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Stefania Milan




Born in Castelfranco Veneto (Italy) in 1979, Stefania Milan holds a Ph.D. in Political and Social Sciences from the European University Institute. She graduated with a dissertation titled "Stealing the fire. A study of emancipatory practices in the field of communication", supervised by Prof. della Porta and Prof. Robert A. Hackett from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver). Since October 2009, Stefania is a project assistant to the Access to Citizenship in Europe (EUDO-Citizenship) project, a comparative research on citizenship law in Europe, based at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies in Florence. She is also a Research Fellow at the Centre for Media and Communication Studies of the Central European University, in Budapest.

Stefania studied Communication Sciences at the University of Padova, where she graduated in 2003 with a thesis on the discourses and practices of "another possible communication" at the World Social Forum, excerpts of which have been published in academic journals. She specialised in social movements, alternative media, participation issues and media policy.

Stefania serves as co-chair of the Emerging Scholars Network of the International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), and as IAMCR representative and country representative for Italy of YECREA , the Young Scholars Network of the European Communication Research and Education Association. She is a member of the editorial board of Platform: Journal of Media and Communication.

Stefania is also a journalist and member of the UK National Union of Journalists. Since 2003 she has been writing for the international news agency Inter Press Service , and collaborating with various independent and alternative outlets, including radios.

Below, you find some basic info about Stefania's academic activities. To know more, please visit Stefania's website, or download Stefania's Curriculum Vitae.



Stefania's PhD dissertation, titled "Stealing the Fire. A Study of Emancipatory Practices in the Field of Communication", looks at grassroots developers of communication infrastructures seen through the lens of social movements research. Case studies include low-power community radios and not-for-profit internet service providers ('radical techies'). Movement formation, identity processes, organisational forms, gender issues, and emerging of transnational networks were analysed. The dissertation was defended on October 9, 2009, and the defense jury was composed by Donatella della Porta, Rainer Bauboeck (EUI), Robert A. Hackett, and David A. Snow (University of California, Irvine). Read the abstract.

Stefania's research interests include social movements (in particular repertories of action and framing processes in relation to political opportunities, identity-processes and socio-psucological aspects of mobilisation); social movements as policy stakeholders; participatory approaches to public policy and governance; theory and practice of community/alternative/citizens' media; media and communication policy; internet governance; communication and ICTs for development and social change; qualitative methodologies, digital qualitative methods, participatory action research.

Stefania is a guest lecturer at the Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät of the Universität Luzern, Switzerland. In 2008 and 2009, Stefania taught at the Central European University in the framework of the course "Global media, Governance and Civil Society". Download here Stefania's teaching portfolio.

Stefania is a Research Associate of the Social Science Research Council, and of the London-based Stanhope Centre for Communications Policy Research . She is a member of the international research network Civil Society Media Policy Research Consortium. Stefania collaborated also with the University of Padova and the University of Trento (Italy), in a major project on "Communication rights between local and global: movement networks and transformation in governance processes".

In Spring 2008 Stefania was invited as a Visiting Junior Specialist at the Center for the Study of Democracy at the University of California, Irvine. Since 2008 she is a proud member of the Boston-based Movement/Media Research Action Project.

Stefania is a member of the International Association for Media and Communication Research , active in the Participatory COmmunication Research Section, the Community Media Section, and the Global Media Policy Working Group; of the Società Italiana di Scienza Politica, the OURMedia/NUESTROSMedios network, the European Communication Research and Education Association, and the International Communication Association.


articles in peer-reviewed journals

“We Wanted to Do It Ourselves. Dimensioni Sociali e Tecnologiche delle Pratiche Emancipatorie nel campo della comunicazione digitale”, forthcoming in Quaderni di Sociologia, 2009 (“We Wanted to Do It Ourselves. Social and technological dimensions of emancipatory practices in the field of digital communication”)

“On the edge: AMARC Europe between 'movement entrepreneurs' and the grassroots. Notes from the Bucharest meeting”, forthcoming in Telematics and Informatics, 2010

