We are delighted that a number of NPCU researchers will be presenting at the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention in San Francisco in April 2013.
Billur Aslan will present papers entitled, The Diffusion of Revolutionary Movements via the Internet: Post Election Protests in Russia and The Power of The Internet in the Rising Protests: The Case of the Iranian Green Movement. James Dennis's paper is entitled, Diffusion of Information on Social-Networking Sites within a Participatory Continuum: A Critique of the Utopian / Dystopian Divide 2.0 and Slacktivism. Meanwhile, following our successful Olympics and the -isms conference this summer, Mark Pope will talk about The Olympic Games, cosmopolitanism, and UK news media discourse on human rights issues: consequences for public diplomacy. Finally, Ben O'Loughlin will present a paper, A non-representational history of diplomacy and communication.
(ISA login may be required to access abstracts).
New Article by Andrew Chadwick: “Recent Shifts in the Relationship Between the Internet and Democratic Engagement in Britain and the United States: Granularity, Informational Exuberance, and Political Learning”
I have a new article out in an excellent edited collection that has been put together by Eva Anduiza, Mike Jensen, and Laia Jorba, and published in Lance Bennett and Robert Entman’s book series with Cambridge University Press.
Mike Jensen has written a useful blog post describing the book here.
The volume has its origins in a superb workshop held in Barcelona.
The title of my chapter is: “Recent Shifts in the Relationship Between the Internet and Democratic Engagement in Britain and the United States: Granularity, Informational Exuberance, and Political Learning.” I hope you find it interesting.
Here are some Amazon links:
There’s also a Kindle and a Nook edition.
Media, War & Conflict Fifth Anniversary Conference
11-12 April 2013
Royal Holloway, University of London
250 word abstracts to Lisa.Dacunha@rhul.ac.uk by 10 October 2012
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.
- 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.
We invite papers on 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
The deadline for abstracts is 10 October 2012. Please submit 250-word abstracts and author-affiliation details to Lisa.Dacunha@rhul.ac.uk.
The 2012 Olympics were a chance for the BBC to ‘bring the world to London and London to the world’. Part of the BBC’s remit is to promote a ‘global conversation’ by widening user participation, creating dialogue that overcomes national, religious and ethnic divisions, and even cultivates a sense of global citizenship. To assess whether it achieved these goals, the NPCU is working with the BBC and the ESRC’s Centre for Research on Socio Cultural Change (CRESC) to analyse how Arabic, Russian, Persian and English-speaking audiences responded to the Olympics and the BBC’s coverage of it. The multilingual research team is starting from Big Datasets of Tweets to narrow down to key events around which issues of nationalism and religion came into play. There was no shortage of such events that got people talking, for instance female athletes in Islamic dress, accusations of doping against Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen, and the embrace of US wrestler Jordan Burroughs and his Iranian counterpart Sadegh Goudarzi. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies meanwhile offered numerous opportunities for global audiences to think about London and Britain; whether this was with affection, contempt or sheer post-colonial ambivalence remains to be seen.
The project also marks an important point in thinking about measuring the performance of global media. The BBC must prove the ‘value’ of its services to many masters, from the licence-paying individual with their particular tastes and the non-license-paying overseas user comparing the BBC to their national media to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office official who may see the BBC as part of UK public diplomacy to sway audiences around the world. At the same time, the advent of Big Data means there appear to be new ways to measure the BBC’s ‘effects’ and ‘influence’ but how robust these are is debatable. And finally, is a valuable ‘global conversation’ one where political learning takes place, where prejudices are worn away over time, or is connection itself an intrinsic good? The project allows us to address classic political questions about the nature of public spheres, communication and deliberation, as well as the commercial imperatives of reach, relationships and branding.
The project is led by Marie Gillespie of The Open University, Rob Procter of Manchester University, and Ben O’Loughlin at Royal Holloway. The NPCU PhD students Billur Aslan and James Dennis are part of the multilingual research team. We are grateful to Jemma Ahmed and Emily Mould at BBC Worldwide for their cooperation and insights. Findings will be published in due course.
