Nicole Doerr

Nicole Doerr

Associate Professor

Current research

My primary research interest is a comparative perspective on democracy and gender, civil society and conflicts around green transition, migration, religious and cultural diversity. I conducted comparative ethnographic research on questions of power and inequality within democratic participation and deliberative processes in citizen assemblies in Germany, the United States, the UK, France, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, South Africa, and Turkey. Based on my empirical research I have developed an intersectional democratic theory of political translation examining citizen deliberation, participation, and protest focusing on social movements' critical third positionality in conflicts about inequality and  diversity. In collaboration with computer scientists I study social movements and contentious public debates about gender, race/ethnicity and climate politics across countries. I combine critical qualitatitive methods for the visual and linguistic digital analysis of big data. My publications are accessible on my university profile as PDFs (under "Research outputs") and on my and accounts.  

At the University of Copenhagen Department I direct the
CoMMonS Research Centre for Political Mobilisation and Social Movement Studies. You can watch the international CoMMonS workshops, digital book talks, and seminars online. Watch short clips on the CoMMonS international workshop on social movements and global pandemic, climate justice, green transition, and democracy, and find videos on visual and digital methods workshops at the CoMMonS through our webpage and social media account.


Current research projects (as of 2022):

  • 2022-24 POLARVIS “Visual Persuasion of Climate Change in a Transforming Europe”, Partner and PI in EU CHANSE Programme ‘Transformations: Social and Cultural Dynamics in the Digital Age.’ Cooperation with Uppsala University
  • Green Transition and Conflicts around Democracy: Civil Society's Critical Third Agency, Denmark and Germany (2020-22). Cooperation with Janus Hansen. Open access piece presents preliminary results here.
  • ExId: Extreme Identities: A Linguistic and Visual Analysis of European Far-Right Online Communities’ Politics of Identity (2020-22) Funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe NORFACE Democratic Governance in a Turbulent Age research program. Link to project webpage: Cooperation with Stephane Baele (Exeter University) and Constantine Boussalis (Trinity College). Pre-print article with initial results accessible here.
  • Visual intervention and the (Re)enactment of Democracy (2020-22): Special issue in Visual Studies, forthcoming, co-edited with Anna Schober (Alpen-Adria-University of Klagenfurt). Link to project:
  • Activism, Agency, and Acts of Translating Gendered Belongings and Concepts (2021-23). Outputs: Online workshop at the University of Copenhagen and a peer-reviewed special issue with international researchers’ articles in European Journal of Politics and Gender, co-edited with Susanne Zwingel (Florida International University).
  • Supervisor of CVELANG: A comparative study of Countering Violent Extremism through adult migrant language teaching and learning in Denmark and the UK (2021-23), funded by the European Union’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. Principle Investigator: Kamran Khan (University of Copenhagen).
  • Supervisor of AWAKE: A comparative study of citizen participation and mobilization on the issues of migration and security in Denmark and Poland(2021-23), funded by the European Union’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. Priniciple Investigator: Malgorzata Kurjanska (University of Copenhagen).  

Recently Completed International Comparative Research Projects:

  • Black Lives Matter in Europe: Transnational Diffusion, Local Translation and Resonance of Anti-Racist Protest in Germany, Italy, Denmark and Poland
    (2020-1), funded by the German Center for Migration and Integration Research, Racism Monitoring Program, collaboration with Noa Milman (University of Copenhagen). Link to pre-print publication here.
  • Translating Diversity: Public Participation, Protest, and Deliberation and on the Issues of Migration and Gender (2016-18), funded by the European Union COFUND IPODI Research Project, Doerr PI, collaboration with Sabine Hark, TU Berlin, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Women and Gender (ZIFG) Link to publication here.


Key publications: 

Nicole Doerr. 2018. Political Translation—How Social Movement Democracies Survive. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press. Read the Introduction Chapter here.

Nicole Doerr, and Beth Gardner, 2022. “After the Storm: Translating the US Capitol Storming in Germany’s Right-Wing Media System” Translation in Society (1)1. Online Jan 26, 2022. Open access here.

Nicole Doerr, 2021. “The Visual Politics of the Alternative for Germany (AfD): Anti-Islam, Ethno-Nationalism, and Gendered Images.” Social Sciences, 10(1), 20. Open access.

Nicole Doerr. 2019. Gender, “Cultural” Misunderstandings, and the Politics of Translation in Refugee Solidarity Coalitions in Germany and Denmark. in JA Irvine, S Lang & C Montoya (eds), Gendered Mobilizations and Intersectional Challenges: Contemporary Social Movements in Europe and North America. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, London, pp. 189–207. Link here.

Donatella della Porta and Nicole Doerr. 2018. Deliberation in Protests and Social Movements. In Oxford Handbook of Deliberative Democracy edited by John Dryzek, Jane Mansbridge, André Bächtiger and Mark Warren. Pp: 636-62. Link to the book here.

Nicole Doerr. 2017. “Bridging language barriers, bonding against immigrants: transnational network publics by far-right activists in Europe” Discourse and Society 28(1): 3-23. Preprint open access here.

Nicole Doerr, Alice Mattoni, and Simon Teune. 2013 Towards the Visual Analysis of Social Movements. Research Series on Conflict, Social Movements, and Political Change Bingley: Emerald. Preprint open access here.


Previous Positions and Training

Assistant Professor of International Relations, Mount Holyoke College, United States, 2013-2015

Harvard Democracy Postdoctoral Fellow, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation (honors fellowship), 2011-2012

EU Marie Curie Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California, Irvine, Department of Sociology and Center for Democracy, 2010-2012

Ph.D. in Political and Social Sciences, European University Institute (2009)

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