- SSMS 2135
Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of Bologna and a Lecturer in Politics at Royal Holloway, University of London
Co-Hosted with the Department of Political Science.
Social media provide citizens with new opportunities to engage with politics as well as a new context for political information and participation. By blurring the boundaries between consumption, distribution, and production of political content, social media challenge classic definitions of political participation and demand more inclusive approaches that are sensitive to the connections between lower- and higher-threshold political activities. By facilitating informal expressive exchanges between users, web 2.0 platforms enable individuals to express themselves politically, an act that may have important implications not only for those who get exposed to these communications, but for the senders of these messages themselves. These environments are also tightly intertwined with people's everyday lives and real-space relationships, suggesting that strict distinctions between the online and offline realms are less and less relevant and should be replaced with hybrid thinking about how these spaces interact in users' experiences.
Cristian Vaccari is Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of Bologna and a Lecturer in Politics at Royal Holloway, University of London. His research explores political communication in comparative perspective, with a particular focus on digital media. He is presently Principal Investigator of a three-year project investigating the role of social media by citizens and politicians in Germany, Italy and Britain (www.webpoleu.net). His most recent book is Digital Politics in Western Democracies: A Comparative Study (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), and his work has also been published in journals such as Political Communication, Party Politics, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, New Media and Society, Journal of Information Technology and Politics, and Information, Communication and Society. Cristian tweets (in both English and Italian) at @25lettori.