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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Research Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics Events & Colloquium

EPS Seminar Series - TILKO SWALVE (Leibniz University Hannover): 'Courts under Pressure: How Social Media Changes Political Discourse About the Rule of Law in Modern Democracies'

When:We 04-10-2023 16:00 - 17:00
Where:Collaboratory B, Harmonie building

This event is part of the Seminar Series of the theme group European Politics and Society.


Social media is fundamentally changing the nature of political discourse in modern democracies by allowing political actors to circumvent media gatekeepers. Especially right-wing populists have benefited from the changing media landscape. Given their disdain for an independent judiciary, social media has allowed populists to attack high courts in a way that was inconceivable under the conventional model of journalistic gatekeeping. On a theoretical level, our project highlights the potentially detrimental effects of elite discourses on social media, while focusing on high courts as a key pillar of liberal democracy. The project compares elite discourses on high courts in Germany, the UK, Poland and the Netherlands over a ten-year period by analyzing Twitter messages by political actors. The project makes use of large-scale web data collection and machine-learning approaches to text analysis (BERT) to systematically trace discourses on the rule of law.

If you would like to attend, please contact Martijn Schoonvelde (martijn.schoonvelde