Digital Parties Network

Digital Parties Research Network

About the project

This network’s aim is to analyse political parties in digital age. The main overarching questions are to what extent is there such thing as “digital parties” and if so, what is it and how does it differ from other parties. Furthermore, the degree of (organisational) transformation (or lack of it) of parties in the digital age is a focus of the network.

 

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Structure

The network currently consists of about 40 scholars covering almost 20 countries both in EU and beyond. It brings together researchers with diverse backgrounds in terms of origin, career and expertise in fields including party studies, elections, law, regulations, communication and ICTs. The Digital Parties Network also collaborates with civil society actors such as Transparency International.

Aims: Publication for academics and practitioners, work with parties, voters, state agencies and civil society actors.

Organisation and Members

The network and its activities is coordinated by two co-chairs and a steering committee.

Chairs

Giulia Sandri, Université Catholique de Lille, Giulia.SANDRI(at)univ-catholille.fr

Michał Jacuński, University of Wroclaw, michal.jacunski(at)uwr.edu.pl

Steering Comittee

Isabelle Borucki, Universität Duisburg-Essen, isabelle.borucki(at)uni-due.de

Oscar Barberà, Universitat de València, o.barbera(at)uv.es

Jasmin Fitzpatrick, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, fitzpatrick(at)politik.uni-mainz.de

Felix von Nostitz, Université Catholique de Lille, Felix.Vonnostitz(at)univ-catholille.fr

Members

Joan Balcells (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain)

Oscar Barberà (Universitat de València, Spain)

Melani Barlai (Andrassy University Budapest, Hungary)

Márton Bene (Centre for Social Sciences, Hungary)

Cecilia Biancalana (Université de Lausanne, Switzerland)

Rosa Borge (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain)

Isabelle Borucki (Universität Duisburg-Essen, Germany)

Giorgos Charalambous (University of Nicosia, Cyprus)

Boyu Chen (University of Niigata Prefecture, Japan)

Patricia Correa (Aston University, UK)

Alberto Díaz Montiel (University of Granada, Spain)

Kate Dommett (University of Sheffield, UK)

David Duenas-Cid (Kozminski University, Poland)

Jasmin Fitzpatrick (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany)

Sergiu Gherghina (University of Glasgow, UK)

Rachel Gibson (University of Manchester, UK)

Marijana Grbeša (University of Zagreb, Croatia)

Fabienne Greffet (University of Lorraine, France)

Marco Guglielmo (University of Birmingham, UK)

Florian Hartleb ( Catholic University Eichstätt/ University for Police Saxony-Anhalt/ Hanse Advice, Germany)

Emilie van Haute (Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)

Alexandra Iancu (University of Bucharest, Romania)

Johanna Jaasaari (University of Helsinki, Finland)

Michał Jacuński (University of Wroclaw, Poland)

Glenn Kefford (University of Queensland, Australia)

Robert Krimmer (University of Tartu, Estonia)

Marco Lisi (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal)

Fabio Lupato (University Complutense of Madrid, Spain)

Marco Meloni (University of Coimbra/ Complutense University of Madrid, Spain)

Bálint Mikola (Transparency International Hungary)

Iva Nenadic (University of Zagreb, Croatia)

Felix von Nostitz (Université Catholique de Lille, France)

Albert Padró-Solanet (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain)

Valeria Tarditi (University of Calabria, Italy)

Juan Rodríguez Teruel (Universitat de València, Spain)

Gefion Thuermer (King’s College London, UK)

Giulia Sandri (Université Catholique de Lille, France)

Daniel Šárovec (Charles University, Czechia)

Davide Vittori (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)

Working Groups

The Digital Parties Network is structured around 5 Work Packages.

WG Participation

This WG aims to explore the impact of digitalisation on political participation both within parties (IPD) and more widely. It develops a systematic and comparative approach to study how party organisational digitalisation impacts (or not) the participation by party members and supporters. More specifically it looks at which digital participatory tools are used by different parties, in which contexts and who participates online, how and their attitude towards these new digital possibilities.

