Maeckelbergh, Dr. M.E. (Marianne)

  • Associate Professor
  • Anthropology of Democracy
  • Social Movements
  • Development
  • Digital Technology
  • Globalisation
  • Multi-Sited Ethnography: Europe, US, India

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 3433
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen, Instituut CA/Ontwikkelingssociologie
Office Address: Pieter de la Court gebouw
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 3A45

Marianne Maeckelbergh studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, where she obtained her MA in Social Anthropology of Development in 2002. She obtained her PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Sussex, UK in 2008. In February 2008, she became Assistant Professor in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at Leiden University.

Since May 2015 she is Associate Professor at the institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at Leiden University. Currently, she is positioned at the University of California at Berkeley on a Marie Curie Fellowship. In August 2016 she will return to Leiden University.


In her research Marianne Maeckelbergh explores everyday practices of democracy and radical politics within social movements and citizen projects. She studies prefiguration as a strategic movement practice to raise questions about how democratic values change when practiced on a global scale through network structures instead of nation-states.

Since the start of the economic crisis, her work has focussed on the growing distrust of representative democracy and capitalism that is currently being expressed transnationally. Most of her recent fieldwork has explored responses to the economic crisis in Spain and the US, but this research has been contextualized in relation to small amounts of research in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Egypt, Greece, Portugal, Turkey and the UK. She explores what this multiplicity of struggles across geographic distance share in common, as well as how each location's particular history shapes the protests' trajectory.

The development and use of new digital technologies within these movements has been a key research interest, particularly how the diffuse networked space of digital technology functions in combination with the centralizing spacial configurations of urban space and place. The research has been disseminated through written publications as well as an online film series available at Global Uprisings.

In 2015 she received the NWO Aspasia grant through which she will be able to expand her a multi-sited ethnographic research on political engagement and citizens' use of digital technology as Associate Professor at Leiden University.


  • Aspasia Grant of The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) (May, 2015)

  • Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship – University of California at Berkeley (September, 2014)

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