The UK's media regulator, OFCOM, will today hold a launch event for their new Adults Media Use and Attitudes Report (summary and pdf here). The event will highlight key findings from the report, including:
- Older users are driving continued use of social networking
- Smartphone growth continues alongside increasing mobile phone affinity
- Password security remains a challenge for many
- There is an increased belief that internet content is regulated
- Measuring critical understanding and digital literacy
Ben O'Loughlin and Nick Anstead will present Towards Two-Screen Literacy, their latest thoughts on the manner in which people watch television while commenting in real-time on what they're watching through their laptop or mobile device. Ben and Nick have published several papers explaining the repertoires of engagement audiences-cum-users put into practice during political events, one focused on BBC Question Time and another on the 2010 UK General Election.
Milton Wolf Seminar 2013 Diplomatic Maneuvers and Journalistic Coverage in a Time of Reset, Pivot and Rebalance
Milton Wolf Seminar 2013
Diplomatic Maneuvers and Journalistic Coverage in a Time of Reset, Pivot and Rebalance
Ben O'Loughlin will lead off discussion of strategic narratives at the 2013 Milton Wolf Seminar hosted by the Diplomatic Academy, Vienna and co-organised with the Annenberg School for Communication and the American Austrian Foundation. This closed event features discussion between diplomats, journalists and scholars over three intense days. The first Milton Wolf Seminar was held in 2001.
The 2013 Milton Wolf seminar addresses the critical role of diplomats and journalists in shaping the outcomes of what we call global geopolitical pivots. Pivots in this case refer to emergent geopolitical shifts around which multiple stakeholders – from major powers, to multilateral organizations, to bloggers working in isolation – seek to provide input on the most appropriate outcomes. As Zbigniew Brzezinski defined them, "Geopolitical pivots are the states whose importance is derived not from their power and motivation but rather from their sensitive location and from the consequences of their potentially vulnerable condition for the behavior of geo-strategic players.”
Examples of contemporary global pivots that will be considered in this year’s Seminar include: the ultimate resolution of the Arab Spring countries, the shifts in geopolitical approaches to Syria, calls for regime change in Iran, and the intense Western attention to reform movements and government change in Burma (Myanmar).
In each of these cases, different state and non-state actors have put forward competing narratives advocating particular outcomes. These narratives are circulated, among other mechanisms, through political speeches, in the press, and via the internet. This year’s Seminar will explore the critical role of this narrative construction in shaping diplomatic outcomes. How do diplomats, journalists, and other stakeholders seek to advocate for particular outcomes, and to what effect? Conversely, how do these geopolitical pivots or shifts affect on-going narratives of democratization, shifts from authoritarian regimes, and the role of media and communications in diplomacy?
Media, War & Conflict Fifth Anniversary Conference
11-12 April 2013
Royal Holloway, University of London
*** PROGRAMME AVAILABLE - CLICK HERE****
Media, War & Conflict’s fifth anniversary conference will be held on 11-12 April 2013 at Royal Holloway, University of London. The conference is open to scholars, journalists, military practitioners and activists from around the world, and features 88 papers from 25 countries.
- Jamie Shea, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges
- Barbie Zelizer, Raymond Williams Professor of Communication, University of Pennsylvania
- Cees Hamelink, Emeritus Professor of International Communication at the University of Amsterdam and Emeritus Professor for Media, Religion and Culture at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.
The journal was first published in April 2008, bringing together international scholars and journalists from the fields of political science, history, and communication, and military, NGO and journalist practitioners. The aim was to map the shifting arena of war, conflict and terrorism in an increasingly mediated age, and to explore cultural, political and technological transformations in media-military relations, journalistic practices and digital media, and their impact on policy, publics, and outcomes of warfare. The fifth anniversary conference offers the chance to showcase the best research in this field while also taking stock of how the field has developed and identifying the emerging challenges we face.
Papers cover a range of topics, including:
- Contemporary and historical war reporting
- Changing forms of credibility, legitimacy and authority
- Media ethics in the coverage of conflict
- The role of citizen-users and social media in conflict
- Terrorism, media and publics
- Intelligence operations and media
- Digital and cyber warfare
- Media and conflict prevention, peacekeeping and post-conflict scenarios
- Photo and video journalism in wartime
- War and conflict in popular culture
- The power of the visual and other modalities
- Commemoration and memorialisation of war and conflict
If you wish to attend the conference, please register here.
If you have any questions regarding registration, travel, visas, accommodation or other practical matters please contact Caroline Shedden at Caroline.Shedden@rhul.ac.uk. If you have any questions about presentations or the conference programme please contact Ben O’Loughlin atBen.OLoughlin@rhul.ac.uk.
We are delighted to announce that former NPCU PhD student Chris Perkins is part of the editorial team for the new journal, Asiascapa: Digital Asia. This is a growing research area and we wish Chris and the team all the best.
The NPCU’s James Dennis will present this week at the Political Studies Association (PSA) Annual International Conference, ‘The Party’s Over?’, in Cardiff. Full details of his paper below.
Panel title: Media and Politics 2: Technology and Development
Function Room B
Welcome to the Afterparty: 38 Degrees, Social Media and the Rise of New Repertoires of Political Engagement
This paper will examine the role of emerging, digitally-focused organisations in facilitating political engagement through their use of social media. A case study has been conducted of the British advocacy group 38 Degrees and their national campaign against corporate sponsors for the London 2012 Olympics benefitting from a tax-break, and local campaigns lobbying Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) to adopt constitutional amendments.
