Dr Mirko Demasi

I completed my thesis in the summer of 2016, titled Debating the European Union – Dynamics of Argumentation in Political Debates, at Loughborough University before joining York St John University in January 2017.

My approach is rooted in social and discursive psychology. My work focuses on the contested aspect of political discourse in broadcast debates. Specifically, how politicians argue for or against the European Union in the presence of an ideological opponent who will challenge them and argue the opposite.

Working with the idea that political talk is about ‘facts and values’, as they seem to be a central aspect in contemporary political discourse, I’m is interested in analysing the transfer of information, displays of knowledge statuses, orientations to these, and so forth, as a particularly fruitful way to explore argumentation in broadcast political debates.

Further Information


  • 1PY400 - Exploring Social Psychology
  • 2PY402 - Qualitative Research Methods
  • 2PY400 - Social Psychology
  • 3PY348 - Critical Social Psychology
  • 3PY340 - Dissertation
  • MPY100 - Psychological Research Methods


My area of interest is in the field of social, political and discursive psychology, and, in general, the use of qualitative research methods and their place in psychology.

  • Political discourse, specifically in Finland and the UK
  • Debates regarding the European Union
  • Racist discourse
  • Use of ‘knowledge’, ‘facts’ and ‘morality’ in discourse
  • Brexit discourse(s)
  • General expression and management of disagreement in communication.

Professional Activities and Memberships

Professional Activities

Founder and organiser of the Fourth Political Discourse Day (PDD4) at York St John University on the 8th of June 2018.

  • Keynote speaker: Dr Stephen Gibson (York St John University) – “From Denial to Counter-accusation: Exploring how Populist Politicians Manage Accusations of Racism”.

Founder and organiser of the Third Political Discourse Day (PDD3) at Loughborough University on the 28th of October 2015.

  • Visiting speaker: Dr Jovan Byford (Open University) – “The Saw, the Knife, and the Severed Head: the Visual Rhetoric of Atrocity in the Balkans, and Beyond”.
  • Workshop trainer: Professor Charles Antaki (Loughborough University) – On the application of Discourse Analysis and Conversation Analysis on Political Data.

Founder and organiser of the Second Political Discourse Day (PDD2) at Coventry University on the 30th of January 2015.

  • Visiting speaker: Dr Cristian Tileagă (Loughborough University) – “Language and Politics: Cognitively Complex or Rhetorically Astute Politicians?”

Founder and organiser for the Political Discourse Day at the University of Sheffield on the 20th of August 2014.

  • Visiting speaker: Dr Simon Goodman (Coventry University) – “Political Discourse: Developing an Understanding of Race Talk” 


  • Member of the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP).
  • Eligible for membership in the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Publications and Conferences


Demasi, M.A. & Tileagă, C. (forthcoming). Rhetoric of Derisive Laughter in Political Debates on the EU. Qualitative Psychology.

Burke, S. & Demasi, M.A. (2019). Applying Discursive Psychology to ‘Fact’ Construction in Political Discourse. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, e12449.

Demasi, M.A. (2019). Facts as Social Action in Political Debates about Great Britain and the European Union. Political Psychology, 40(1), 3-20.


Demasi, M. (2017). “Contested Political Discourse – Debates on the European Union in Britain.” BPS Social Psychology Annual Conference, College Court Conference Centre, Leicester, United Kingdom, 31st of August – 1st of September 2017.

Demasi, M. (2017). “Contested Political Discourse – Debates on the European Union in Britain.” ISPP Annual Meeting, Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburg, United Kingdom, 29th of June – 2nd of July 2017.

Demasi, M. (2016). “Epistemic and Rhetorical Action in Politicians’ Disagreements”. Populism as Movement and Rhetoric, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, 17-19th of March, 2016.

Demasi, M. (2015). “Epistemic and Rhetorical Action in Politicians’ Disagreements”. Political Discourse – Multidisciplinary Approaches, UCL, London, UK, 26-27th of June, 2015.

Demasi, M. (2014). “Overlapping Talk and Escalation: Voicing and Inviting Disagreement”. 4th International Conference on Conversation Analysis (ICCA-14), UCLA, Los Angeles, 26-29th of July, 2014.


  • BSc (Hons) Criminology & Psychology
  • MSc (Hons) Psychology
  • PhD Social Psychology & Social Sciences
  • FHEA
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