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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Marco Deseriis

Research Fellow

Marco Deseriis is Marie Curie Fellow and Assistant Professor of Media and Screen Studies at Northeastern University. Titled “Can Direct Democracy Be Scaled? The Promise of Networked Democracy and the Affordances of Decision-Making Software,” his current research project examines the rise of Internet-based forms of participatory democracy in Europe. Based on an extensive set of semi-structured interviews with software developers and software users, Scalable Democracy analyzes the political values embedded in the affordances of a new generation of decision-making software and their use within parties such as Podemos, Five Star Movement, and the Pirate Parties. Dr. Deseriis’ research also explores cultural and political dimensions of Internet-based activism, the production of new forms of subjectivity in the network society, and genealogies of experimental forms of authorship. His book Improper Names: Collective Pseudonyms from the Luddites to Anonymous (University of Minnesota Press, 2015) brings together some of these threads by examining the contentious politics and the struggles for control of a shared alias from the early nineteenth century to the age of networks. Deseriis’ writings have appeared in the Journal of Communication InquiryTheory & EventRadical History Review, Critical Communication/Cultural StudiesCulture MachineSubjectivity, and are forthcoming in Theory, Culture & Society. Deseriis is also the co-author of Net.Art: L’arte della Connessione (Net.Art: The Art of Connecting) the first Italian book about Internet Art.

Research interests: Networked media, Internet democracy, technopolitics, hacktivism, and subjectivity

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News

06/10/2017

Open Democracy Post - "The streets will always be ours" - Catalonia, a referendum from below

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Although some still conceive of the referendum as launched by a pro-independence vanguard, the elite story falls short of explaining the resilient participation of a large part of Catalan civil society. This post at Open Democracy addresses this issue from a different angle.

24/09/2017

New Publication Out - "Social movements and referendums from below. Direct democracy in the neoliberal crisis"

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A timely publication to shed light on the link between social movements that formed as a consequence of the 2008 financial crash and the referendums' dynamic and results.

25/08/2017

Donatella Della Porta con Yanis Varoufakis alla 13esima conferenza ESA

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Wednesday, August 30th (8pm-9.30pm) professor della Porta, who directs the Center on Social Movement Studies(Cosmos), will dialogue with Yanis Varoufakis, Greek Minister of Finance during the first Tsipras government, about the future of Europe and the social consequences of neoliberal economies

Publications

Monograph - 2018

Social Movements and Civil War : When Protests for Democratization Fail

Donatella della Porta, Teije Hidde Donker , Bogumila Hall , Emin Poljarevic
This book investigates the origins of civil wars which emerge from failed attempts at democratization. The main aim of this volume is to develop a theoretical explanation of the conditions under which and the mechanisms through which social movements' struggles for democracy ends up in civil war.

Monograph - 2017

Social movements and referendums from below. Direct democracy in the neoliberal crisis

Donatella Della Porta, Francis O'Connor, Martin Portos and Anna Subirats Ribas
Out now "Social movements and referendum from below", the first book that bridges the gap between social movement studies and research on direct democracy. It draws on social movement theory to understand the nature of popular mobilisation in referendums using unique case studies such as the referendum on independence in Scotland, the consultations on independence in Catalonia, the Italian referendum on water, the referendum on the Troika proposals in Greece and the referendum on the debt repayment in Iceland.