A research project by Joost van Spanje was awarded a Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) VIDI grant. The project is entitled “Defending or Damaging Democracy? Legal Action against Anti-immigrant Parties in Europe and its Effects on their Electoral Support”. Van Spanje will investigate the effects of legal measures against anti-immigration parties on the electoral support of these parties in 21 European countries between 1965 and 2015. The theoretical, as well as the empirical and methodological quality of the research project was reviewed as highly positive.
On Monday May 11th, Prof. Michael Bang Petersen from the University of Aarhus (DK) gave a lecture on “Communication Strength and Psychological Resonance“. The core question that he addressed in his talk was why some messages are more persuasive and have longer lasting effects than others. Extant theories have mainly explained communication strength with reference to “cultural resonance”, that is, that some communications simply resonate better with culturally specific values. In this talk, Prof. Bang Petersen introduced a parallel concept of “psychological resonance”. He argues that communication to a significant extent draws its strength from the match between the communication and deeper psychological rather than cultural predispositions. In the course of the talk, he described a number of studies that show how the psychological imprints of our evolutionary past make us highly susceptible to particular arguments and particular argument formats in the context of political communication.
For more info about prof. Bang Petersen, click here.
Emotions in Media and Politics – Good or Bad for Democracy?
Supported by the Graduate School of Communication, ASCoR and the Center for Politics and Communication (CPC) we are organizing a public panel debate on Monday May 11th (18:00-20:00, doors open 17:30) at the Amsterdam Academic Club with a group of national and international guests working in academia, politics and journalism. Please register if you like to attend (see below for link and list of speakers).
Immigration, terrorist threats, the European Union, the financial crisis, social security, climate change, armed conflicts in Ukraine or Syria – a lot of political issues spark heated public debates. Oftentimes these debates not only consist of rational arguments but are emotional in nature. The news media report on these issues and the way journalists or politicians frame a topic can affect how people think of it or how they act. Playing on emotions, such as fear or anger, can be an effective tool to mobilize support for or against a certain side in a debate. At the same time emotions can also serve to engage people and increase interest and awareness in a time of increasing political apathy and cynicism. So, what exactly is the role of emotions in public debate: are they part of the problem – or part of the solution? Are they dangerous because they can be used to mislead and manipulate, or do they help to engage an otherwise disengaged public?
We want to come together, around the fireside, and discuss this topic with a group of national and international experts who deal with these questions from very different perspectives, scientists, politicians, journalists and campaign professionals. Active audience participation, emotional or not, is strongly encouraged during the debate.
There are only limited seats available, so please register at the link below:
Time: Monday May 11th, 18:00-20:00 (doors open 17:30)
Location: Amsterdam Academic Club, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 235, Amsterdam
Discussants: Prof. Michael Bang Petersen (University of Aarhus, Denmark), Prof. Robin Nabi (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA), Jacques Monasch (PvdA, Member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands), Frank Hendrickx (Algemeen Dagblad), Bart Snels (economist and editorial journalist at Buitenhof)
Moderator: Andreas Schuck (UvA)
On Februari 25, Joris Luyendijk visited the Journalism and the Media students from the Political Communication master and many other students interested in political journalism. He has especially been praised for his book “Het zijn net mensen”. In this book, he wrote about his experiences as a reporter in the Middle East and gives special attention to the discrepancy between what he sees on the ground and what is later reported in the news. He also talked about his news book: “Dit kan niet waar zijn”, which is about the financial world and about his current work at the Guardian. Many of the topics that he touched upon in his work relate to core issues of the course Journalism and the Media; such as press freedom, political systems, media systems, objectivity and much more.
During the guest lecture, which was co-organized by Sanne Kruikemeier, Joris Luyendijk was interviewed by ASCoR researcher and lecturer Mark Boukes. Joris Luyendijk talked about his past and current work, and students had a lot of opportunities to ask questions. And that is what they indeed did: The students challenged Jorris Luyendijk with very interesting and informed questions, which made it a very exciting and interesting afternoon.
Bij CPC vinden we het belangrijk dat ook studenten actief onderzoek doen. Onze bachelorstudenten sluiten daarom net zoals onze masterstudenten hun opleiding af met een empirisch onderzoek. Onderzoek is teamwork, en daarom wordt in afstudeerprojecten samen aan een aantal onderwerpen gewerkt en verzamelen studenten hun data in groepjes. Zo kunnen ook grotere en interessantere projecten aangepakt worden. Op basis van deze data schrijft iedere student vervolgens een eigen, individueel onderzoeksverslag – de scriptie of BA thesis.
Friday March 27, Master students in Political Communication discussed the most recent election campaigns in the Netherlands. To fuel this discussion Marjolein Moorman and Bert Bakker invited two of the best and most well-known campaigners in the Netherlands: Kay van der Linde and Erik van Bruggen (see Kay and Erik in action in English or Dutch). Kay van der Linde is owner of Press Strategies and has worked as a campaigner in the United States (Al Gore, Rudy Gulliani) and the Netherlands (Pim Fortuyn & Rita Verdonk). Erik van Bruggen is the director of BKB, has a long history as campaigner for the Dutch Labour Party and is a prominent campaign watcher of Dutch, European and American campaigns. Together with Kay and Erik, students reflected upon the recent elections in the Netherlands. We discussed the nature of the election campaigns, the role of politicians, the role of media and the use of social media. All in all it was a fruitful and entertaining afternoon.
How many people are politically active on the internet? About what do politicians communicate? Can politicians win votes by using social media? Last year, Sanne Kruikemeier defended her dissertation on the political consequences of the internet at the University of Amsterdam. Tuesday, March 31, she will give a lecture at SPUI25 about the findings of her research. For more information, see the following link:
On Tuesday, February 17th , Professor Victor Lamme will give a lecture about the role of cognitive neuroscience in understanding human decision making. Professor Lamme is a leading scholar in the field of cognitive neuroscience and studies consciousness in his lab. Professor Lamme is the recipient of a € 2.3 million ERC Advanced Grant for his research on human consciousness. The lecture will commence at 14.00 hours and end around 15.15 hours. Location: REC C10.20, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166.
On Monday and Tuesday, 2-3 February, the yearly 24 hours of Communication Sciences took place. CPC researcher and ASCoR PhD student Jelle Boumans won the Young Scholar Award for Best Article of 2014 in Tijdschrift voor Communicatiewetenschap, entitled “‘Safety first’ versus ‘op de barricaden’: Een inhoudsanalyse van het nucleaire debat in Nederland” (in Dutch).
Former PhD student Mathijs Elenbaas won the NESCoR Best Dissertation Award. Dr Elenbaas’ dissertation was written within the NWO funded VICI project on Communication and the EU.