The Centre on Social Movement Studies


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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"Standing up for Science" - a documentary by Dieter Rucht

A documentary by Dieter Rucht on the 2017 March for Science in Washington, D.C. - now available on YouTube.


COSMOS Talks Calendar - Second Semester 2018

Read here the full calendar of the COSMOS Talks Series


Call for Application Now Open: Summer School on Concepts and Methods for Research on Far-Right Politics

We are pleased to announce that the call for applications is now open for the 1st Summer School of the ECPR Standing Group on Extremism & Democracy on ‘Concepts and Methods for Research on Far-Right Politics’, sponsored by the Centre for Research on Extremism (C-REX), the European Council for Political Research (ECPR), and the Centre on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS).


Edited Volume - 2018

Solidarity Mobilizations in the ‘Refugee Crisis’. Contentious Moves

Donatella della Porta (ed.)
This edited volume ddresses a gap in research on social movements that has disregarded the origins of discontent and overlooks protest as a resource of the powerless; it offers insight into how the movement of refugees across the European Union and elsewhere activates political opportunities; it explores claims to citizenship made by refugees within processes of knowledge production and the mobilization of emotions

Journal Article - 2017

Reshaping Citizenship through Collective Action: Performative and Prefigurative Practices in the 2013–2014 Cycle of Contention in Bosnia & Hercegovina

Chiara Milan
This essay analyses the strategic practices adopted by social movement actors during the 2013 and 2014 mobilisations in Bosnia & Hercegovina. By bridging critical citizenship studies with literature on social movements, it classifies them as belonging to the realm of activist citizenship, but also as having a performative and prefigurative dimension.