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Rethinking the Mediatization of Politics

Workshop of the ECREA TWG Mediatization

"Rethinking the mediatization of politics: Politics and policy, government and governmentality, citizenship and activism"

Location: New Academic Building, LSE, Friday 25th and Saturday 26th April 2014

The mediatization of politics was the very beginning of mediatization research: In the 1990s and the years following, mediatization was mainly discussed as the adaptation of ‘media rules’ or ‘journalistic logics’ to the field of politics. Following this, most of the early theorising of mediatization was related to this kind of research. However, since then the field of mediatization research has opened widely. This makes it possible to rethink the mediatization of politics in a wider frame than previously possible.

The basic idea of the workshop is to re-open the discussion on the mediatization of politics by linking it more closely to questions of government/governance and governmentality. Politics is much more deeply influenced by mediatization than original conceptualisations implied: Not only the patterns of journalistic news production are important for reflecting the mediatization of politics. We also have to bear in mind that the whole way of (public) political opinion-forming increasingly refers to information and decision-making processes that are based on technical media. Such a statement does not only reflect more recent developments like “open data” approaches or “e-government”, for example. Already in the 1970s, political decisions referred to computer-gathered information and technologically-based communication networks. At the same time, various new forms of activism as well as citizenship became an important counterpoint to traditional forms of politics – and again they are highly mediatized. If we want to understand the mediatization of politics, we also have to take such changes in government/governance and governmentality into consideration. Additionally, there is a need to analyse deeply how mediatization changes the practices of doing politics.

Based on such considerations, we invite submissions on the following topics (theoretical as well as empirical):

  • Contributions that analyse the mediatization of political decision-making, deliberation and policy-generation.
  • Studies on the mediatization of government/governance as well as governmentality.
  • Studies on mediatized citizenship, (grass-roots) transnational movements and other forms of extra-parliamentary and identity politics.
  • Historical studies on the mediatization of politics and policy.
  • Theoretical reflections on how to extend or deepen our understanding of the of mediatization of politics and policy.

Invited keynote speakers are:

  • Jay Blumler, University of Leeds, UK
  • Caja Thimm, University of Bonn, Germany

Responsible for the review was the whole organisation team (Nick Couldry, Andreas Hepp, Stig Hjarvard, Friedrich Krotz, Kristina Riegert).

Please visit the ECREA TWG “Mediatization” web page for further information: http://www.mediatization.eu/

This Workshop of the ECREA TWG Mediatization is organised in cooperation with:

  • Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics & Political Science
  • Research Network “Communicative figurations”
  • Priority Research Program “Mediatized Worlds"


Details of the Events:


09.15 - 09.45  Registration and coffee/tea (provided)

09.45 - 10.00  Introduction

  • Nick Couldry (LSE) and Andreas Hepp (University of Bremen)

10.00 - 11.00  Keynote panel

  • Jay Blumler (University of Leeds) '"Mediatization" of Politics: A Challenge for Democracy? -- Revisited'
  • Caja Thimm (University of Bonn) 'The Role of Time for the Mediatization of Politics: From Digital Firestorms to Candy Waves Online'

11.15 - 12.45  Panel 1: MEDIATIZATION OF PROTEST

  • Elena Block (University of Queensland)
  • Mikkel Fugl Eskjær (Aalborg University) and Rasmus Helles (University of Copenhagen)
  • Anne Kaun (Södertörn University/University of Pennsylvania)
  • Miriam Stehling and Tanja Thomas (University of Bremen)

12.45 - 14.00  Lunch (self-funded)


  • Ilona Biernacka-Ligieza (Maria Curie-Skłodowska University)
  • Ruth Garland (LSE)
  • Magnus Frederiksen (Uppsala University), Josef Pallas (Uppsala University) and Thomas Schillemans (Utrecht University)
  • Iris Korthagen and Ingmar van Meerkerk (Erasmus University)

14.00 - 15.30  Panel 3 (parallel session in NAB 1.15):  MEDIATIZATION AND POPULAR CULTURE

  • Göran Bolin (Södertörn University)
  • Nadia Kaneva (University of Denver)
  • Cornel Sandvoss (University of Surrey)
  • Katja Valaskivi (University of Tampere)

15.30 - 15.50  Coffee/tea (provided)


  • Andreas Breiter (University of Bremen)
  • Nick Couldry and Damian Tambini (LSE)
  • Risto Kunelius and Esa Reunanen (University of Tampere)
  • Lotte Melenhorst (Leiden University)

17.20 - 18.00  TWG meeting and election of new Vice-chair

18.00  Informal drinks nearby and self-funded dinner (suggested joint venue tbc)




  • Keren Darmon (LSE)
  • Patrick Donges (University of Greifswald), Matthias Brändli (University of Zurich) and Paula Nitschke (University of Greifswald)
  • Ximena Orchard (University of Sheffield)
  • Tamara Witschge (University of Groningen)

1045 - 11.00    Coffee/tea (provided)


  • Nino Landerer (University of Geneva)
  • Norbert Merkovity (University of Szeged/National University of Public Service)
  • Rikke Alberg Peters (Aarhus University)
  • Barbi Pilvre (Tallinn University)

11.00 - 12.30  Panel 7 (parallel session in NAB 1.15): REFLECTING POLITICS IN MEDIATIZATION  

  • Thomas Birkner (University of Münster)
  • Remko van Broekhoeven (Univerity of Applied Sciences Utrecht)
  • James Pamment (University of Texas at Austin/Karlstad University
  • James Stanyer and David Deacon (Loughborough university)

12.30-13.45   Lunch (self-funded)

13.45 -15.15  Panel 8: THE RANGE OF POLITICAL ACTORS

  • Christoph Bieber and Sebastian Jarzebski (University of Duisburg-Essen)
  • Mattias Ekman and Andreas Widholm (Stockholm University)
  • Andreas Hepp (University of Bremen)
  • Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud and Tine Ustad Figenschou (University of Oslo)

15.20 - 16.00  Final discussion 

16.00   CLOSE

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