The LSE's Media Policy Project and the Hansard Society will host a launch event on 5 July for Nick Anstead and Ben O'Loughlin's policy brief, 'Semantic Polling: The Ethics of Online Public Opinion'. Nick and Ben will introduce the arguments of their briefing, before Sir Robert Worcester (right), Chairman and Founder of public opinion firm MORI, will respond.
The paper outlines how social media firms are using a mix of automated new techniques and more traditional social science methods to understand public opinion in real-time. Anstead and O'Loughlin argue that what is significant about these new techniques is not their capacity to predict the result of any election. Instead, semantic polling lets us understand how public opinion forms and shifts. Paradoxically, statistical processing of Big Data provides us with greater qualitative understanding of public opinion.
However, semantic polling exists in a regulatory black hole. As a new phenomenon that cross-cuts marketing, media and political spheres, it is unclear which agency is responsible for regulating it. Journalists have failed to report on it accurately, and the public seem unaware their views are being permanently monitored. Semantic polling thus creates a number of ethical questions, which the audience will have a chance to debate.
Some places are still available. If you wish to attend please contact Ben.OLoughlin@rhul.ac.uk
Time: 14:00 - 16:00
Date: 5 July 2012
Place: Archbishops' Room, Millbank House, 1 Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 3JU. 1 Millbank is on the corner of Millbank and Great College Street. Map here.
Thanks to Nate Vaagen for help organising the event.
On July 25th, two days before the opening ceremony, we are convening a conference on the Olympics, entitled "Olympics and the 'Isms'". As the details outline below and attached, we have assembled an international range of presenters to look at the broader ideological and socio-political implications of the Games. We are grateful for Jon De Souza from BBC World News who will contribute to a practical session in which participants will explore political discourses in Olympic promotional media.
We hope to generate a good discussion on the day, particularly regarding the various discourses surrounding this mega event and would like to see as many of you there as possible!
The conference will be held at Bedford Square from 10.00 am to 7.30pm. Please email us on email@example.com if you can come and we will register your name. Further details below.
OLYMPICS AND THE ‘ISMS’
BEDFORD SQUARE, ROYAL HOLLOWAY UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
2 GOWER STREET, WC1E 6DP Map
25 JULY 2012, 10.00 am - 7.30 pm
The Olympic and Paralympic Games of the XXX Olympiad provide an excellent opportunity to explore the tensions within and between modern Olympic ideals and traditional ideologies (‘isms’). By seeking to sustain certain narratives and ideologies that precede the 21st century, the Olympics stand as an anomaly in our post/alter-modern times. At this one-day international conference practitioners and academics will look at both the practical and the broader socio-political implications from local and global perspectives. The afternoon includes a discourse analysis session on Olympic-related texts where all attendees have the opportunity to participate.
Key Note Address:
Alan Tomlinson (University of Brighton, UK): The mysterious magic of the Olympics
Arshad Abassi (International Islamic University, Islamabad): Olympics and politics: Sports as an instrument of “soft power"
Brian Bridges (Lingnan University, Hong Kong): Hong Kong’s sporting identities
Trina Bolton, Ngiste Abebe, Maggie Pavelka, and Morgan Pierstoff (U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs & Carnegie Mellon University, USA): Winning v losing “the Bid”: the silver lining for failed Olympic bids.
