Our project aims at studying the nexus between politics and social media in comparative perspective from the viewpoint of both citizens and political actors. By analyzing digital literacy, online political participation, and political discussion on social media, our research will evaluate the inclusiveness, representativeness and quality of political discussion and participation online in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. Thanks to recently established collaborations, our project will also expand to studying social media and politics in Australia and the United States.
By studying how political actors communicate online and how citizens relate to party leaders and city mayors on social media, our project will clarify whether and to what extent the supply of online political communication meets citizens’ demand and whether digital media afford effective opportunities to secure control by the governed over those who govern them. Comparing Germany, Italy and the UK will allow us to test hypotheses related to systemic and institutional factors and to comprehend the development of online politics in three political systems that are relevant for the definition of Europe’s global role.
WebPolEU is a research project funded by the Italian Ministry of Universtiy and Research and involves a team of researchers from Università di Bologna, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Università di Roma Tre.