Social Movement Studies
Deadline: May 30, 2020
- Stefania Milan, DATACTIVE, Department of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Davide Beraldo, DATACTIVE, Department of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, email@example.com
Datafication is changing the conditions under which contemporary social movements operate, opening up new terrains of contention. As a result, grassroots initiatives in the realm of data activism, data justice, algorithmic accountability and/or resistance to mass surveillance mushrooms in liberal and authoritarian regimes alike. These initiatives vary by scale, organizational forms, tactics, political visions and technological imaginaries. They may take data “as repertoires”, whereby data and data-based tactics are mobilized as constituents of innovative tactics, or “as stakes”, that is to say issues or objects of political struggle in their own right. However, they share an emphasis on the contentious politics of data.
While many instances of the contentious politics of data have come under the spotlight of specialists of digital politics and culture, social movement scholars are only starting to investigate the consequences of datafication on organized collective action. Yet datafication represents a paradigm change able to radically transform “social movement society”, urging social movements scholars to reflect on how it intersects with known social movement dynamics.
This Special Issue invites scholars of social movements and critical data studies to engage with i) case studies and ii) theoretical reflections illustrating the evolution of collective action vis-à-vis datafication. We are particularly interested in (interdisciplinary) theory development: fostering a dialogue across disciplinary boundaries, the Special Issue wants to bring the question of datafication -broadly defined -to bear on social movement scholarship, with the ambition of addressing what has been to date a “blind spot” in social movement literature, and cross-fertilizing disciplinary fields that have long remained disconnected.
Consequently, we welcome papers (max 8,000 words) engaging with the following:
Unfamiliar empirical cases of: social movements’ critical engagement with the datafication agenda (e.g., Hong Kong activists dismantling lamp posts with surveillance cameras); creative incorporation of data-based practices and tactics in social movements’ repertoires (e.g., citizen-led collection of pollution data); social movements engaging in struggles around data issues (e.g., algorithmic accountability); examples of conflation between data as constituents of action repertoires and data as a contentious issue in its own right.
Theoretical perspectives on, for instance, data activism, data justice, artificial intelligence, the relation between protest and social structures in the age of datafication, etc. as they intersect social movements and collective action processes, concepts, and research questions.
Theoretical contributions on, e.g., the relation between data and the means-ends continuum in social movements, oriented to theory development in the field of social movement studies.
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Interested authors should submit an abstract to Bukola Faturoti (firstname.lastname@example.org), no later than 30th May 2020. The Guest Editor is also available for discussion via email. Authors will be notified of the acceptance of their abstract no later than 15th June 2020.
The submissions deadline is 1st November 2020. All submissions will be subject to double-blind peer-review. Articles of up to 10,000 words (inclusive of footnotes) will be considered.
Deadline for final submission of papers is 3rd January 2021.