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Issue 13, 2023 - Advanced digital, communication and activism

Deadline for receipt of proposals: 30 April 2023

Edited by

Isabel Babo, Professor at the Lusófona University (University Centre of Porto), Associate Professor in Communication Sciences at the University of Minho, PhD in Sociology at EHESS, Paris (under the direction of Louis Quéré), member of CICANT - Centre for Research in Applied Communication, Culture and New Technologies.

Luís Cláudio Ribeiro, Professor at the Lusófona University (University Centre of Lisbon), Associate Professor in Communication Sciences at the University of Beira Interior, PhD in Communication at the University Nova de Lisboa, member of CICANT - Centre for Research in Applied Communication, Culture and New Technologies.

We are now part of an ecosystem where digital technologies and social networks are the core of communication. Advanced digital, in particular, along with artificial intelligence, have promoted what is known as civic tech; technologies aimed at improving democratic participation.

This is how collective mobilizations in public space are often the result of actions undertaken within social networks (calls for demonstrations, denunciations, demands, etc.) and the urban space becomes an organic extension of what is going viral on digital platforms.

Media exposure produces another way of confronting the reality and offers the possibility of establishing an identity relationship with the environment. Promoting the constitution of a place of belonging stamped by the vision carried by technology. At the same time, collective action provisions a technology that participates in the way of communicating, informing and interacting.

So, with digital networks, the protest movements have a means and a place for public mobilization. Despite this, they are also taking to the streets in protest, the actors come and go or they occupy the places in which protest movements become audible and visible, with messages, texts, images and videos posted on social media, as well as on mass media.

However, communicational logics, practices of public protest, sound and visual experiences, technical community of activism and public actions, open up for questions that are important for research in communication, technologies and social sciences.

In this way, by social movements, the expected contributions may relate to the use of digital technologies, particularly advanced digital technologies, and to the role of digital networks action during contemporary activism. In addition to the connected action and collective action, individual and collective expression in media ecosystems and on public actions in urban spaces.

The public space, being a space of expression, communication, collective actions, self-affirmation, public mobilization and protest, expectations and existential, political, civic, performative and artistic commitments, issues raised by activists, as well as the repertoires of protest and action adopted by them, at the local, regional or global scale, are study subjects.

Thus, this issue leads to articles that explore the challenges faced by those who do research in the fields of technological mediations and digital networks related to activism, as well as to collective actions and communicational logics in public space and in media ecosystem. Theoretical and empirical contributions are expected, based on different methodologies which can demonstrate the diversity and richness of scientific production in these subjects. As such, the call for papers is running various topics, including those in the following subtitles.

Activism in the network age and advanced digital technology

Techno-communicational devices and digital social media have introduced new communication practices and new methods of collective mobilization, linked in particular to artificial intelligence, which increase interactivity, immediacy, presence (and the immediate present; Han, 2013) and visibility. Through the concept of Civic Tech, appears a variety of mediations and tools (citizen reporting, crowdsourcing, online survey, petitions, consultations, etc.), now widely mobilized by the public. Such phenomena raise several questions relating in particular to the challenges of these new communicational logics. It is therefore interesting to analyze the ongoing transformations that occur during mobilization practices, collective actions modalities, repertoires of action, public actions in the urban space.

Research on activism and digital networks can also raise questions such as studying the role that advanced technologies play in the visibility and the visibilization of causes, and under what schemes or modalities. Through the study of empirical cases, we can also analyze whether multimodal communication, (many to many; Castells, 2009) in social networks, coexists with the individualization of communication and with individualized forms of expression and “expressive commitment”, without a framework or union structure (Cardon and Granjon, 2013). Investigating whether digital networks and connected action are place where collective action emerge (Bennett & Segerberg, 2012), and how protest movements use social media and advanced technologies to incite public action in the urban space and also to support causes over time.

Climate activism and commitments inside and outside organizations

Global climate change protests – such as the Global Climate Strike, which has emerged on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and has its website. The Fridays For Future movement, since 2018 – had the participation of millions of young people in many cities around the world. In September 2019, the largest globally coordinated climate protest took place, with collective demands and the formation of a common cause. Not only counting the participation of young people, but also of adults. As a result, the communication and activist dynamics within the framework of the new movements related to ecological problems, lead to questioning the themes and problems under discussion, as well as the repertoires of communication and action regarding the new and traditional social movements. We can also take into consideration identifying and categorizing the actors, knowing their origin or belonging. Besides analyzing their behaviors or their public rituals, trying to find out if they remain committed outside formal organizations (Moor et al., 2020) and what type of participation they have.

Based on the above, the communication issues related to the climate are interesting to examine by trying, in particular, to understand how activists use social media and advanced technologies for the purpose of demands and political and social struggles. knowing if they are putting in place communication strategies at the global, national and local levels; whether global ecological problems are intertwined with local problems (and vice versa). As well as if there is a formation of a common cause, concerning the defense of the planet; whether new conceptions of environmental rights are being spread; if public mobilizations for the climate, and for "climate justice", interlace with other problems, in an intersectional way, such as colonialism, patriarchy or poverty and if, in these cases, there is an expansion of their support base.