WG Communication

This group is looking at internal and external web-based communication processes of parties. Perspectives include case studies, however, the focus is on comparisons: party families, regions, new vs. established parties etc. The aim is to identify different stages and types in adaptation of web-based technologies.

WG Finance

The Finance WG looks the impact digitalization has on party financing such as changes in the origin of financial resources and increase or reduction of costs of party activities. In particular it aims to outline how digital technologies opened new scenarios for parties’ in terms of online fundraising, spending (online platforms, campaigning, communication and staff) and investing. It also ask what are the effects of digital financing on equilibria between public and private funding, transparency and corruption.

WG Organization

This WG aims at monitoring the effects of digitalization focusing on two main aspects: (1) the digital staff and the management of digital crowds within parties and (2) the decision-making process transformations linked with digitalization. The aim is to identify patterns of parties that might develop in the EU in the upcoming years, and whether this might reinforce or threaten the European democracy, as a political system and as a set of values.

WG Mapping Party Digitalization

In cooperation with the other WGs this group aims to develop a common framework to map digitalisation across different dimensions that impact directly on party functions, including organization and IPD, internal and external communication, participation and finance. It aims to address the current lack of a shared theoretical definition and cross-national comparisons in many of the current studies on party digitalization.
Moreover, we also aim to study the digitalisation of different aspect of the party: in public office, in central office and on the ground. Further, we ask how digitalisation impacts key democratic dimensions such as participation, representation, competitiveness, accountability and transparency. In order to do so, we are developing a common framework to explore the aspects above in comparative manner. Moreover, we also look at individual “best” (Estonia, Switzerland) and “worse” (M5S, UMP Paris) paratactic case studies.

Resources

Publications

Ala-Fossi, M. & Alén-Savikko, A. & Hilden, J. & Horowitz, M. A. & Jääsaari, J. & Karppinen, K. & Lehtisaari, K. & Nieminen, H. (2019). Operationalising communication rights: the case of a “digital welfare state”. Internet Policy Review, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.14763/2019.1.1389

Astrid Barrio (2020): «La fatiga de los partidos. Digitalizados, diversificados, ¿democratizados? Cómo se están adaptando los partidos al cambio político», Nueva Revista de Política, Cultura y Arte, No. 172, 112-129

Balcells, J., & Padró-Solanet, A. (2020). Crossing Lines in the Twitter Debate on Catalonia’s Independence. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 25(1), 28–52. https://doi.org/10.1177/1940161219858687

Barberà, O., Rodríguez-Teruel, J. The PSOE’s deliberation and democratic innovations in turbulent times for the social democracy. Eur Polit Sci 19, 212–221 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41304-019-00236-y

Barlai,M. (2013). Young, Hungarian, Ill-tempered Right-Wing Extremism within Hungary’s” Generation Facebook”, Osteuropa, 63(11),87-95.
Bene, M. (2018). Post shared, vote shared: Investigating the link between Facebook performance and electoral success during the Hungarian general election campaign of 2014. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 95(2), 363-380.

Biancalana, C. (eds.) (2018) Disintermediazione e nuove forme di mediazione. Verso una democrazia post-rappresentativa?, Milano, Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli.
Borge Bravo, R., Balcells, J., & Padró-Solanet, A. (2019). Platform Politics in Europe | A Model for the Analysis of Online Citizen Deliberation: Barcelona Case Study. International Journal of Communication, 13(0), 25.

Borucki, Isabelle (2020). Social media monitoring. In D. Merskin (Ed.), The SAGE international encyclopedia of mass media and society (Vol. 1, pp. 1606-1608). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781483375519.n621

Charalambous, G. (2020). ‘Reclaiming Radicalism: Discursive Wars and the Left’, tripleC, 19 (1): 212-230.

