Call for Submissions: Politicians and Social Media in the Global South

*Call for Submissions*
*Politicians and Social Media in the Global South*

A seminar/workshop at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Date: April 14, 2018
2345 North Quad
105 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

In the last decade, politicians in various parts of the world have invested
in social media campaigns, including in settings where a relatively small
proportion of the voting public is actually online. Leaders may use social
media for a range of reasons such as to actively court constituents, to
present a narrative on their political program to the international
community, or to use the affordances of social media to frame the agenda on
a specific issue.

Social media can also present a means for politicians to bypass the free
professional media corps to directly speak to the electorate, and exercise
greater control over the story crafted about them. After an early phase of
enthusiasm on the scope of social media to bring decentralized power to the
people, we increasingly have a balanced view of the potential and risks of
online behaviour for democratic societies. Today, we see a social media
environment in which a vast majority of major national politicians in
countries throughout the world build social media presences for a diverse
mix of these reasons. What do these developments mean for the future of
political campaigning? What tactics have worked? How is the online strategy
impacted by ideology, national economic priorities, or political structure?

To get at these questions, the University of Michigan is organizing a
one-day seminar workshop to examine contemporary scholarship on political
social media in the Global South. The goals of the workshop are to

1.      Track the major trends in the use and spread of social media in
election campaigns and in Global South settings

2.      Highlight the cases of specific politicians, parties, communities
or political issues discussed on social media

3.      Enable interdisciplinary conversations to appreciate and
incorporate alternate approaches towards studying

The event will feature a mix of talks and small workgroup sessions to
explore these topics, with specific attention to politicians and political
collectives. We invite contributions that are based on original research on
studies of politicians or parties on social media in Global South settings
using qualitative or quantitative perspectives including but not limited to
data sciences, discourse analysis, digital humanities, and ethnographies.

Topics may include:

·        Social media strategies of political accounts

·        Political Networks and Affiliation online

·        Identity and Political Social Media

·        Framing of political issues on social media

·        Mainstream media engagement with political social media

·        Social media use in e-Governance

We also invite talks on citizen behaviour and issue framing online, so long
as the work highlights a connection to party systems or individual

Limited funding support is available to presenting attendees who require
funding.  Please send abstracts of 1200 words (plus citations) of original
work with the subject line “Michigan Politics in the Global South Workshop”
on or before December 20, 2017, to

All submissions must include a 250-word bio of the corresponding author. If
a specific dataset is being used for the abstract, authors are encouraged
to also include a short description of the data.


Joyojeet Pal, University of Michigan School of Information

Ceren Budak, University of Michigan School of Information

*Sponsored by*

The University of Michigan International Institute

The University of Michigan School of Information

The University of Michigan Department of Communications

The University of Michigan Center for South Asia Studies

Categories: Conferences

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