Monthly Archives: February 2016

Call for abstracts

Please remember that the deadline for submissions for the 6th European Communication Conference in Prague (9-12 November) is 29 February

The Political Communication Section invites empirical and/or theoretical contributions on the changing nature of the relationship between citizens, political actors and the media, old and new. We welcome papers that address issues such as: the implications of mediated and mediatized politics on the quality of modern democracy; the European political communication deficit; the link between political communication and media policy, new journalistic practices, but also rising antagonistic civic communicative inputs, and populist political communication. Similarly, we invite papers on communication strategies and news management of political elites; campaign communication; citizenship and public sphere; media effects on political orientations and participation; as well as interpersonal and online political communication. Papers that take a comparative view on political communication in Europe are particularly welcome. The section aims to bring together and encourage critical and interdisciplinary approaches, while creating dialogue between a broad diversity of methodological and theoretical approaches.

For more details on the submission process, please see the guidelines here:!submission-guidelines/wkzgh.

Proposals can be submitted here:!online-submission-system/zyj6q.

PhD Scholarship in Political Communication

The Centre for Journalism at the University of Southern Denmark, Odense, announces a call for applications for a PhD scholarship to be filled in spring 2016 or as agreed. Applications are invited from candidates with a Master’s degree (a three-year PhD programme). Also, candidates who, in addition to their BA/BSc, have passed the first year of their Master’s programme are invited to apply for a PhD scholarship within the 4+4 programme (a four-year PhD programme).

The PhD position is connected to the research programme “Communication and Public Engagement”, which focuses on how different kinds of political news may engage different groups politically (principal investigators: Professor Erik Albæk, University of Southern Denmark, and Professor Claes de Vreese, Amsterdam School of Communications Research). A short version of the research programme can be read here.

The PhD student will work at the Centre for Journalism in Odense, Denmark together with the principal investigators, two other PhD students and a postdoc. The announced PhD project will rely on a series of experiments.

The Centre is part of the Department of Political Science and Public Management, University of Southern Denmark. The PhD student is expected to participate in the Centre’s various activities and spend regular hours at the Centre. In recent years, both the Centre and the Department have developed into vibrant research milieus and managed to attract young academic staff from, for example, the Netherlands, Germany, Palestine, China, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Greece and Sweden. The PhD student is expected to spend one semester at the Amsterdam School of Communications Research.

A recipient of a PhD scholarship is enrolled as a PhD student in the PhD programme in Journalism Studies at the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, University of Southern Denmark. The PhD programme in Journalism Studies covers the following areas: journalism in comparative perspective, journalism practice and its effects, political communication, media language and rhetoric and news organisations.

When enrolled, an individual work plan must be drawn up and followed, including PhD courses, seminars and participation in conferences and workshops. In addition, the PhD student will obtain teaching experience and competence in other forms of communication and presentation. The PhD training, including courses, teaching and thesis, must be completed in three years.

Motivated applications are invited from candidates holding a Master’s degree in relevant fields, for instance journalism studies, communication, political science or sociology. Applications must include a max five pages long reflection of the research programme leading to a definition of a research question and a design of an experiment addressing this research question.


On Friday, June 17th and Saturday, June 18th, 2016, the Institute for Communication Sciences of the French National Research Center (ISCC, CNRS-Paris-Sorbonne-UPMC) organizes in Paris an international conference with the help of the Center for Comparative Studies in Political and Public Communication headed by Philippe J. Maarek on:

Social Networks and political Actors: what political communication today?

Scientific direction: Philippe J. Maarek, professor at Paris East – UPEC University, member of ISCC
Scientific co-direction : Arnaud Mercier, professor at Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas Unviersity, member of CARISM

The progressive integration of electronic social networks by political leaders and parties to their repertoires requires scholars to revisit the traditional investigations of political communication. The appropriation by the political sphere of digital technologies and the reconfiguration of political behavior and habits to the Internet age have led to new research and renewed questioning, with the idea of identifying the contours of a possible or potential “electronic democracy”.

The conference will particularly look into the specific use of electronic social networks like Twitter, Facebook, etc., by institutional political forces (parties, leaders, elected officials …). The overall challenge is to understand what is changing because of the so-called “Web 2.0” apparatus. Is it adopted by politician personnel as a plain additional tool among the range of what constitutes the political Internet, or are we facing a new transformation of political communication, due to the specificities of these new devices and to their mass appeal, particularly among the younger audience?

We already know that these tools are powerful vehicles of social and political mobilization, transforming the logic of “collective actions” to “connective actions” according to the useful distinction advocated by Lance Bennett. Or how do staff and political institutions manage to react, if not to put to use, these new vectors, which for the first time, stop their positional monopoly of being the sole transmitters of political communication in the public sphere? This has been obvious all over the world, from Occupy Wall Street to Los Indignados, via young Chinese from Hong Kong, or the Iranians in 2009 and Tunisians or Egyptians two years later. A kind of new militant ecosystem has developed, involving bloggers, citizens, aspirations for more democracy, along the street protests that social networks and mobile telephony have often helped coordinate and mobilize and against which staff and political institutions have been forced to react, in order not to keep being on the run.

Are we therefore witnessing changes for staff and political institutions in their way of communicating and acting on politics? Are these socio-technical devices already fully integrated, digested by these actors, or still only being integrated? Are politicians exploiting all their potential, which explains their massive success, or do they choose only certain aspects? What is the role of these networks in the politicians’ communication? To what extent are these networks now integrated into the campaign repertoire? How does political governance adjust to this development? Do local political institutions manage to appropriate these networks that often strengthen proximity? What changes do these networks induce on parliamentary work?

One of the many challenges that this conference intends to address is whether the participatory and collaborative mythology associated with socio-technical features offered by social networks is reflected in the facts: are political professionals borrowing these tools or not? If so, do they use their potential or do they incorporate them minimally, as an additional communicational support, without any intention to communicate collaboratively with citizens? Similarly, is the possibility for the citizen of contacting politicians directly frequently put into use? Does it change the nature of the relationship established by their candidates, their elected representatives, their activists, with voters, citizens, sympathizers?

On the campaign level, the integration of these tools is both manifest and at the same time seems incomplete. Some candidates still have no social network accounts, or hardly use them, and badly at that. Amateurism sometimes seems to reign supreme. Is it because their usage is not quite stabilized? Is it the nature of the tool itself to cause this lack of control? Or does the problem come from the difficulty to articulate with the usual campaign techniques?

The same questions arise on the side of political institutions, including governments and local institutions. Can social networks constitute an additional tool at their disposal, or is it already the case? Are they integrated into public communications devices on a par with the other means? Does the adoption of these devices form an opportunity for substantial transformation for these institutions’ communication or for the elected politicians who run them?

Any or all of these major central interrogations will be on the floor of the debates during this conference through different approaches. With the help of the Center for Comparative Studies in Political and Public Communication, the CNRS Institute of Communication Sciences intends to analyze this important part of the current evolution of political communication during the conference on comparative political communication which will bring together researchers and professionals from the field on June 17th and 18th 2016.

The conference will be bilingual French-English. Colleagues wishing to present a paper are invited to send an application before March 15th to: Proposals should include an abstract of 250-500 words (one or two pages) and short Vitae (one page).