Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy
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Centre for the study of Global Media and Democracy

Centre for the study of Global Media and Democracy

The future of democracy is inseparable from the capacities of media - at all scales from the local to the global. Both the sustainability and the expansion of democracy depend on what media institutions do and what spaces media make possible. The complexity of these processes requires interdisciplinary research across politics, sociology and media.

The Centre for the study of Global Media and Democracy was set up in September 2007 to address these connections. The Centre brings together researchers from Goldsmiths’ departments of Media and CommunicationsSociology and Politics. It hosts public lectures and debates, research symposia, and seminar series: see Events. It plans to develop inter-disciplinary bids for research funding and welcomes research students from any discipline interested in the Centre’s themes.

The Centre builds on existing research initiatives at Goldsmiths: the Unit for Global Justice, the Spaces of the News project (funded by the Leverhulme Foundation), and the Research Unit in Governance and Democracy. Recent ESRC funded research by Centre members has investigated public connection and the construction of self through reality TV formats [PDF ].

Topics explored since the Centre's inception in 2007 include:

  • Digital media and the renewal of local democracy
  • Democratic theory and the transnational public sphere
  • Global governance, the state and cultural politics
  • Global social movements, advocacy organisations and new media
  • National media and the construction of 'the citizen' and ‘the human’
  • Neoliberal discourse and the public realm
  • Media ethics

The centre is building links with similar initiatives internationally


Call for submissions to Social Media, Activism and Organisations Symposium

Social media (from mainstream platforms such as Twitter to organization-specific tools) have become increasingly pervasive. This is exemplified by the diversity of uses ranging from Twitter and Facebook use during the Arab spring to the use of Snapchat by highly surveilled activist groups. Many social movements have increasingly seen social media as a means to collaboratively crowdsource, to network and communicate with diverse stakeholders. In large  organizations, social media is often supported because the technology can help foster the sense of a “digital village”, where individuals are able to “see” the lives of others within their organization and feel closer to them. However, the literature on social movements and social media has not fully grasped just how much social media has fundamentally changed the landscape of organizational communication, ranging from stakeholders being able to directly mobilize resources to making grassroots transnational social movements more organizationally feasible. Social Media, Activism, and Organisations (#SMAO15) seeks to better our understandings of how social media has shaped social movement organizations and the organization of social movements.

The Social Media, Activism, and Organisations symposium will be held in London, England on November 6, 2015 at Goldsmiths, University of London. The symposium is sponsored by The Sociological ReviewThe Centre for Creative & Social Technologies at Goldsmiths, and the Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy at Goldsmiths.

We invite you to submit short papers which explore the social media-influenced intersections of social movements and organisations. Full papers are not required for this conference, only short papers (~2500 words, excluding references) related to the broad theme of “Social Media, Activism, and Organisations”.

Papers should be submitted by September 7, 2015 via Easy Chair and there is no preset template for submission. If selected, the author(s) will be invited to give a 15-minute oral presentation followed by a 5 min Q&A period at the symposium.

Author(s) of accepted paper abstracts may also be invited to submit full papers to a special issue of The Sociological Review, published by Wiley.


  • Organisational communication and social media
  • Democratizing organisational structures via social media
  • Gender, social media, activism, and organisations
  • Activist knowledge aggregation techniques
  • Enterprise applications and social activism
  • Collaboration, social media, and activism
  • Virtual teams, social media and activism
  • Activist networks and organizational communication
  • Social media and organizational leadership
  • Communicating organizational messages via social media
  • Social media and advocacy organizations
  • Inter-movement organizational communication and social media
  • Visual social media and organisations
  • Implications of anonymous social media

We welcome both theoretical and empirical papers and the symposium seeks to showcase a variety of case studies to advance our understandings of how social media has shaped social movement organizations and the organization of social movements.

Content last modified: 22 May 2015

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