political participation
in complex media environments

what do we do at picme?


We employ a mixed-method research design that triangulates in-depth interviews, statistical data-sets, discourse analysis and digital methods.


We develop middle-range theories on how political participation emerges and unfold in complex media environments today.


We delve into actual examples of grassroots and institutional political participation in three Southern European countries: Italy, Spain, and Greece.


We disseminate our findings through academic and non-academic reports, articles and papers in Italian, Spanish and English.

picme at a glance

We explore how political participation connects with media imaginations, infrastructures and practices in Italy, Spain and Greece

PiCME investigates political participation in complex media environments. It does so by looking at how mechanisms and processes of political participation evolve in complex media environments and the consequences within the political sphere at large and in relation to political actors in particular. This is a crucial topic in contemporary societies, since profound changes in the media sphere have significant impact on how political participation develops today and will evolve in the near future. In the current media environment, political actors tend to interact with a variety of communication technologies, organizations, and professionals in the political sphere. In fact, political participation – from individual involvement to electoral campaigns and protest demonstrations – is intertwined with complex flows of communication, where older and newer media technologies and their logics dispute, collide, and, more often, combine. However, we still lack a comprehensive understanding of how mechanisms and processes in political participation actually changed and with what consequences for the political sphere. PiCME adopts an interdisciplinary methodology that integrates diverse research traditions from media studies, Internet studies, political science, and political sociology.

  • Multi-level

    Media connects with political participation at different levels of society and we take them all into consideration: at the micro level of individuals, like engaged citizens and political leaders; the meso level of organizations, like associations, parties and newspapers; and the macro level of institutions, like big media corporations and national governments.

  • cross-national comparison

    Mechanisms and processes of political participation intertwine with (and are shaped by) media in different ways according to the broad context in which they develop. We compare three different countries and, within each of them, we contrast examples of grassroots and institutional political participation.


    Complex media environments revolve around three main dimensions, that we analyze jointly: imaginations related to the media and what they can do for political participation; technological infrastructures that support and govern what citizens can do with the media; media practices that orient and order the activities linked to political participation.

  • workers rights and anti-corruption

    We understand how political actors employ media in their daily engagement to promote workers rights and to oppose corruption in Greece, Italy and Spain

Research Team

Immagine caricata

Diego Ceccobelli

Research Collaborator
Immagine caricata

Emiliano Treré

Research Collaborator
Immagine caricata

Angelos Evangelinidis

Country Expert
Immagine caricata

Aloia Álvarez Feáns

Research Assistant
Immagine caricata

Alice Mattoni

Principal Investigator
Alice Mattoni is Assistant Professor at the Istituto di Scienze Umane e Sociali, Scuola Normale Superiore and the Principal Investigator of the PiCME research project.



Learn more about our latest activities and presentations here at PiCME