanding the event-based and protest-centered perspective that is typically adopted to study the nexus between social media and movements. To this aim, we propose a network-based approach to explore the changing role that these tools play during the dynamic unfolding of movement processes and, more particularly, over the course of their institutionalization. In the first part, we read the added value of social media as a function of the ‘integrative power’ of the networks they foster – a unique and evolving form of sociotechnical power that springs from the virtuous encounter between social media networking potential and social resources. In the second part, we investigate this form of power by focusing directly on online networks’ structure as well as on the type of communication and participation environments they host. We apply our proposed approach to the longitudinal exploration of the Twitter networks deployed in the period 2012–2014 during three annual editions of the transnational feminist campaign ‘Take Back The Tech!’ (TBTT). Results from our case study suggest that, over time, TBTT supporters do in fact make a differentiated use of social media affordances – progressively switching their communicative strategies to better sustain the campaign’s efforts inside and outside institutional venues. Thus, the exploration of the TBTT case provides evidence of the usefulness of the proposed approach to reflect on the different modes in which social media can be exploited in different mobilization stages and political terrains.

http://www.tandfonline.com.ezp.biblio.unitn.it/doi/full/10.1080/14742837.2016.1268956

News

25/08/2017

Donatella Della Porta con Yanis Varoufakis alla 13esima conferenza ESA

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Wednesday, August 30th (8pm-9.30pm) professor della Porta, who directs the Center on Social Movement Studies(Cosmos), will dialogue with Yanis Varoufakis, Greek Minister of Finance during the first Tsipras government, about the future of Europe and the social consequences of neoliberal economies

08/06/2017

Call for Papers - Cosmos Conference "The Contentious Politics of Higher Education. Student Movements in Late Neoliberalism"

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The Centre on Social Movement Studies, directed by Professor Donatella Della Porta, calls for papers addressing the recent global wave of student protests for a two-days conference to bel held in Florence, at the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Scuola Normale Superiore (SNS), on 15-16 November 2017.

19/05/2017

Video available for the International Conference – Beyond Borders: Refugees and Struggles in Europe Mobilization, Solidarity and Political Challenges in the Long Summer of Migration

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Watch the video of the International Conference – Beyond Borders, which was held at Palazzo Strozzi on May 12, 2017

Publications

Monograph - 2018

Social Movements and Civil War : When Protests for Democratization Fail

Donatella della Porta, Teije Hidde Donker , Bogumila Hall , Emin Poljarevic
This book investigates the origins of civil wars which emerge from failed attempts at democratization. The main aim of this volume is to develop a theoretical explanation of the conditions under which and the mechanisms through which social movements' struggles for democracy ends up in civil war.

Journal Article - 2017

Successful student activism in contemporary Italian universities

Lorenzo Cini
This article assesses the strategies that the Italian student activists adopted in order to influence the revision process of the governance structure of their universities in 2011