Larger research projects (last updated 2017)

REMINDER: Role of European Mobility and its Impacts in Narratives, Debates and EU Reforms - ongoing.

Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program, 4.900.000 €

Free movement of workers is a fundamental principle of the European Union and it has become an integral part

of Member States’ economies and societies.REMINDER brings a multidisciplinary approach to understanding free movement in Europe. A consortium of 13 organisations the project combines expertise from different fields including: development, economics, linguistics, media studies, political science and public policy. REMINDER will examine how different media portray intra-EU mobility and what factors drive individuals’ views on free movement, including narratives used in party political communications and traditional and social media. The project will also examine why media narratives on intra-EU mobility differ across Member States.

AUTNES: Austrian National Election Study - Media Side

Supported through Austrian National Science Foundation (FWF) (period 2008-2016) and Ministry for Science, Research and Economics - Hochschulraumstrukturmittel (period 2017-2021).

AUNTES - Austrian National Election Study is engaged in the comprehensive social science analysis of Austrian national elections.

AUTNES to provides a fully integrated study of the 'demand side' (voters) and the 'supply side’ (political parties and candidates) of electoral competition, as well as of the media coverage of the campaign ('media side'). The project part 'Media Side' conducts a systematic and extensive content analysis of the coverage of Austrian politics and politicians on television, in newspapers, regional weeklies, magazines and on news sites during the eight weeks before the day of the election.

COST Action: Populist Communication in Europe

Populist Political Communication in Europe: Comprehending the Challenge of Mediated Political Populism for Democratic Politics

This COST Action brings together researchers to investigate populist political communication and its impact on democratic political life across Europe. In order to comprehend this poorly understood aspect of contemporary political communication this Action will examine three interconnected, but distinct aspects of populist political communication: First, populist political communication actors and their communication strategies. Second, the media and populist discourses and frames. Third, citizen's engagement with populist political messages and the effect of these messages. This Action provides a thorough critical reciew of existing knowledge, much improved research co-ordination, widened co-operation between scholars, bridging gaps in existing knowledge and strengthen dialogue with various societal stakeholders, benefiting media organizations, NGOs and policy actors as well as the wider scientific community.

Information, Communication and Satisfaction with EU democracy - completed

Suported through a Fellowship (2012/13) at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences

The European Union (EU) allegedly suffers from a democratic deficit. Debates of the democratic deficit are frequently linked to a communicative deficit of the Union; the media may provide legitimacy to EU politics. It is assumed that the way European Union politics is communicated (or rather non-communicated) is reflective of the complex and non-transparent decision-making process between EU institutions. This study focuses on the relationships between information, communication and public satisfaction with EU democracy. We live in a highly mediatized world, in which information about political events is strongly mediated. This is even more true for distant policies such as the EU. A major contribution of the study lies in integrating different conceptualizations of information, such as consumption of media contents, the information environment and an active engagement in information seeking.

Media(ted) Populism: Properties and Consequences

Funded by Dutch Science Foundation VENI grant, principal investigator, 250.000 €

The project offers a novel political communication perspective on the study of populism across the political-ideological spectrum. Prior studies insufficiently deal with the role of the news media for dynamics in public support for populist parties. The media, however, are considered an important catalyst for the success of political populism. The project’s key questions are: How do news media cover political populism and (how) does media coverage influence populist attitudes and voting behaviour?

Political conflict in five European systems: the role of citizens, the media, and parties in the politicisation of immigration and European integration - completed

Funded by Dutch Science Foundation Conflict and Security Theme, co-applicant, principal investigator Wouter van der Brug, 600.000 €

Politics is essentially about conflict over issues. Yet, limited knowledge exits of factors explaining why certain issues become object of heightened conflict at a particular time or in a particular country. This study enhances our understanding of issue evolution by comparing political conflict over immigration and European integration in five institutionally highly similar political systems, which vary in the extent to which both issues have been politicised: the Netherlands, Flanders, Denmark, Sweden and Wallonia. Three interrelated projects study the roles and reciprocal influences of the media, citizens, and parties in the politicisation of immigration and European integration.

Covering the German Budestag Elections

Funded by the Amsterdam School of Communication Research and Emory University, leading investigator, together with Holli Semetko, 9.000 €, 15.000 €

The project builds upon media content analyses of German Bundestag election campaigns conducted by Klaus Schoenbach and Holli Semetko throughout the 1990s. Extending this time series the project comprises analyses of main television newscasts and major national newspapers prior to Election Day, including all campaigns from 1990 to 2013.

Communication and the future of EUrope - completed

Funded by Dutch Science Foundation VICI grant, post-doctoral researcher, principal investigator Claes de Vreese, 1.300.000 €

The aims of the research project are a) to advance our understanding of media effects in a comparative context that allows for testing conditional effects and b) to understand euroskepticism as a function of both new information provided by the media and existing attitudes and opinions. Research stresses that information cues provided by the media may (de-)legitimize political decisions and shape public opinion. But in the case of ‘Europe’ there are only few empirical examples of the link between media content and public opinion and even less knowledge about under which conditions effects take place and for which citizens. Moreover, in research on how media content affects public opinion formation there is a mismatch between theorizing about media effects and public opinion dynamics - which presupposes dynamic and conditional relationships - and most empirical studies - which tend to be static. The research program will start to fill these voids.

Religion, Euroskepticism and the Media (REM) - completed

Funded by NORFACE, post-doctoral researcher, principal investigator Claes de Vreese,

Religious issues take a prominent place in contemporary European politics. This is noticeable both in current discussions in different countries and at the level of EU politics. In terms of party politics, one of the most important and lasting political cleavages in many European countries is the religious-secular divide. In some European countries Christian democratic parties exist for more than a century, and despite secularizing trends, these parties are still among the most powerful party families in Europe, and they form the largest group in the European Parliament. The relationship between Euroskepticism and religious attitudes and behavior is explored in a time in which all established democracies are characterized by the media playing a central role in the relationship between politics and citizens. Also for the investigation of religion and its relationship to Euroskepticism the media are center stage. The project posits that with many individuals (in particular in North Western Europe) having few direct and personal religious ties and most other individuals being exposed to a single religious context, perceptions of (other) religions and religious groups are largely mediated by representations in the media. This collaborative cross-nationally comparative research proposal is located in the intersection between religion, Euroskepticism, and the media.