Chen, B. (2018). When elections become social movements: Emerging “citizen-initiated” campaigning in Taiwan. In Internet Election Campaigns in the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan (pp. 165-188). Palgrave Macmillan

Čular, G. & Grbeša, M. (2020). Croatia. In V. Hloušek & P. Kaniok (Eds.) The European Parliament Election of 2019 in East-Central Europe Second-Order Euroscepticism (pp. 39-60). Palgrave.

Dommett, K., Temple, L. and Seyd, P. (2020) ‘Dynamics of Intra-Party Organisation in the Digital Age: A Grassroots Analysis of Digital Adoption’, Parliamentary Affairs, https://doi.org/10.1093/pa/gsaa007

Duenas-Cid, D., Krivonosova, I., Serrano, R. A., Freire, M., & Krimmer, R. (2020). Tripped at the Finishing Line: The Åland Islands Internet Voting Project. In R. Krimmer, M. Volkamer, B. Beckert, R. Küsters, O. Kulyk, D. Duenas-Cid, & M. Solvak (Eds.), International Joint Conference on Electronic Voting E-Vote-ID 2020 (pp. 36–49). Bregenz: Springer LNCS.

Farkas, X., & Bene, M. (2020). Images, Politicians, and Social Media: Patterns and Effects of Politicians’ Image-based Political Communication Strategies on Social Media. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 1940161220959553.

Fitzpatrick, Jasmin (2018): Digital Civil Society. Wie zivilgesellschaftliche Organisationen im Web 2.0 politische Ziele verfolgen. Wiesbaden: Springer VS doi: 10.1007/978-3-658-21433-3

García Lupato, F. & Meloni, M. (2020). Digital Intra-Party Democracy: an exploratory analysis of Podemos and the Labour Party. R&R for Parliamentary Affairs.

Gibson, R.K., 2020. When the Nerds Go Marching in: How Digital Technology Moved from the Margins to the Mainstream of Political Campaigns. Oxford University Press.

Greffet, F., Wojcik, S. (2017), “Exploring Online Participation: The Case of the French Presidential Election Campaign, 2012”; Comunicazione Politica, 2017/1, p. 3-30.

Greffet, F., Wojcik, S. (2018), “Une participation politique renouvelée. L’invention de modes individualisés et critiques d’engagement numérique en campagne électorale”, Quaderni, n°97, p107-125.

Hartlleb, Florian (2021). Materalizations of Populism in Today´s politics: Global Perspectives, in: Barbara Christophe/Heike Liebau/Christoph Kohl/Achim Saupe (eds.): The Politics of Authenticity and Populist Discourses, Media and Education in Brazil, India and Ukraine, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 31-52.
Hartleb, Florian (2013). Anti-elitist cyber parties? Understanding the future of European party politics. Journal of Public Affairs, 13:4, pp. 355-369.

Iancu, A. «Party Membership in Romania: political legitimacy, party finance and organizational changes”, (cu S. Soare), Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review, 2020, 56(3): 315-341 DOI: 10.13060/csr.2020.020

Jääsaari, Johanna & Hildén, Jockum. 2015. From File Sharing to Free Culture: The Evolving Agenda of European Pirate Parties. International Journal of Communication 9, 870-889.

Jacuński, M., Brodzińska-Mirowska B., Pacześniak, A., & Wincławska, M. (2021). Party Organization and Communication in Poland. Cham, Palgrave Macmillan

Kefford, G. 2021. Political Parties and Campaigning in Australia: Data, Digital and Field. Palgrave.

Korenčić, D., Grbeša, M. & Šnajder, J. (2016). Topics and their salience in the 2015 parliamentary election in Croatia: A topic model based analysis of the media agenda. In D. Širinić, J. Šnajder, Z. Fazekas & Sh. Bevan (Eds.) Proceedings of the International Conference on the Advances in Computational Analysis of Political Text (pp. 48–54). PolText.

