Tag Archives: anastasia kavada

February 2012 book talks

Monday February 13, 5pm-6.30pm at the Rothermere American Institute in Oxford. This is the official launch of my book, a talk moderated by Nigel Bowles with Tom Wales serving as a respondent, to be followed by a wine reception. The RAI is an ideal venue for this, first of course because it is the hub of all things American in Oxford, but also because I finished my revisions on the manuscript in their wonderful library. The venue is here.

Tuesday February 21, 5.15pm-6.30pm at the New Political Communications Unit, Royal Holloway, University of London. This event is hosted by Andrew Chadwick whose work I’ve learned much from, so I’m looking forward to discussing the book with him, his colleagues, and the rest of the RHU community. The venue is here.

Wednesday February 22 (time and location TBA) at the Communication and Media Research Institute at the University of Westminster My host is Anastasia Kavada, with whom I’ve had many an animated conversation about digital politics and protest at various conferences. It’s my first visit to CAMRI, an internationally famous media and communications department, so I’m sure it will make for very interesting conversation.

More information upcoming on talks in March (in Denmark) and April (in the United States). Stay tuned…

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Internet and politics research, what next?

Just back from the European Consortium for Political Research conference in Reykjavik, where the internet and politics standing group, through the good offices of Anastasia Kavada and Andrea Calderaro, offered a string of interesting papers and generated good discussions. The incredibly industrious Axel Bruns live-blogged many of the presentations here.

Looking at the good quality of work on theorizing “connective action”, new forms of political communication mixing “old” and “new” media, and ten-year attempts to map out closely the changing (and variable) impact of new media use on various forms of political participation, it is clear we’ve come a long way in our understanding of the connections between internet and politics.

Some areas that I, on the basis of what I saw at this conference and what I’ve seen at others over the summer (IAMCR, ICA), think would merit more attention from researchers in the future are then—

  • The use of new ICTs by political actors beyond electoral parties and social movements—a bit of work has been done on various forms of interest groups, but this is a wide open field, and one that deserves much more scrutiny than it has received so far (my friend Dave Karpf has a book forthcoming on this, focused on the U.S., comparative work would make a great supplement to it).
  • The implications that new ICTs have for political practice and participation outside of electoral campaigns and social movement mobilization—we have a growing body of solid, cross-country work on campaigns etc, but less work has been done on how candidates, citizens, and organizes use internet tools in “peacetime”, so to speak.
  •  The ICTs themselves—there is a bit of a tendency to (and my own paper, co-authored with Cristian Vaccari, is an example of this) to focus on publicly manifest tools like campaign websites, social media, and perhaps email communications. This is important. But there is a whole other side to be examined, which is the story of the adoption of tools, of development, innovation, of trials and errors as political actors try to leverage the potential of tools that have to be mastered in practice and aren’t necessarily “just there” but have to be furnished first. (As it happens, another friend, Daniel Kreiss, has a book forthcoming on this—again, comparative work would be a great complement to his work on the Democratic Party in the U.S.)