Critical thinking, in-depth and comparative research, and case studies are most wanted for these topics.


Submission of proposals in the form of abstracts: until 30 April 2023

Return to authors of selected proposals: until 20 May 2023

Submission of the full paper: until 20 June 2023

Feedback to authors of peer review: by 15 July 2023

Return of final articles (reviewed after evaluation): 20 August 2023

Publication of the issue: 30 September 2023


Paper proposals must be submitted in the form of an abstract in French, Spanish, Portuguese or English: 7,000 characters maximum, spaces and bibliography included. Titles and keywords are requested in two or three languages ​​(the language of the text, French, English). Proposals will be double-blind peer reviewed by members of the scientific community.

Editorial guidelines for the article are available at:

Submissions should be sent to the following addresses:;


Babo, I. (2018). Redes, ativismo e mobilizações públicas. Ação coletiva e ação conectada. Estudos em Comunicação, 1(27), 219-244. DOI: ec.n27.v1.a14

Babo, I. (2021). Ativismo em rede e espaço comum. As mobilizações globais de protesto pelo clima. Revista Crítica de Ciências Sociais, 126, 25-46.; DOI: 12398

Bennett, W. L.; Segerberg, A. (2012). The Logic of Connective Action. Information, Communication & Society, 15(5), 739-768. DOI: 80/1369118X.2012.670661

Brighenti, A. M. (2010). Visibility in Social Theory and Social Research. Palgrave McMillan.

Cardon, D. & Granjon, F. (2013). Médactivistes. Presses de Sciences Po.

Cefaï, D. (2007). Pourquoi se mobilise-t-on? Les théories de l’action collective. La Découverte.

Chadwick, A. (2007). Digital Network Repertoires and Organizational Hybridity. Political Communication, 24(3), 283-301.

Chodak, J. (2016). New Patterns of Protest and Revolution in the Age of Social Media. Konteksty Społeczne, 4(1[7]), 54-68.

Della Porta, D. & Tarrow, S. (eds) (2005). Transnational Protest and Global Activism. MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 203-226.

Della Porta, D. & Diani, M. (2006). Social Movements: An Introduction. Blackwell Publishers.

Derrida, J. (1994). Politiques de l'amitié. Suivi de L'oreille de Heidegger. Éditions Galilée.

Diani, M. & McAdams, D. (eds.) (2003). Social Movements and networks, relational approaches to collective action. Oxford University Press.

Earl, J. & Kimport, K. (2011). Digitally enabled social change: Activism in the internet age. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Elliott, T. & Earl, J. (2018). Organizing the Next Generation: Youth Engagement with Activism Inside and Outside of Organizations. Social Media + Society, January-March, 1-14.

Foucault, M. (1969). L'archéologie du savoir. Gallimard.

Gerbaudo, P. & Treré, E. (2015). In search of the ‘we’ of social media activism: introduction to the special issue on social media and protest identities. Information, Communication & Society, 18 (8), 865-871. DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2015.1043319

Han, B.-C. (2016). Han, Byung-Chul (2016), No enxame. Reflexões sobre o digital. Relógio D’Água [ed. orig. 2013].

Hill, S. (2013). Digital Revolutions. Activism in the Internet Age. New Internationalist Publications.

Kittler, F. A. (2014), The Truth of Technological World – Essays on the genealogy of presence, Stanford University Press.

Latour, B. (2011). Il n'y a pas de monde commun: il faut le composer. Multitudes, 45, 38-41.

Luhmann, N. (2012). Theory of Society. Stanford University Press.

Moor, J.; Uba, K.; Wahlström, M.; Wennerhag, M. & Vydt, M. (eds.) (2020). Protest for a Future II: Composition, Mobilization and Motives of the Participants in Fridays for Future Climate Protests on 20-27 September, 2019, in 19 Cities around the World. DOI:

Peters, J. D. (2015). The Marvelous Clouds - Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media. The University of Chicago Press.

Pleyers, G. (2013). Présentation. Réseaux (Militantisme en réseau), 31/181, 9-21.

Pleyers, G. (2020). À la recherche d’une sociologie globale des mouvements sociaux. Sociologie, 11, 305-313.

Pleyers, G. & Capitaine, B. (2016). Introduction. Alteractivisme: comprendre l’engagement des jeunes. Agora débats/jeunesses, 73, 49-59.

Rosa, H. (2013). Social Acceleration – a new theory of modernity. Columbia University Press.

Rouet, G. (ed.) (2013). Mobilisations citoyennes dans l’espace public. L’Harmattan.

Taylor, C. (2006). Imaginarios sociales modernos. Paidós Ibérica.

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