“Communication for development in practice: a four-step path to implement community media needs in development projects”, forthcoming in Development in Practice, June 2009

“At the Margins of Internet Governance: Grassroots Tech Groups and Communication Policy”, with Arne Hintz, forthcoming in International Journal of Media and Culture Policy, 5 (1&2), 2009, pp. 23-38

“Movimenti sociali e governance della comunicazione globale: la sfida della partecipazione nei processi decisionali transnazionali”, with Arne Hintz, forthcoming in Partecipazione e conflitto, no. 2/2009, pp. 111-134 (“Social movements and governance of global communications: the challenge of participation in transnational decision-making processes”)

“What makes you happy? Insights into feelings and muses of community radio practitioners” in Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, Vol. 5(1), 2008, pp. 25-43

“Towards a new vision for communication governance? Civil Society Media at the World Social Forum and the World Summit on the Information Society”, with Arne Hintz, in Communication for Development and Social Change, Hampton Press, 1: 2007, pp. 1-23

“Democrazia/e e democrazia/e della comunicazione: mediattivismo tra esperimenti di emancipazione e campagne di riforma”, in Rassegna Italiana di Sociologia, 2006:4, pp. 557-582 (“Democracy/ies and communication democracy/ies: media activism between reform and emancipation”)

“Medios comunitarios y regulación. Una perspectiva de comunicación para el desarrollo”, in Investigacion y Desarrollo, vol 14(2/2006), pp. 268-291 (“Community media and regulation. A communication for development perspective”)

“Communication Civil Society: participation as the main benchmark of Civil Society Media. The case of the third World Social Forum,” on Redes.Com, Revista de Estudio para el Desarrollo Social de la Comunicacion, 2005, pp. 241-264

book chapters

"User rights for the internet age: online policy according to 'netizens'”, forthcoming in The Handbook on Global Media and Communication Policy, edited by R. Mansell and M. Raboy, Blackwell, 2010

"Media Activists and Media Policy I: Concerns”, and “Media Activists and Media Policy II: Strategies”, co-authored with Arne Hintz, Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media, edited by J. Downing, Sage, 2010

"Social science is police science’: when interviewees refuse to be interviewed", forthcoming in “When fieldwork fails: false beginning in the social sciences and strategies for recovery”, Gregory S. Szarycz, eds., Wildfrid Laurier University Press, 2009

“Communication rights between political opportunities and mobilization frames: A historical perspective”, with Claudia Padovani, forthcoming in Communication Rights and Global Justice: Reflections on the Short History of a Social Movement, Calabrese and Padovani eds., Hampton, 2009

Community media activists in transnational policy arenas: strategies and lessons learnt”, in Howley, K., ed., Understanding Community Media. Thousands Oaks: Sage, pp. 308-317

“Community media and regulation. Re-writing media policy from a communication for development perspective,” in World Congress on Communication for Development Lessons, Challenges, and the Way Forward, Washington DC: World Bank Publications, 2007

“WSIS: giovani dentro, fuori e oltre”, with Elena Pavan, in Diritto a comunicare e accesso ai saperi. La nuova frontiera dei diritti nella società della conoscenza, Claudia Padovani and Jason Nardi eds., Yema/Unimondo, 2004 (“WSIS: the youth inside, outside, and beyond”)

others scientific publications

Review of Linda Nicholson's 'Identity Before Identity Politics' (2008), and Donna M. Chovanec's 'Between Hope and Despair. Womean Learning Politics', forthcoming in Social Movement Studies, 2010

“The way is the goal. Interview to Maqui, an Indymedia Uk activist”, forthcoming in the International Journal of Electronic Politics, December 2009

“Social activism and grassroots communication infrastructures. How might Basques abroad support open and independent information flows?”, Pentsamendua Working Paper, Basques Global Initiatives, forthcoming 2009

"We wanted to do it ourselves: how political and cultural values shape digital emancipatory communication practices”, forthcoming in Lo Squaderno, 2009

