Tag Syllabus

Syllabus: Digital Media in Politics

Later this week starts my course on the role of Digital Media in Politics at the Department of Political Science at the University of Zurich. The course aims to give an overview of various debates on different uses and effects digital media have had in politics:

The course examines the impact of digital media on politics in international comparison. Digital media play an increasingly important role in politics. Be it political communication, the coverage of politics in the news, campaigning, public discourse, or collective action, various political fields are changing due to digital media. This makes it paramount to identify, assess, and understand the role of digital media in politics. Over the course, students will be introduced to important approaches in conceptualizing and measuring the effects of digital media on politics. In this, we will focus on the role of digital media in helping political actors fulfill specific tasks in their work, such as gaining representation in the political information space, reaching people, convincing and mobilizing people, coordination, organizing, and measuring and evaluating the impact of their actions.

In the course we will talk about:

  • Media systems,
  • Publics and counterpublics,
  • Polarization,
  • Election campaigns,
  • Political participation and collective action,
  • Data-driven campaigning,
  • Modes of control,
  • Disinformation and manipulation, and
  • Platforms as political actors.


Course Material: Summer Semester 2018

Spring is sadly taking its time but the summer semester starts rolling into sight. This summer, I will be teaching two courses at the University of Konstanz. The first is an introductory course to political psychology. The second is a methods course on how to use digital trace data in the social sciences illustrated by working with Twitter data. If you are interested in taking the courses have a look at the course material:

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!

Syllabus: The Internet in Political Communication (Spring 2016)

This spring semester at Mannheim I am teaching an updated version of my course on the internet in the context of political communication. Here is the syllabus. In the readings you will find quite a few of the usual suspects but I also hope to have included some texts that offer interesting perspectives but are surprisingly seldom read. Still, this is very much a work in progress. Please get in touch in case you feel I have missed out on key topics or readings.

Background readings
Basbøll, T. Research as a Second Language.
Chadwick, A. 2006. Internet Politics: States, Citizens, and New Communication Technologies. Oxford, UK et al.: Oxford University Press.
Chadwick, A. & P. N. Howard (Eds.). 2009. The Routledge Handbook of Internet Politics. New York, NY et al.: Routledge.
Jungherr, A. & H. Schoen. 2013. Das Internet in Wahlkämpfen: Konzepte, Wirkungen und Kampagnenfunktionen. Wiesbaden, DE: Springer VS.
Perloff, R. M. 2014. The Dynamics of Political Communication: Media and Politics in a Digital Age. New York, NY: Routledge.
Reynolds, G. 2012. Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery. 2. ed. Berkeley, CA: New Riders.
Stromer-Galley, J. 2014. Presidential Campaigning in the Internet Age. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

What is the internet? Stages in its technological and ideological development
Mandatory readings
Jungherr, A. & H. Schoen. 2013. “Technische Entwicklung und gesellschaftliche Erwartungen: Eine kurze politische Ideengeschichte des Internets”. Das Internet in Wahlkämpfen: Konzepte, Wirkungen und Kampagnenfunktionen, 11-35. Wiesbaden, DE: Springer VS.
Optional readings
Abbate, J. 1999. Inventing the Internet. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Dreyfus, H. L. 2009. On the Internet. 2nd ed. Oxon, UK: Routledge.
Isaacson, W. 2014. “Ch 7: The Internet” & “Ch 10: Online” & “Ch 11: The Web”. The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, 217-262 & 383-404 & 405-466. New York, NY et al.: Simon & Schuster.
Turner, F. 2006. From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism. Chicago, IL et al.: The University of Chicago Press.

Political Expectations and the Internet
The internet: expectations of political change
Mandatory readings
Neuman, W. R., B. Bimber & M. Hindman. 2011. “The Internet and Four Dimensions of Citizenship”. In: The Oxford Handbook of American Public Opinion and the Media, Eds. R. Y. Shapiro & L. R. Jacobs, 22-42. Oxford, UK et al.: Oxford University Press.

Optional readings
Benkler, Y. 2006. The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom. New Haven, CT et al.: Yale University Press.
Farrell, H. 2012. “The Consequences of the Internet for Politics.” Annual Review of Political Science 15: 35-52.
Wilhelm, A. G. 2000. Democracy in the Digital Age: Challenges to Political Life in Cyberspace. New York, NY et al.: Routledge.

Freelon, D. 2010. “Analyzing online political discussion using three models of democratic communication”. New Media & Society 12(7): 1172-1190.
Karpf, D. 2011. “Open Source Political Community Development: A Five Stage Adoption Process”. Journal of Information Technology & Politics 8(3): 323-345.
Kreiss, D., M. Finn & F. Turner. 2010. “The limits of peer production: Some reminders from Max Weber for the network society”. New Media & Society 13(2): 243-259.