Jon De Souza (BBC World News): Constructing an Olympic trail for BBC broadcasts
Ran Gruenenfelder (Judo Coach to Swiss Team): Sports competitions between nations: Positive or negative nationalism
Carol Mei (University of Bradford, UK): Emancipating the image: The Beijing Olympics, regeneration, and the power of performance
Councillor Guy Nicholson (Hackney Council): Regeneration and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a perspective from local government
Jill Timms (LSE, UK): Protesting the Games, protesting globalisation: The PlayFair 2012 campaign for workers’ rights at the London ‘ethical’ Olympics
The BISA/ISA annual convention takes place in Edinburgh this week, and the NPCU’s Mark Pope and Ben O’Loughlin are appearing on several panels. Details are presented below. This is the first time we can remember the British International Studies Association and (US-led) International Studies Association combining for one event, and there look to plenty of interesting papers on political communication and especially the role of digital media in global politics right now. We hope to see some of you there!
WD15 Wednesday 16.00 – 17.30PM
Roundtable: Dialogue and Diversity in Diplomatic Interactions
Room: Holyrood 2 – Radisson Blu
Chair Karin Fierke
Co-Chair Antje Weiner
TA4 Thursday 9.30AM – 11.00AM
Panel: Terrorism and Human Rights
Room: Maclaren 1 – The Scotsman
Chair David Karp
Discussant David Karp
Andreja Zevnik IR and the lack of politics: developing political rights v universal human rights
Valerie Eichhorn Challenges in US Intelligence Counterterrorism:
Immigrant Terrorist Suspects Still Too Protected Under US Immigration Services
Katharine P Gelber Freedom of speech in the context of counterterrorism
Mark Pope Cosmopolitanism as an analytical tool: UK news media coverage of human rights issues in counter terrorism
FC19 Friday 2.00PM – 3.30PM
Panel: Strategic Narratives and International Relations
Room: Salisbury – Radisson Blu
Chair Philip Seib
Discussant Frederick Mayer
Alister Miskimmon Integration as a strategic narrative? The Case of the European Union
Ben O’Loughlin Narratives of Global Uncertainty
Robin Brown Public Diplomacy and the Construction of Strategic Narratives
Laura Roselle Strategic Narratives and Great Powers
Mina Al-Lami, Andrew Hoskins and Ben O'Loughlin have published a new research article, ‘Mobilisation and violence in the new media ecology: the Dua Khalil Aswad and Camilia Shehata cases’ in the journal Critical Studies on Terrorism. Download it here. Global Policy have published a summary of the paper here. The study presents work emerging from the authors' ESRC Radicalisation & Violence project.
The abstract is below. If you can’t access it please email Ben.OLoughlin@rhul.ac.uk for a copy.
Mobilisation and violence in the new media ecology: the Dua Khalil Aswad and Camilia Shehata cases
This article examines two cases in which political groups sought to harness the new media ecology to mobilise and justify acts of violence to public audiences and to supporters. In each case, a woman's suffering is presented and instrumentalised. However, the new media ecology offers an increasingly irregular economy of media modulation: digital footage may emerge today, in a year or never, and it may emerge anywhere to anyone. The cases analysed here allow for reflection on the tension between contingency and intentionality as that irregular economy brings uncertainty for the political actors involved. Dua Khalil Aswad, an Iraqi teenager of the Yazidi faith, was stoned to death by a Yazidi mob consisting of tens of men, mostly her relatives. One Yazidi uploaded a film of the killing. This led to violent reprisals against the Yazidis. Camilia Shehata is a young Coptic Egyptian who, after allegedly converting to Islam, was returned to her church with the help of Egyptian security forces and kept in hiding despite public protests. Extremists in Iraq and Egypt seized on the Shehata case to justify violence against Christians. In both instances, the irregular emergence of digital content and its remediation through these media ecologies enabled distributed agency in ways that empowered and confounded states, terrorists and citizens.
Andrew Chadwick will be speaking at this year's Holberg International Memorial Prize Symposium in Bergen, Norway, on June 5.
This year, the prize of NOK 4.5 million (or EUR 570,000/$800,000) has been awarded to Manuel Castells for his outstanding work as the leading sociologist of the city and new information and media technologies. The prize is awarded annually for outstanding scholarly work in the fields of the arts and humanities, social sciences, law, and theology.
The Symposium is open to the public.