Muzammil M. Hussain is an assistant professor of global communication, comparative politics, and complexity studies at The University of Michigan, and is a member of The Program on Science, Technology, and Society’s Science & Democracy Network (SDN) at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He directs the projects on Comparative Digital Politics and Democratization (Comparative–DPD), and Big Data Innovation and Governance (Big–DIG) at the Institute for Social Research, and has previously managed several projects funded by the NSF, the MacArthur Foundation, and Intel and Google Research. His research investigates the comparative politics and causal complexity of information and communication technology adoption around the world.

His recent books include Democracy’s Fourth Wave? Digital Media and the Arab Spring (Oxford University Press, 2013), about how digital media and information technologies have supported the opening up of closed societies, and State Power 2.0: Authoritarian Entrenchment and Political Engagement Worldwide (Ashgate Publishing, 2013), about how governments are working to close down digital systems and environments. He has authored numerous research articles, chapters, and reports examining technology politics, innovation, and policy, including pieces in: The Journal of Democracy; The Journal of International Affairs; The Brookings Institutions’ Issues in Technology and Innovation; The InterMedia Institute’s Development Research Series; The International Studies Review; The International Journal of Middle East Affairs; The Communication Review; Policy and Internet; and Journalism: Theory, Practice, and Criticism.

Hussain has been an invited Visiting Scholar at prestigious universities and institutes around the globe, including the University of Oxford’s Center for Socio–Legal Studies, the University of Cambridge’s Center for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and the Humanities, and in Switzerland at the ETH Zürich’s Center for Comparative and International Studies and the University of Zürich’s Media Change and Innovation Division. Previously, he was also a visiting researcher at Microsoft Research Bangalore and the Mudra Institute for Communications Ahmedabad in India, and worked for the Brookings Institution and the InterMedia Institute as a research analyst in Washington DC.

His BS is in strategic communication from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin, his MA is in political communication and PhD is in global communication, both from the University of Washington. His Pre–Doctoral Fellowship was in media management and global transformation at the Jönköping International Business School, in Sweden, and his Post–Doctoral Fellowship was in social computing and big data at the Qatar Computing Research Institute, in Doha.

At Michigan, Hussain teaches courses on research methods, digital politics, and global innovation, is finishing a manuscript on the digital activists, political technologists, and policy entrepreneurs designing internet freedom in the Global North, and completing principal fieldwork on indigenous and frugal high–tech innovation cultures and industries in the Global South. His website is, and he tweets from @m_m_hussain.