Political Communication II

Academic Year: 
Course Description: 

This MA-level seminar provides an overview of the main topics, approaches and methodologies in the study of political communication.

We will explore the range of actors involved in political communication and how the information flows between them matter for democracy. We will critically examine key concepts such as democratic performance of the media, media logic, mediatization, public sphere, media system characteristics, pluralism, polarization, fragmentation, information quality, political bias, accuracy, media effects, agenda setting, priming, framing, gatekeeping. .We will discuss a number of methodological issues as relevant.

For each topic we disentangle the interactions between citizens, mass media and political actors in the production, transmission and reception of political messages. We look at how these interactions depend on the characteristics of each of the three and on contextual societal and political differences. We will reflect on how these issues travel to the new internet environment and how the internet relates to the fundamental questions of how citizens can make sense of politics and relate to democratic political processes.

The course provides students with a postgraduate-level understanding of:

  • selected concepts and research methods in political communication, political marketing and election campaign studies;
  • current techniques used by political and social actors in traditional media as well as online political communication; and
  • critical perspectives on and issues in political communication, political marketing and election campaigns.
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