Andreas Jungherr

Don't know where we're going,
but there's no sense being late.
What I Do

How do societies adapt to digital change?

I am interested in digital innovation and how institutions, organizations, and individual actors adapt.




University of Konstanz

Junprof. Dr. Andreas Jungherr

I study, teach, and write about digital technology and politics.
I wrote a book,
another book,
and some articles.
There also is discursive power.
And there is Marlowe.


Retooling Politics: How Digital Media are Shaping Democracy

Donald Trump, the Arab Spring, Brexit: digital media have provided political actors and citizens with new tools to engage in politics. These tools are now routinely used by activists, candidates, non-governmental organizations, and parties to inform, mobilize, and persuade people. But what are the effects of this retooling of politics? Do digital media empower the powerless or are they breaking democracy? Have these new tools and practices fundamentally changed politics or is their impact just a matter of degree? This clear-eyed guide steps back from hyperbolic hopes and fears to offer a balanced account of what aspects of politics are being shaped by digital media and what remains unchanged. The authors discuss data-driven politics, the flow and reach of political information, the effects of communication interventions through digital tools, their use by citizens in coordinating political action, and what their impact is on political organizations and on democracy at large.

Cowritten with Gonzalo Rivero and Daniel Gayo-Avello.


Discursive Power in Contemporary Media Systems: A Comparative Framework

Contemporary media systems are in transition. The constellation of organizations, groups, and individuals contributing information to national and international news flows has changed as a result of the digital transformation. The “hybrid media system” has proven to be one of the most instructive concepts addressing this change. Its focus on the mutually dependent interconnections between various types of media organizations, actors, and publics has inspired prolific research. Yet the concept can tempt researchers to sidestep systematic analyses of information flows and actors’ differing degrees of influence by treating media systems as a black box. To enable large-scale, empirical comparative studies aimed at identifying interdependencies and power relationships in contemporary media systems, we propose the concept of discursive power. This describes the ability of contributors to communication spaces to introduce, amplify, and maintain topics, frames, and speakers, thus shaping public discourses and controversies that unfold in interconnected communication spaces. We also provide a theoretical framework of how structural features of organizations and media systems contribute to the emergence of discursive power for different types of actors in various contexts. This adds to the theoretical toolkit available to researchers interested in the empirical analysis of contemporary media systems.

Cowritten with Oliver Posegga and Jisun An.


Analyzing Political Communication with Digital Trace Data: The Role of Twitter Messages in Social Science Research

This book offers a framework for the analysis of political communication in election campaigns based on digital trace data that documents political behavior, interests and opinions. The author investigates the data-generating processes leading users to interact with digital services in politically relevant contexts. These interactions produce digital traces, which in turn can be analyzed to draw inferences on political events or the phenomena that give rise to them. Various factors mediate the image of political reality emerging from digital trace data, such as the users of digital services’ political interests, attitudes, or attention to politics. In order to arrive at valid inferences about the political reality on the basis of digital trace data, these mediating factors have to be accounted for. The author presents this interpretative framework in a detailed analysis of Twitter messages referring to politics in the context of the 2009 federal elections in Germany. This book will appeal to scholars interested in the field of political communication, as well as practitioners active in the political arena.

New Publications
Project: VolkswagenStiftung

Discursive Power in Contemporary Media Systems

Contemporary media systems are shaped by diverse constellation of organizations, groups, and individuals contributing information to national and international news flows. In our project, we analyze interdependencies and power relationships among these new constellations. We do so through the concept of discursive power: the ability of contributors to communication spaces to introduce, amplify, and maintain topics, frames, and speakers in interconnected communication spaces.

The project has received generous funding by the VolkswagenStiftung in the funding line “International Research in Computational Social Sciences”.

We are an interdisciplinary team of early-career researchers coming from computer, information and the social sciences. Our interdisciplinary backgrounds allow us to realize the research potential of computational social science informed by both computer and social science without being limited by either.


Jisun An

Qatar Computing Research Institute, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU)


Andreas Jungherr

Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Konstanz


Oliver Posegga

Department of Information Systems and Social Networks at the University of Bamberg