Political mobilization on the Internet

12 Feb 2019

Funding has been approved for a new research group based at LMU’s Institute of Communication Science. The team will explore the role of the Internet in the formation and articulation of political views.

How have the mechanisms of political mobilization been altered by the advent of digital media? This is the central question to be addressed by a new Junior Research Group at LMU, which will be led by communication specialist Dr. Jörg Haßler. The goal of the project ‘DigiDeMo’ is to elucidate the mechanisms and implications of “Digital Democratic Mobilization in Hybrid Media Systems” (to give its full title) by analyzing the impact of political content on the internet.

“Digitalization has already had a significant effect on political processes in many countries. New political groupings such as En Marche in France, Pegida in Germany, or the #MeToo movement have ­­– thanks to the Internet – been able to build-up very large groups of supporters within a very short time,” as Jörg Haßler points out. “We want to study the role of digital modes of communication, such as social networks, in these developments, and determine the extent to which they are capable of catalyzing long-term political engagement and integrating people into the political process.” The approach chosen is an interdisciplinary one and combines classical sociological models with concepts drawn from information science.

Dr. Jörg Haßler studied Communication Science and Political Science at the University of Mainz and then joined a DFG-funded Research Unit on Political Communication in the Online World, and obtained his PhD with a thesis on “Media Logic and Political Logic: A Comparative Input-Output Analysis of the Adoption of Media Logic in the Political Sphere”. He subsequently worked at the Department of Communication at Mainz University and at the University of Valencia.

The new Junior Research Group will receive funding of up to 1.25 million euros over 5 years from the Centre Digitisation.Bavaria.

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