Protests in the Information Age: Social Movements, Digital Practices and Surveillance

Via Tom Dark:

Protests in the Information Age: Social Movements, Digital Practices and Surveillance

 Lucas Melgaço (CRiS-VUB) and Jeffrey Monaghan (University of Ottawa) launch the following call for chapters for their book on protests in the information age. 

Editors: Lucas Melgaço (Dept. of Criminology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel) & Jeffrey Monaghan (Dept. of Criminology, University of Ottawa)

In recent years, the role of information and communication technologies has been central to large-scale protests and social movements in different parts of the world. Ukraine, Syria, Iran, Canada, Spain, United States, United Kingdom, China, Brazil and Belgium are only a few of the numerous examples. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter and devices like smartphones have increasingly played an important role in facilitating and mobilizing people to take to the streets. Concurrently, the same technologies have been scrutinized by public authorities (including security agencies and the police) and have served to detect and curtail the activities of certain demonstrators. In addition, public spaces used by demonstrators are being increasingly monitored by surveillance technologies that range from video-surveillance and police body cams to drones. This book intends to explore the complex and contradictory relationships between communication and information technologies and social movements by drawing on different case studies of protests from around the world. The contributions will analyze how new communication and information technologies impact the way protests are carried out and controlled in the current information age. The book will focus on recent events that date from the Arab Spring onwards and will pose questions towards the future of protests and digital landscapes.

Potential authors are invited to submit a paper proposal on topics such as, yet not limited to:

• Surveillance of public demonstrations (including technologies like CCTV, body cams, drones and so on; The increasing monitoring of spaces of protest;

• Social networking sites and protest mobilizations;

• The use of smartphones by demonstrators; Sousveillance (e.g. the use of surveillance technologies to record police brutality in protests); Resistance;

• Mainstream and alternative media coverage of protests (including real time broadcasting of protests through apps like Periscope or Meerkat);

• Police use of information technologies in the control of crowds and riots;

• The reemergence of the Black Bloc tactics and negotiations of (in)visibility in public spaces;

• Political profiling of demonstrators, databanks and security intelligence; Big data;

• Geolocation technologies and demonstrations;

• Transnational flows of security practices and information; Policy transfers related to information and protest control;

• Usage of digital technologies in the regulation of public spaces; The right to protest at risk;

• Theoretical and methodological developments on the relationships between social movements and the digital


Submissions in English and of a maximum of 700 words should be sent before November 30th, 2015 to and In your proposal please provide details of the theoretical framework of your work, methodology, the empirical case(s) studied and how your chapter engages with the main theme of the call. Together with the abstract include a short bio of no more than 300 words. Selected abstracts will be combined in a book proposal to be submitted to Routledge – Taylor and Francis Group, who has already expressed strong interest in the publication (Routledge is also publishing the forthcoming book “Order and Conflict in Public Space” edited by L. Melgaço together with M. De Backer, G. Varna and F. Menichelli). Accepted authors will be notified by December 15, 2015 and they are expected to send the full chapter (7000-9000 words) by March 31, 2016. Proposals must be original and not yet published or under consideration for publication by any other book or journal. All chapters will pass a double blind review process. The expected date of publication is March/April 2017.