Syllabus: Conceptualizing and Measuring Effects of Political Communication in International Comparison

This upcoming semester in Konstanz, I will be taking my political communication course for another spin. In Konstanz, I will focus the course more strongly on the conceptual and comparative aspects of political communication research. Also, I slightly redesigned the syllabus to account for some of the current concerns in the field.

The course starts with introducing students to central issues of comparative research and conceptualization. Following this, we will discuss central ideas on how and why people are using media. Here, we will focus on the uses & gratifications approach, selective exposure and potentially resulting political polarization, and the two step flow of communication and opinion leaders. Building on this, we will discuss a small selection of central models of potential communication effects. Here we will focus on agenda setting, framing effects, cultivation, and the spiral of silence. The course will close with a discussion of a small selection of prominent research areas of political communication research: media frames, the connection between media systems and political knowledge, election campaigns, and mobilization and persuasion.

Let me know if you feel I am missing something!