Monthly Archives: setembre 2011

Call for paper abstracts: Digital politics, European Spring, Culture & more – European Social Movements Research Network, Council for European Studies Conference

Hello! Hola!

This call might be of interest for those in Boston area interested on the current wave of social mobilization (Springs) and the digital politics and collective action with empirical base on European cases or comparison of European cases with other regions cases.

Deadline Oct 5th.

I am double happy: on the one hand, because thesse panels are truly timely and interesting to me. On the other hand, because it is an opportunity to be doing something with four people I very much appreciate and admire: Laurence Cox, Cristina Flesher Fominaya, Alice Mattoni, and Nicole Doerr.

Cheers! Mayo

Call for paper abstracts: European Social Movements Research Network, Council for European Studies Conference
Boston, MA
22-24 March 2012
Deadline October 5th.

Panel topics :
I. The European Spring: 15-M, indignados and beyond
II Cultural Approaches to European Social Movements
III. Historicizing European Social Movements: traditions, connections, ruptures
IV. Digital Politics and Collective Action in European movements

I. The European Spring: 15-M, indignados and beyond
Chair: Alice Mattoni; Co-Chair: Cristina Flesher Fominaya; Discussant: Mayo Fuster Morell
The wave of anti-austerity protest that characterizes the “European Spring” has attracted considerable interest and debate from a wide range of scholars. It is as yet very early to say anything substantive about the new wave of protests across Europe; but clearly, coming as they do in response to austerity policies which are geared towards reasserting orthodox neo-liberal policies as a way out of economic crisis, they strike at the heart of major European power structures. Some protests may seem like a continuation of familiar themes already present in the anti-capitalist or alter-globalization movement; others appear to represent the mobilisation of citizens who have previously remained politically passive, or the development of new social movement alliances. This panel is open to papers from any disciplinary or theoretical perspective that seek to address these protests, and that answer these sorts of questions:
– How far do the current wave of protests continue the previous practices and alliances of European social movements, and how far do they represent genuinely new developments?
– How can the differences between mobilisation in different countries be explained: why is Ireland passive and Portugal active, for example; why have British protests remained isolated and Spanish ones involved previously passive sectors of the population; why the success of Icelandic protests and the failure of Greek ones?
– How significant are the international linkages and inspirations, both between these different countries and the inspiration from the “Arab Spring?”
– What do the responses from political parties, NGOs, trade unions, media and police to these events tell us about the role of social movements in times of crisis vis-à-vis more established political actors?

II. Cultural Approaches to European Social Movements
Chair: Cristina Flesher Fominaya; Co-Chair: Laurence Cox; Discussant: Nicole Doerr
The “cultural turn” in social movement studies converges with a much longer-established trend in many aspects of European studies to adopt cultural perspectives on movements. This panel seeks to explore questions about the role of culture in European social movements (broadly defined), including the cultural dynamics within movements and movement organisations, between movement groups, and between movements and audiences. Issues such as cultural diffusion of tactics, frames and repertoires, the role of culture in fostering or preventing collective identity formation in social movements in Europe, practices of cultural resistance and media production, or cultural analysis of social movement construction in Europe are all welcome. Attention to the role of emotions in the process of movement construction is also welcome.

III. Historicizing European Social Movements: traditions, connections, ruptures
Chair: Nicole Doerr; Co-Chair Laurence Cox; Discussant: Laurence Cox
While historians have often focussed on the long-standing character of European social movements, political subcultures and “repertoires of protest” (from the history of the barricade through the development of “red” and “white” regions through to studies of the survival of political networks under fascism), this perspective has often been less visible and less articulate within social movement approaches – which have conversely been extremely active in studying how movements construct themselves in the here-and-now. This panel is open to papers which seek to bring these two perspectives together, in exploring both how movements and movement affiliations in Europe persist over the longer time period, despite dramatic changes in regime and social context, and how at any given point movement cultures construct themselves in relation to the existing movement landscape: as continuity, as rupture, as transformation and rearrangement of existing elements.

IV. Digital Politics and Collective Action in European movements
Chair: Mayo Fuster Morell; Co-Chair: Laurence Cox; Discussant: Alice Mattoni
In common with social movements elsewhere, European social movements have become increasingly “digitised” in many ways, from the use of new technology for publicity and organisation of protests to the development of online collective actions. As the relationship between social movements and digital media is increasingly debated and theorised internationally, what can the European experience tell us? Is there a new electronic “alternative public sphere”? How do cultural and above all linguistic differences affect the transnationalisation of European digital media? Are digital media more or less integrated into existing social movements in Europe than (say) in North America or the Arab world? Is there a risk (or promise?) of social networking platforms, like Facebook, and micro-blogging sites, like Twitter, substituting for social movement activism? To what extent, how and with what consequences do diverse mediation and communication channels collide, intertwine and converge in current European movements? This panel is open to papers exploring any aspect of the relationship between social movements and digital media in Europe.

To propose an abstract submit via the CES portal:

Please indicate on your submission which panel you would like your abstract to be considered for (for example: “Digital Politics and Collective Action in European Movements”), and that it is a submission for the European Social Movement Network.

Papers that are not accepted to the panels can still be considered as open stream submissions for the conference.

The Unethics of Sharing: Wikiwashing

Hi there!

A great special issue on the “Ethics of Sharing” by W. Sützl & F. Stalder at International Review of Information Ethics – Vol 15 has just been released. Among others (such as great Felix Stalder and Micheal Bauwens piece), it includes a paper from me on “The Unethics of Sharing: Wikiwashing”.

But what is wikiwashing about?

In order for online communities to assemble and grow, some basic infrastructure is necessary that makes possible the aggregation of the collective action. There is a very intimate and complex relationship between the technological infrastructure and the social character of the community which uses it. Today, most infrastructure is provided by corporations and the contrast between community and corporate dynamics is becoming increasingly pronounced. But in some occasions, rather than address the issues, the corporations are actively obfuscating it. Wikiwashing refers to a strategy of (some) media corporate where practices associated to their role of infrastructure providers (such as abusive terms of use, privacy violation, censorship, and use of voluntary work for profit purposes, among others) that would be seen as unethical by the communities they enable are concealed by promoting a misleading image of themselves associated with the general values of wikis and Wikipedia (such as sharing and collaboration, openness and transparency).

The empirical analysis of this piece is based on case studies (Facebook , Yahoo! and Google) and triangulation of several methods.

See the complete special issue on “Ethics of Sharing”:

See my piece on “Unethics of Sharing: Wikiwashing”:

Hope you enjoy it! Critics welcome.

Cheers! Mayo