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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Journal of Information Technology & Politics

For a Special Issue on
Social media and political contention: challenges and opportunities for comparative research

Abstract deadline
30 June 2022

Manuscript deadline
15 January 2023

Cover image - Journal of Information Technology & Politics

Special Issue Editor(s)

Christina Neumayer, University of Copenhagen
[email protected]ku.dk

Matthias Hoffmann, University of Copenhagen
[email protected]

Jun Liu, University of Copenhagen
[email protected]

Hans-Jörg Trenz, Scuola Normale Superiore
[email protected]

Submit an ArticleVisit JournalArticles

Social media and political contention: challenges and opportunities for comparative research

This special issue aims to advance comparative studies of social media analysis and political contention such as demonstrations, protests, strikes, riots, civil disobedience, and insurrection. Recent contributions in political science and communication studies have seen more attention to analyzing social media data to understand how people worldwide resist injustice, disobey authority, and protest against repression. The homogeneity of social media data in format and content promises systematic comparison across localities, actors and over time. However, we rarely see theoretical deliberation, methodological reflection, or empirical advancement of comparative perspectives on social media and political contention. Most studies are instead concerned (and thereby constrained) with single-country, single platform, or with a single issue, topic, or organization. Such lacunae not only prevent the development of vigorous comparative methodologies but also hinder potential opportunities for building generalisable theories beyond specific cases of digitally-mediated political contention. This special issue will address this gap, theoretically, methodologically, and empirically, by tackling challenges and opportunities regarding comparative social media analysis and political contention.

We invite original, rigorous, and creative contributions and reflections based on social media analysis of political contention in a comparative perspective. Comparative social media analysis across space, time, function, and media (or platforms) may include: cross-country comparisons comprising multilingual data sets; cross-platform comparisons comprising data in different formats (textual, visual, etc.); media comparisons comprising social media and legacy media; or case comparisons comprising different topics of debates, providers or user communities. Submission may be based on structures and interactions (e.g., social network analyses) or audiovisual and textual content (e.g., qualitative / quantitative content analyses), but we also welcome approaches that combine analysis of social media data with other data sources (such as surveys or interviews). We critically engage with opportunities and challenges of comparative social media analysis by contextualizing political contention in the a broader fields of comparative politics and comparative communication studies. Challenges of comparative social media analysis may arise due to variation in: communication culture (such as sharing behavior and platform usage), political systems, legislation (such as censorship), opportunity structures, social media affordances, user demographics, or access to data.

The contributions can be theoretical or based on empirical studies, addressing micro and macro-level research questions, but may also include innovative suggestions to overcome research challenges. In all forms, the papers should make explicit, original, and substantial contributions to the relevance and the implications of comparative social media analysis of political contention. We especially encourage manuscripts focusing on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Social media analysis of political contention (such as demonstrations, protests, strikes, riots, civil disobedience, insurrection) across multiple localities, regions, and countries.
  • Political contention and social media analysis comprising multilingual data sets.
  • Comparing political contention among different social media platforms and data in different formats (textual, visual, etc.).
  • Longitudinal analysis of social media analysis of political contention and comparison over time.
  • Social media analysis of political contention across political orientation, issues, groups, and protests.
  • Methodological challenges of comparative social media analysis in the context of political contention.
  • Comparative perspectives on social media data with qualitative, quantitative, or computational methods and a focus on political contention.
  • Analytical frameworks for comparative social media analysis of political contention.

Submission Instructions

Please submit article proposals of approximately 500 words to the special issue editors ([email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]) no later than 30 June, 2022.

A selection of authors will be invited to submit full papers of a maximum of 9000 words. Please note that acceptance of an abstract does not guarantee publication, given that all papers will undergo double blind peer review. For questions, please contact the guest editors.

Timeline:
Deadline for abstracts: 30 June 2022
Notification to authors: 31 August 2022
Deadline for submission of full papers: 15 January 2023
Peer review process: 15 January – 15 September 2023
Deadline for final version: 15 November 2023
Publication of special issue: first issue in 2024

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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