Building on the theoretical contributions of Bennett and Segerberg, Chadwick, and Papacharissi, this paper will argue that low-threshold interactions conducted online are not ineffective and narcissistic acts of slacktivism, but integral components within a scaled continuum of participation. The paper will illustrate the evolving perception of what constitutes political involvement, formed as a result of the convergence of the public and private, and decline of a static, collective political consciousness. This has been replaced by a more reflexive, individually-defined notion of political identity. Maximising personal efficacy has become a priority and subsequently individuals are being driven from traditional structures of participation to new territories. The digitally-networked platforms employed by 38 Degrees provide the optimum space for engagement with these personalised political issues.
On 18-19 March the University of Glasgow is hosting a conference on Memory, History & Conflict. Ben O'Loughlin has been invited to present a paper, Images of the World, Images of Conflict. The abstract is below. At the time of writing, a few places are left at the conference for the 18th - register for free here.
Images of the World, Images of Conflict
In the short story Pascale's Sphere Borges wrote, “universal history is the history of a few metaphors.” The history of world politics certainly seems marked by a few recurring concepts and metaphors: the universal and the particular, the inside and the outside, the balance of power, and the ideal of symmetry and actuality of chaos. Across eras, these concepts have shaped the image of world politics held by leaders, citizens and scholars. Such concepts are abstract but become visualized through diplomacy, war and cartography and through the lived experience of world affairs. For critical scholars of International Relations, these concepts and the images they translate into are responsible for conflict, for they become concrete in the states, borders and security dilemmas that propel us from conflict to conflict. It follows that there is a relationship between “the image of world politics” and actual visual images of world politics; between abstract, conceptual understandings of the ontology and mechanics of International Relations and the horrific news and events we witness every day. Borges concludes his story, ‘Perhaps universal history is the history of the various intonations of a few metaphors.’ If so, we are doomed to variations on the same bleak events and the practice of international relations is ultimately tragic, as many of its founders believed.
On 5 March 2013 NPCU PhD student Mark Pope presented his research at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. His talk was entitled, Cosmopolitanism in UK news discourse on counter-terrorism. What form(s) does it take and how are they constructed?
Mark was invited to speak in the Political Science Doctoral Research Seminar.
The New Political Communication Unit at Royal Holloway is based in the Department of Politics and International Relations, which is hiring four new tenured/permanent posts. We hope to receive applications in the field of Political Communication and related areas. Details below.
Department of Politics and International Relations
Lecturer in Politics
Lecturer in International Relations
Lecturer in Politics or International Relations (Quantitative Methods)
Senior Lecturer/Reader in International Relations
Lecturer salary is in the range £39,516 to 46,741 per annum inclusive of London Allowance
Senior Lecturer/Reader salary is in the range £48,075 to £55,367 per annum inclusive of London Allowance
The Department of Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London, invites applications for four posts, three at Lecturer and the fourth at Senior Lecturer/ Reader level.
We welcome applicants whose research includes a broad range of theoretical and methodological approaches, including, as indicated by the listing of posts above, candidates able to teach and research using advanced quantitative methods. The department has particular interest in research and teaching in the following areas: American Politics; Asia and the Middle East; Development; Elections, Public Opinion and Parties; International Organizations; International Security; Political Communication; Public Policy.
Successful candidates will be expected to contribute to foundational teaching at undergraduate and/or postgraduate level, as well as offer specialist option courses in their particular fields. They will have an established record of research excellence, or demonstrable potential for such excellence.
For the junior positions it is expected that the successful appointees will have been awarded their PhDs by September 1, 2013.
These are full time and permanent posts, available from September 2013. This post is based in Egham, Surrey where the College is situated in a beautiful, leafy campus near to Windsor Great Park and within commuting distance from London.
For an informal discussion about the posts please contact the Chair of the Search Committee: Dr Nathan Widder (Head of Department), preferably by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. See also our department website: http://www.rhul.ac.uk/politicsandir/
To view further details of these posts and to apply please visit https://rhul.engageats.co.uk. The RHUL Recruitment Team can be contacted with queries by email at: email@example.com or via telephone on: +44 (0)1784 41 4241.
Please quote the appropriate reference:
Lecturer in Politics -Ref: X0213/7189
Lecturer in International Relations -Ref: X0213/4775
Lecturer in Politics or International Relations (Quantitative Methods) -Ref: X0213/7188
Senior Lecturer/Reader in International Relations -Ref: X0213/6839
Closing Date: Midnight, 26th March 2013
Interview Date: Interviews are expected to take place in late April 2013.
The College is committed to equality and diversity, and encourages applications from all sections of the community.
On 19 February at 5.15pm Ben O'Loughlin will present the early stages of his new work with Andrew Hoskins. Please join, details below.
The new mass: the return of political collectivity?
Department of Politics and International Relations: Seminar Series 2013
Founders West room 101
5.15pm – 6.30pm
For information on further seminars please click here.
Ben O’Loughlin has agreed to make a formal contribution to the hearing on “Internet and politics: the impact of new information and communication technology on democracy” that will take place at the Council of Europe in Paris on 11 March 2013, from 2 pm to 5.30 pm. Ben will discuss the impact of the Internet on political communication and political mobilization and the challenges of e-democracy. These include:
- Changes in communication patterns provoked by new information technologies, such as the blurred frontier between public and private space and socialization/democratization of information and knowledge.
- Impact on people’s political mobilization, from the “flash mobs” to the Arab Spring.
- Changes in the relationship between political forces and electorates, for instance in the selection of leaders and candidates, in the marketing of party programmes, and the rise of a new kinds of parties such as the Pirates or the Italian Cinque Stelle (five stars).
- New possibilities for citizens to participate in decision making.
The other invited experts are Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz, Director of the Hans-Bredow-Institut für Medienforschung, Hamburg, and Prof. Patrice Flichy, Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée, Director of Réseaux.