Political Uses of the Internet: Empirical Patterns
Mandatory readings
Vaccari, C. 2013. “Ch 9: Online Political Information in Seven Countries” & “Ch 10: Socioeconomic Inequalities and Online Political Information” & “Ch 11: Political Attitudes and Online Information” & “Ch 12: Political Engagement, Mass Media Use, and Online Information”. Digital Politics in Western Democracies: A Comparative Study, 131-137 & 138-152 & 153-175 & 176-189. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Optional readings
Anduiza, E., M. J. Jensen, & L. Jorba (Eds.). 2012. Digital Media and Political Engagement Worldwide: A Comparative Study. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Copeland, L. & B. Bimber. 2015. “Variation in the Relationship Between Digital Media Use and Political Participation in U.S. Elections Over Time, 1996–2012: Does Obama’s Reelection Change the Picture?” Journal of Information Technology & Politics 12(1): 74-87.
Gil de Zúñiga, H., Molyneux, L., and Zheng, P. (2014). “Social media, political expression and political participation: Panel analysis of lagged and concurrent relationships.” Journal of Communication 64(4): 612-634.
Schlozman, K. L., S. Verba, & H. E. Brady. 2010. “Weapon of the Strong? Participatory Inequality and the Internet.” Perspectives on Politics 8(2): 487-509.

The Use of Websites by Parties
Mandatory readings
Vaccari, C. 2013. “Ch 5: Structures and Features of Political Websites” & “Ch 6: Disparities in Political Websites” & “Ch 7: Party Characteristics and Their Online Presence” & “Ch 8: What Drives the Online Presence of Parties and Candiates”. Digital Politics in Western Democracies: A Comparative Study, 69-86 & 87-97 & 98-110 & 111-130. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Optional readings
Bimber, B. & R. Davis. 2003. Campaigning Online: The Internet in U.S. Elections. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Kluver, R., N. W. Jankowski, K. A. Foot, & S. M. Schneider (Eds.). 2007. The Internet and National Elections: A Comparative Study of Web Campaigning. New York, NY: Routledge.

Kruikemeier, S., A. P. Aparaschivei, H. G. Boomgaarden, G. Van Noort, & R. Vliegenthart. 2015. “Party and Candidate Websites: A Comparative Explanatory Analysis”. Mass Communication and Society 18(6): 821-850.
Lilleker, D. G., K. Koc-Michalska, E. J. Schweitzer, M. Jacunski, N. Jackson, & T. Vedel. 2011. Informing, engaging, mobilizing or interacting: Searching for a European model of web campaigning. European Journal of Communication 26(3): 195–213.

Digital Tools as Integrated Elements of Campaign Organizations
Mandatory readings
Kreiss, D. 2012. “Ch 5: Organisation the Obama Campaign”. Taking Our Country Back: The Crafting of Networked Politics from Howard Dean to Barack Obama, 121-154. Oxford, UK et al.: Oxford University Press.

Optional readings
Earl, J. & R. Kimport. 2011. Digitally enabled social change. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Bimber, B., A. J. Flanagin, & C. Stohl. 2012. “Ch 4: The American Legion, AARP, and MoveOn in Collective Action Space”. Collective action in organizations: Interaction and engagement in an era of technological change. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

The internet as tool for coordination and as a resource
Mandatory readings
Hindman, M. 2005. “The Real Lessons of Howard Dean: Reflections on the First Digital Campaign”. Perspectives on Politics 3(1): 121-128.

Optional readings
Bimber, B. 2003. Information and American Democracy: Technology in the Evolution of Political Power. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
Nielsen, R. K. 2011. “Mundane Internet Tools, Mobilizing Practices, and the Coproduction of Citizenship in Political Campaigns.” New Media & Society 13(5): 755-771.
Nielsen, R. K. 2012. Ground Wars: Personalized Communication in Political Campaigns. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Karpf, D. 2012. “Ch 1: The New Generation of Political Advocacy Groups” & “Ch 7: Innovation Edges, Advocacy Inflation, and Sedimentary Organizations”. The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy, 3-21 & 156-172. Oxford, UK, et al.: Oxford University Press.
McKenna, E. & Han, H. 2015. “Ch 4: Building Depth by Investing in Relationships” & “Ch 5: Creating a Structure to Share Responsibility: Neighborhood Teams” & “Ch 6 Using Metrics to Get to Scale”. Groundbreakers: How Obama’s 2.2 Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America, 89-129 & 130-152 & 153-182. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Data driven Campaigning
Mandatory readings
Nickerson, D. W. & T. Rogers. 2014. “Political Campaigns and Big Data”. Journal of Economic Perspectives 28(2): 51–74.
Howard, P. N. 2006. New Media Campaigns and the Managed Citizen. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Optional readings
Issenberg, S. 2012. The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns. New York, NY: Broadway Books.
Sides, J. & L. Vavreck. 2014. “Obama’s Not-So-Big Data”. Pacific Standard (January 21).

Hersh, E. D. 2015. “Ch 2: The Perceived Voter Model”. Hacking the Electorate: How Campaigns Perceive Voters, 24-44. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Symbolic uses of the internet in campaigns
Mandatory readings
Kreiss, D. 2012. “Acting in the Public Sphere: The 2008 Obama Campaign’s Strategic Use of New Media to Shape Narratives of the Presidential Race.” Media, Movements, and Political Change 33: 195-223.

