Call for submissions to Northern Lights, Volume 15 – Theme issue on:
Political communication in networked societies
Volume editors: Eli Skogerbø and Risto Kunelius
Politics and political communication take place in an increasingly networked, multi-level environment. At the same time, small and large societies alike share major political challenges. Topics such as migration, terrorism and climate change are increasingly discussed on global media networks and through personal and social media, creating new connections, new constellations of actors and new dynamics in our systems of political communication. Northern Lights invites papers that tackle these changes and challenges in political communication from diverse perspectives and with different methods.
Political processes and decision-making demand political communication. Whether we refer to politicians, organised interests, journalists, citizens or other actors, political communication is important for attitude formation, knowledge and action. Over the past decades, the number of researchers has increased; the research field has expanded thematically and methodologically; and a range of new and old media forms and formats have become objects of study. While there is substantial knowledge of how some of the new social media have been integrated into political communication, there are fewer studies of how the hybridization of the public sphere has an impact on political governance.
Politics is about the governance of society, cooperation and conflict, values and interests. Political communication, accordingly, refers to any use of symbols to act politically and to influence governance. Traditionally, research on political communication has often been tied to national elections and election campaigns. It has provided in-depth analysis of the relationships among elite political actors inside the political system. However, as changes in the communication landscape enable new issues and actors to play new roles, we need to pay more attention to the affordances of the networked, intensively-connected environment, its emerging logic, encounters, and communication practices. Of particular interest today are studies of non-elected political actors and the different strategies, ways and registers with which they communicate to gain influence over political outcomes. Whereas political communication has often concentrated on the triangle of politicians, journalists and citizens/audiences, we open this volume to studies involving a wider set of political actors and interests – including, e.g., bureaucrats, communication advisors, leaders of corporations and organisations, and citizens’ groups.
We encourage articles that study political communication at all levels of politics – from the local to the regional and global levels. Of particular interest are comparative studies over time, across political systems, or between levels of politics.
Research topics may include but are not restricted to:
- Political actors and communicative forms: What new kinds of political actors are emerging in the wake of the hybridization of public spheres? How do different actors communicate? What does the abundance of channels mean for the contact between actors and citizens? How do different types of actors benefit or suffer from the changes in media technologies and structures?
- Political journalism: How does the emerging communicative abundance shift power relations between elite sources and journalists? What are the emerging trends in professional political journalism? Are new developments articulated in different ways in different contexts and regions?
- Political content: What formats and genres are political? How are different formats and genres adapted to networked politics? What is the impact of particular political issues – such as immigration, the environment, or security/terrorism – on the forms and dynamics of political communication? How are issues politicised in the transnational and hybrid public sphere?
- Political processes: What signifies political communication in networked societies? What is the significance of “connective action” (Bennett & Segerberg 2013) for political communication? Is there a new role for “affective publics” (Papacharissi 2014) and emotions in political processes? Does the “hybrid media system” (Chadwick 2013) mean shifts in communicative power? How are communication strategies in election campaigns changing? What new roles do social movements play in particular political processes – and how do they function?
- Mediation and mediatization of politics: A wide body of recent literature has been working on the mediatization of politics – also in relation to new media. How does mediatization research contribute to the understanding of the structural and institutional changes in media and politics and, thus, in political communication?
Please send an extended abstract of 500-600 words to volume editor Professor Eli Skogerbø (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Deadline for abstract submission: 1 April 2016
Notification to authors: 15 April 2016
Final article submission: 1 September 2016
Publication: Spring 2017
Additional information about the journal is available on the Intellect Press website: http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-Journal,id=143/view,page=2/