Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Comparative Political Sciences and Political Systems of Eastern Europe

Student Research Project

Student Research Project:

Forms and Strategies of Social Movements in Non-Democracies 


The student research project under the direction of Prof. Dr. Silvia von Steinsdorff is dedicated to the role and strategies of social movements in non-democracies and approaches the following questions:

What drives protest movements in non-democratic systems? What strategies do they pursue to oppose political leadership? How do they differ from traditional, institutionally based protest movements? What role do international community and transnational factors play?

These conceptual considerations will be reflected upon in depth by the students on the basis of empirical case studies and examined for their "practical suitability". In this context, social media that are particularly relevant for protest movements, such as Twitter or Telegram, will be addressed. At the end of the primary data analysis of relevant platforms, the following questions will be evaluated: Which actors of social movements make use of social media? Who is addressed and which messages are transported in which way? What role do social media platforms play in networking and mobilizing actors inside and outside the movement? How do these tactics fit into the repertoire of social movement strategies?

This comparative research project aims to contribute to a better understanding of the transformation of social movements, their strategies, and the importance of social media.


Research Team:

Philipp Busse

Ketevan Gelashvili

Marcus Kell

Eva-Lotte Schwarz

Selina Volz