Foto: Matthias Friel
The Internet and especially social media platforms have become a central arena for political election campaigning. More and more people are using social media platforms like Twitter (now X), Facebook or Instagram to consume and interact with political contents published by newspapers, bloggers, or directly by political parties and their candidates. For political parties, social media platforms offer new opportunities to reach potential voters with posts, images, videos, and also through paid advertising campaigns. Online campaigning also affects dynamics and strategies of party competition, changing, for example, the role of candidates in campaigns and how and to whom parties address specific policy-issues. However, traditional forms of campaigning like campaign posters, TV ads or door-to-door campaigns remain central elements of parties’ election campaigns. This course addresses the offline and online repertoires of political campaigning and sheds light on the dynamics, strategies and effects of these different forms of campaigning on the basis of quantitative and qualitative research on political campaigning.
The course offers theoretical, empirical and methodological perspectives on political campaigning in the digital age with a focus on the German case. We start with a discussion of the institutional context and campaigning regulations, followed by a theoretical section covering different perspectives on party competition and strategies in election campaigns. Building on this foundation, we delve into various forms of offline and online campaigning, examining how parties employ them in Germany and beyond, and the (potential) effects they may have. Throughout the sessions on different forms of online campaigning, the course provides insights into methods of data collection and analysis of social media campaigns.
Will be provided via Moodle.
Course requirements for 6 ECTS:
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