“Researching activists: challenges and methods”, essay for the SSRC Forum on Making Communication Research Matter, forthcoming in the International Journal of Communication, 2009

Review of Claudia Padovani's 'Comunicazione globale. Democrazia, sovranità, culture' (2001, ed.), and 'Saperi del Futuro. Analisi di donne sulla società dell'informazione', edited by Drossou Olga, Heike Jensen and Claudia Padovani , in Partecipazione e Conflitto: 1/2009: 170-172

“Brazilian community media under siege,” on Community Media Review, Washington D.C.: Alliance for Community Media, fall 2004 issue, December 2004, pp. 16-17

Selected conference papers


“Activist networks in global governance: informal civil society and formal policy processes”, with Arne Hintz, European Consortium on Political Research, Joint Sessions, Lisbon, 14-19 April

“L’Onda calling. Subversion and self-production of public discourses in the 2008 Italian student movement ('Onda')”, with Lorenzo Zamponi, Italian Society of Political Science, Rome, September 2009

“Reform of online media policy”, with Arne Hintz, Community Communication Section, IAMCR annual conference, Mexico City, July 2009

“'I' encountering another “I”: identity formation and emotions in technology-based activism”, European Sociological Association, Lisbon, September 2009

“Digital methods: risks, challenges and opportunities for qualitative research”, European Sociological Association, Lisbon, September 2009


“Emancipatory Models of Communication”, presentation at the Media/Movement Reseach Action Group weekly meeting, Boston, April 9

“Studying grassroots activists and policy: research methods fro a fruitful dialogue”, with Arne Hintz, ICA Pre-Conference on “Bridging the Activist-Scholar Divide”, Montreal, May 22

“At the margins of internet governance: contributions from the grassroots”, with Arne Hintz, IAMCR annual conference, Stockholm, July

“Inside, outside, and beyond policy arenas: reflections from the crossroads of collective action and political opportunities”, International Sociological Association, Barcelona, September 6; presentation given also at the Social Movement/Social Justice Workgroup, UCI, Irvine, May 19


“Broadening voices: grassroots tech groups and policy obejctives for Internet governance”, with Arne Hintz and Adilson Cabral, GigaNet conference, Rio de Janeiro, November

“Inside, outside and beyond: towards a new model of collective action”, with Arne Hintz, ECPR conference, Pisa, September

”Community media activists and European policy”, with Peter M. Lewis, IAMCR conference, Paris, July

“Networks of radical tech collectives: social logic and technological dimensions of emancipatory practices in the field of digital communication”. New Network Theory conference, University of Amsterdam, June

“Our media go to Europe: transnational networks for policy advocacy”, OURMedia annual conference, University of Western Sidney, April


“Community media and regulation. Re-writing media policy from a communication for development perspective”. World Bank Congress on Communication for Development, Rome, October

Transnational Mobilisation(s) on Communication and Media Justice: preliminary reflections on movement formation. The case of community media”. Feltrinelli International Colloquium, Cortona, October

“Approaching community media from a transnational perspective: the case of the Greater Europe. Interlocks between local, multiethnic and transnational dimensions in community radios”, Internationalising Media Studies, University of Westminster, London, September

“Risposte collettive a processi di governance transnazionali: riflessioni teoriche e qualche spunto empirico”, SISP, Bologna, September

“Activist networks in communications governance. Potentials and challenges of their involvement in policy processes”, IAMCR Working Group on Global Media Policy, Cairo, July

“Community media go to Europe. The case of the Council of Europe 7th Ministerial Conference on Mass Media Policy”. Media in the Enlarged Europe,University of Luton (UK), May


“Evaluating independent communication. A model for Civil Society Media”, OURMedia, July

“Communicating Civil Society: participation as the main benchmark of Civil Society Media. The case of the third World Social Forum”; Participatory Communication Research, IAMCR, Porto Alegre, July

“Civil Society Media and visions for communication governance: the cases of the World Social Forum and theWorld Summit on the Information Society”, (with Arne Hintz), IAMCR, Porto Alegre, July

This webpage was last updated on October 30, 2009