NPCU PhD candidate Puay Hoe Chua will present at the IAMCR annual conference being held at the University of Leicester on 27-31 July 2016. Chua's paper, The Impact of Freedom of Expression on Political Legitimacy in Four Asian Cities, is co-authored with Jingxi Chen of Beijing Jiaotong University in China.Read More
Newpolcom's Dr Cristian Vaccari is speaking at next week's international symposium "Re/Constructing Politics through Social & Online Media: Research Agendas & Problem-Oriented Analyses" on June 20 in Stockholm .
The two-day international symposium brings together leading international experts working on politics and communication in the context of social & online media. The symposium is interdisciplinary in nature and gathers scholars following various theoretical and methodological standpoints within a variety of social sciences incl. political communication, media studies, political science or political sociology.
Dr. Vaccari will present research conducted with Newpolcom's Professors Andrew Chadwick and Ben O'Loughlin on dual screening during the 2015 general election ITV leaders' debate.
The special issue of the International Journal of Press-Politics on Digital Media, Power, and Democracy in Election Campaigns, edited by Andrew Chadwick and Jennifer Stromer-Galley (Syracuse University), is now published.
Featuring seven articles, including a piece by Newpolcom's Cristian Vaccari, the issue addresses the state of political parties, the ways digital media are being used in the tug and pull of political power between elites and ordinary citizens, and the role of traditional and professional media in those processes. Authors integrate new theory and original data from a wide range of countries including the USA, the UK, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, and India.
The articles in this special issue were first delivered as presentations to a workshop Andrew and Jennifer organized on “Digital Media, Power, and Democracy in Election Campaigns,” held July 1–3, 2015, at Washington, D.C.’s Omni Shoreham Hotel and at Greenberg House, Syracuse University’s base in the U.S. capital.
Table of Contents
1. Digital Media, Power, and Democracy in Parties and Election Campaigns: Party Decline or Party Renewal?—Andrew Chadwick and Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK, and Syracuse University, USA
2. Party Campaigners or Citizen Campaigners? How Social Media Deepen and Broaden Party-Related Engagement—Cristian Vaccari and Augusto Valeriani, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK, and University of Bologna, Italy
3. Looking Out or Turning in? Organizational Ramifications of Online Political Posters on Facebook—Benjamin Lee and Vincent Campbell, Lancaster University, UK, and University of Leicester, UK
4. Styles of Social Media Campaigning and Influence in a Hybrid Political Communication System: Linking Candidate Survey Data with Twitter Data—Rune Karlsen and Bernard Enjolras, Institute for Social Research, Norway
5. Four Functions of Digital Tools in Election Campaigns: The German Case—Andreas Jungherr, University of Mannheim, Germany
6. Old and New Media Logics in an Electoral Campaign: The Case of Podemos and the Two-Way Street Mediatization of Politics—Andreu Casero-Ripollés, Ramón A. Feenstra, and Simon Tormey, Universitat Jaume I de Castelló, Spain and University of Sydney, Australia
7. Campaigns, Digital Media, and Mobilization in India—Taberez Ahmed Neyazi, Anup Kumar, and Holli A. Semetko, Jamia Millia Islamia University, India, Cleveland State University, USA, and Emory University, USA
Links and Further Information
Recent Newpolcom PhD Dr. Mark Pope has published a new article entitled, Reporting Beyond the Pale: UK News Discourse on Drones in Pakistan, in the journal Critical Studies on Terrorism. How journalists cover the use and effects of unmanned aerial vehicles or drones has become a difficult practical and ethical dilemma in the past decade. Please find the abstract for Mark's article below and a link to the article here. (If you cannot acccess that, email Mark.Pope.email@example.com for a copy.)
This article on drone strikes in Pakistan offers a distinctive empirical case study for critical scholarship of counterterrorism. By asking how cosmopolitanism has developed through UK
news discourse, it also provides a constructivist contribution to the literature on drones. I argue that UK news discourse is not cosmopolitan because it focuses on risk and places the Other beyond comprehension. US–UK networked counterterrorism operations have complicated accountability, and while a drive for certainty promoted more scrutiny of policy, news media outlets, academics and activists turned to statistical and visual genres of communication that have inhibited understanding of the Other.
