‘Cosmopolitanism, New Media and Protests‘ is the theme of our 5th annual PhD Symposium at the LSE Media and Communications Department. PhD students from around the world will be presenting a series of papers at a special symposium this Friday. LSE PhD candidate Marina Gerner reports.
In the last two years, waves of civil protests have been taking place around the globe: the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ has targeted totalitarian regimes in the Arab world; the ‘indignados’ in Spain, Greece and other EU countries have been protesting against austerity, unemployment and corrupt governments; the #Occupy movement, in the USA and Europe, emerged as a response to the financial crisis, targeting financial elites and demanding social change; there have also been riots in a number of UK cities; and political protests in Russia.
On the one hand, these developments can be approached as local events in which information technologies and new media played a significant role in the mediation of protests. On the other hand, we could argue that we are witnessing the emergence of a new global political system, as all these events are interrelated and reflect the rise of a new type of cosmopolitan networked society. In the latter case, new media may not just be a tactical tool but a major factor for system change.
Conceptualising cosmopolitanism as a contested term resting on a tension between the local and the global, the Symposium will examine the mediation of protests through new media platforms as they expand within and beyond national borders. The key question we will address is: How are new media implicated in the creation of cosmopolitan dispositions and protest mobilisations?
These questions will be addressed by the Symposium which will take place this Friday on the 15th of June.
PhD students from all over world, including the UK, U.S., France, Israel, Germany, Russia, Belgium and Denmark will present their papers. The Symposium consists of four panels: (1) Arab Spring: The mediation of political transformations, (2) Social Protests and Online Activism, (3) New Media in Contested Freedom Environments and (4) New Times and Spaces: Towards Global Identities?
Key note speaker of the event will be Dr Bart Cammaerts (LSE) on ‘Transnational Networks of Contention: Mediated Movement Spill-overs’.
If you wish to attend please RSVP to Media.Symposium@lse.ac.uk by Thursday 5pm and you will receive information on time and location.