Optional readings
Alexander, J.C. 2010. The Performance of Politics: Obama’s Victory and the Democratic Struggle for Power. Oxford, UK et al.: Oxford University Press.
Chadwick, A. 2013. “Symphonic Consonance in Campaign Communication: Reinterpreting Obama for America”. The Hybrid Media System: Politics and Power, 113-136. Oxford, UK et al.: Oxford University Press.
Stromer-Galley, J. 2000. “On-Line Interaction and Why Candidates Avoid it”. Journal of Communication 50(4): 111-132.

Kreiss, D. 2011. “Open Source as Practice and Ideology: The Origin of Howard Dean’s Innovations in Electoral Politics.” Journal of Information Technology & Politics 8(3): 367-382.
Kreiss, D. 2014. “Seizing the Moment: The Presidential Campaigns’ Use of Twitter During the 2012 Electoral Cycle”. New Media & Society (Online First).
Stromer-Galley, J. & A. B. Baker. 2006. “Joy and Sorrow of Interactivity on the Campaign Trail: Blogs in the Primary Campaign of Howard Dean.” In: The Internet Election: Perspectives on the Web in Campaign 2004, Eds. A. P. Williams & J. C. Tedesco. Lanham, MD et al.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

The interaction between online communication and political media coverage
Mandatory readings
Chadwick, A. 2011. “Britain’s First Live Televised Party Leaders’ Debate: From the News Cycle to the Political Information Cycle”. Parliamentary Affairs 64(1): 24-44.

Optional readings
Chadwick, A. 2013. The Hybrid Media System: Politics and Power. Oxford, UK et al.: Oxford University Press.

Anstead, N. & B. O’Loughlin. 2014. “Social Media Analysis and Public Opinion: The 2010 UK General Election”. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 20(2): 204–220.
Jungherr, A. 2014. “The logic of political coverage on Twitter: Temporal dynamics and content.” Journal of Communication 64(2): 239-259.
Neuman, W. R., L. Guggenheim, S. M. Jang, & S. Y. & Bae. 2014. “The Dynamics of Public Attention: Agenda-Setting Theory Meets Big Data”. Journal of Communication 64(2): 193–214.

Echo chamber or marketplace of ideas
Mandatory readings
Scheufele, D. A. & M. C. Nisbet. 2012. Commentary: Online News and the Demise of Political Disagreement. Communication Yearbook 36: 45-51.

Optional readings
McPherson, M., L. Smith-Lovin & J. M. Cook. 2001. “Birds of a Feather: Homophily in Social Networks”. Annual Review of Sociology 27: 415-444.
Webster, J. G. 2014. The Marketplace of Attention: How Audiences Take Shape in a Digital Age. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Garrett, R. K. 2009. “Politically motivated reinforcement seeking: Reframing the selective exposure debate”. Journal of Communication 59(4): 676-699.
Gentzkow, M. & J. M. Shapiro. 2011. “Ideological Segregation Online and Offline”. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 126: 1799-1839.

Research on and with the internet
Mandatory readings
Karpf, D. 2012. “Social science research methods in internet time”. Information, Communication & Society 15(5): 639–661.

Optional readings
Cioffi-Revilla, C. 2014. Introduction to Computational Social Science: Principles and Applications. Heidelberg, DE et al.: Springer.
Jungherr, A. 2015. Analyzing Political Communication with Digital Trace Data: The Role of Twitter Messages in Social Science Research. Heidelberg, DE: Springer.
Rogers, R. 2013. Digital Methods. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Cioffi-Revilla, C. 2010. “Computational social science”. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Computational Statistics 2(3): 259–271.
Freelon, D. 2014. “On the Interpretation of Digital Trace Data in Communication and Social Computing Research”. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 58(1): 59-75.
Jungherr, A., H. Schoen, & P. Jürgens. 2015. The mediation of politics through Twitter: An analysis of messages posted during the campaign for the German federal election 2013. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 21(1): 50-68.
Rogers, R. 2010. “Internet Research: The Question of Method”. Journal of Information Technology and Politics 7(2-3): 241-260.

Syllabus: Introduction to Research Practices in Political Science

The second course, I’ll give semester is a general introduction to research practices in political science. I am not all that happy with the readings for the course, so if you have any advice for good introductory texts for first semester Bachelor students, it would be very much appreciated.

Syllabus: Psychological Mechanisms of Political Communication

This semester, I will take my course Psychological Mechanisms of Political Communication out for a second spin at the University of Mannheim. For this version, I moved somewhat farther away from a standard political communication course by dropping sections on the spiral of silence and opinion leaders and instead included sections on information processing, heuristics, and political knowledge. This should be fun.

Seminarplan: Psychologie politischer Kommunikation

Im kommenden Herbst-/Winter-Semester werde ich an der Universität Mannheim einen Einführungskurs zur Psychologie politischer Kommunikation halten. Anbei der Seminarplan.

Seminarplan: Psychologie politischer Kommunikation (Mannheim, HWS 2014)