Newpolcom's Dr Cristian Vaccari is speaking at next week's 2nd Bi-Annual SMaPP Global Conference in Florence.
SMaPP-Global is a joint initiative of the NYU Global Institute for Advanced Study (GIAS) and NYU’s Social Media and Political Participation (SMaPP) laboratory. SMaPP-Global’s goals are three-fold: (1) to better understand how social media impacts political participation; (2) to better understand how elites utilize social media to pursue political goals; and (3) to develop open-source tools that facilitate the use of social media data for the study of politics.
The event will feature paper presentations, round table discussions, and collaborative sessions. Dr. Vaccari will present research conducted with Newpolcom's Professors Andrew Chadwick and Ben O'Loughlin on dual screening during the 2015 general election ITV leaders' debate.
On July 12 Professor Ariadne Vromen of the University of Sydney will present her ideas on the impact of social media and digital politics on the way in which advocacy organisations mobilise and organise citizens for political action.
Newpolcom's Professor Andrew Chadwick and Dr Cristian Vaccari are speaking at next week's CyberParty conference at King's College London.
Hosted by the new King's Centre for Digital Culture (Director: Dr Paolo Gerbaudo), the conference will examine the significance of the new party formations whose organizational infrastructure and political identity is heavily shaped by their use of digital communication technologies, such as Podemos, the 5 Star Movement, Syriza, and the Pirate Parties in Germany, Sweden, and Iceland. The event will also examine recent party change in which digital media have played an important role, such as Jeremy Corbyn's rise to become leader of the British Labour Party, and Bernie Sanders' U.S. primary campaign.
Andrew will be sharing ideas and findings from the forthcoming special issue of the International Journal of Press/Politics on "Digital Media, Power, and Democracy in Parties and Election Campaigns" that he co-edited with Professor Jennifer Stromer-Galley. The special issue features an article by the editors and six papers examining digital media and party change in a wide range of countries.
Andrew's talk, which features in the Opening Plenary, is entitled "They’re Parties, But Not as We Have Known Them: Digital Media and (Dis)organizational Renewal."
Cristian's talk, in the session on Digital Demands: Policies and Cleavages, is entitled "Old, New, or Just Different? An Overview of Cyberparty Supporters."
More information on the conference can be found at the Centre for Digital Culture website.
What political points were Twitter users around the world trying to make when they used the hashtags #PrayforParis and #PrayforSyria in the wake of the 2015 Paris attacks? A new research project will be presented by NPCU researchers at a conference at SOAS in London on Saturday 7 May 2016 that shows the political dynamics that unfolded. The conference, Communication and Conflict: Iraq and Syria features a great line up of speakers, including keynotes from Philip Seib and Lilie Chouliaraki. Please find details and a link to the programme here. Below are details of the NPCU research.
Media, Migration, and Violence: #PrayforParis, #PrayforSyria and the Dynamics of Antagonism
Authors: Billur Aslan, James Dennis, Ben O’Loughlin and Cristian Vaccari
This study examines public responses on social media to the 13 November 2015 attacks by Islamic State on Paris. Analysis of over 2 million tweets containing the hashtags #prayforparis and #prayforsyria in the days after the attack indicate these hashtags hint at the conflation of three issues: (i) migration: were the attackers homegrown or carrying overseas passports? (ii) violence: why was Paris attacked and why is France bombing Islamic State? (iii) media: what role should mainstream media and social media play during such events that are both local and global, immediate and historic, unique and yet part of a series? In the event’s aftermath, debates raged about whether news media and sites like Facebook offer disproportionate attention to casualties in Paris when catastrophes were unfolding simultaneously in Lebanon, Japan and elsewhere. Social media users shared reports of a massacre in Nigeria as live news despite the event occurring the previous April. Such debates condition immediate public and policy responses – the backlash – but also shape how our public sphere functions in the long term. With #prayforsyria, Syria’s conflict, migrants and refugees became woven by general publics into a broader translocal media-security nexus. How does this work?
This paper builds on previous research exploring how social media affordances encourage certain communication behaviours. We test the hypothesis that the reply function on Twitter is more conducive to antagonistic comments than the retweet function. This is based on two bodies of theory. First, in political communication research we know that the reply function has a higher cognitive demand than the retweet function and thus demands greater commitment. Second, from social theory we know that the reply function has a higher affective demand that the retweet function. It involves greater ‘identity work’: one risks one’s ‘face’ in directly posting a comment to the original commenter. Retweeting can be done with one click whereas replying demands a degree of creativity. In short, the threshold for action is higher with replies compared to retweets which are easier, practically, cognitively, and affectively. Hence, we expect to find greater polarisation and antagonism in replies than retweets. By contrast, we expect retweets to be more likely to express solidarity, comprehension, and appeals to universal values, as these are generally considered the most appropriate responses in the aftermath of a crisis and are thus more likely to be subject to dynamics of reinforcement based on social desirability. Did retweets bring Syria “into the fold” of Europe or the international community?
This research contributes to two non-academic concerns. First, should mainstream and social media organisations like Twitter design the affordances of their social media spaces to encourage certain forms of transnational public deliberation? Second, journalists, celebrities and other high profile figures take on a particular burden during global media events. They can cultivate cosmopolitan, open and cross-cultural dialogue or trigger partisan, closed and antagonistic dialogue. This has a bearing on how public spheres function, particularly a public sphere like Europe’s that is already divided by language.
Ben O'Loughlin will present his ongoing research on dual screening with Andrew Chadwick and Cristian Vaccari at the DIgital Society Network and the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield today. Details below.
Wednesday 27th April 2016
Location: Room G18, Elmfield Building
Engaging to Influence: Why People Dual Screen Leaders Debates
Dual screening—the complex bundle of practices that involve integrating live broadcast media and social media—is now routine for many citizens during important political media events. But do these practices shape political engagement, and if so, why? And if dual screening does shape engagement, can parties and their supporters harness this? We devised a unique research design combining a large-scale Twitter dataset and a custom-built panel survey focusing on the broadcast party leaders’ debates held during the 2014 European Parliament elections in the United Kingdom. We find that relatively active, “lean-forward” practices, such as commenting live on social media as the debate unfolded, and engaging with conversations via Twitter hashtags, have the strongest and most consistent positive associations with political engagement. Running a second iteration of this methodology during the 2015 British General Election, we identify how some users have come to approach dual screening strategically as one more opportunity to achieve influence before, during and after a political media event.
The Digital Society Network draws together an interdisciplinary team of researchers engaged with research at the cutting-edge of society-technology interactions.
Thanks to Helen Kennedy for organising the seminar.
Ben O'Loughlin and Courtney Beale, National Security Council, will lead a debate on 21 April 2016 in Washington DC titled, Countering Violent Extremism: Towards a New Era of Peacebuilding. The event is hosted by the British Council and New York University. This is the final debate in a series, Iconoclash, featuring Salman Rushdie, Tasoula Hadjitofi, and Slavoj Zizek.
Thursday, April 21, 2016, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Countering Violent Extremism - Towards a New Era of Peacebuilding
New York University, 1307 L St. NW, Washington, DC 20005 (Metro: McPherson Square)
To RSVP click here.
The panel series Iconoclash has been an enquiry into cultural and value systems connected with terrorism in the Middle East and the West. The project aims to better understand the cultural complexity and role of media in the rise of Islamic extremism, as well as the roles we all play. Extremists’ conquests of regions and cities, whereby they harm people, annihilate memory, remap geopolitics and impose apocalyptic imagery and narratives, universalizes their idea of order and submission. Their apocalyptic imagery and declamations are propagated through social media and have gained international attraction and relevance. To overcome the persisting threat requires more than military hardware. But what is actually needed to achieve lasting peace in this region of the world and with its inhabitants?
This final panel provides an overview of the lessons learned from over twenty years of interacting with Islamic fundamentalism. How do we bridge the gaps in trust and understanding? How do we build dialogue and cooperation on an equal level? What can the arts or other means of cultural interaction contribute to overcoming the bottleneck of dialogue? How can we successfully use social media for such ends?