Kosiara-Pedersen K., Scarrow S., van Haute E. (2017), “Rules of Engagement? Party Membership Costs, New Forms of Party Affiliation, and Partisan Participation”, in Scarrow S., Webb P., Poguntke Th. (eds), Organising Representation: Political Parties, Participation, and Power, Oxford, Oxford University Press

Krimmer, R., Duenas-Cid, D., & Krivonosova, I. (2020b). New methodology for calculating cost-efficiency of different ways of voting: is internet voting cheaper? Public Money and Management, 0(0), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540962.2020.1732027

Liao, D. C., Chen, B., Jensen, M. J., & Pritchard, C. W. (Eds.). (2016). Political behavior and technology: Voting advice applications in East Asia. Springer.

Lisi, Marco. «Party innovation, hybridisation and the crisis: The case of Podemos». Italian Political Science Review/Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica 49, n. 3 (2018): 245–62. https://doi.org/doi:10.1017/ipo.2018.20.

Mahrer, H., Krimmer, R. (2005): Towards the enhancement of e‐democracy: identifying the notion of the ‘middleman paradox’ Information Systems Journal 15 (1), 27-42.

Meloni, M., Allegretti, G., & Antunes, S. (2018). “Participlaying: a reflection on gamification techniques from the standpoint of participatory budgeting”. In Dias, N. (ed.) Hope for Democracy – 30 Years of Participatory Budgeting Worldwide. Faro: Epopeia Records & Oficina.
Montesanti L. e Tarditi V. (2017), Fenomenologia di due nuovi partiti: i casi del Movimento cinque stelle e di Podemos, in «Polis», n. 2, pp. 261-292, ISSN 1120-9488.

Nenadić, I. (2020). Power without responsibility: the content moderation policies of the online platforms in the response to infodemic. Anali Hrvatskog politološkog društva, 17(1): 79-101. DOI: 10.20901/an.17.04

Raniolo F. and Tarditi V. (2020), Digital Revolution and Party Innovations: An analysis of the Spanish Case, «Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica», Vol. 50(2), pp. 235-253, first online 18 settembre 2019, ISSN: 0048-8402, doi: 10.1017/ipo.2019.27

Sandri G. and Seddone A. (2020) Primary elections and party grassroots: participation, innovation and resistance, European Political Science, Online first publication, June 2020, https://doi.org/10.1057/s41304-020-00268-9

Šárovec, D. (2019). Assured Newcomers on a Squally Sea? The Czech Pirate Party before and after the 2017 Elections. Acta FF, 11(2), 1-21. doi:10.24132/actaff.2019.11.2.1

Tarditi V. and Vittori D. (2020), ‘We are Different’: do Anti-establishment Parties Promote Distinctive Elites? An Analysis of the Spanish Case, in «Representation», DOI: 10.1080/00344893.2020.1785535.

Vittori, D. (2019). Membership and members’ participation in new digital parties: bring back the people? Comparative European Politics. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41295-019-00201-5.

Wincławska M., Pacześniak A., Brodzińska-Mirowska, B. & Jacuński, M. (2020). Party Management from the Perspective of Party Members: Evidence from Poland, Problems of Post-Communism, DOI: 10.1080/10758216.2020.1757466

Member's projects (examples)

Kate Dommet (University of Sheffield, UK):

-‘Understanding Online Political Advertising: Perceptions, Uses and Regulation’ – Leverhulme Trust – 3 year project 2021-2023 looking at the use of OPA in the UK. National focus, UK based collaborators in different disciplines

-‘‘Data-driven campaigns: intended and unintended consequences for democracy [DATADRIVEN]’, ‘Norface Democratic Governance in a Turbulent Age, 3 years 2021-2023. Looking at use of data in election campaigns. Collaborative project with Rachel Gibson, Sanne Kruikeimer and Sophie Lecheler

Jasmin Fitzpatrick (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany):

-DFG Application for Villa Vigoni Talks 2022: Philosophies of Digitalization of Political Parties in Italy and Germany after the COVID19 pandemic (submitted; Co-Applicants Valeria Tarditi and Davide Vittori; decision expected in autumn 2021)

Rosa Borge (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain):

-R+D Project “Deliberation … Spanish Ministery of Science and Education ongoing project (2020-2022) with Joan Balcells, Albert Padró-Solanet i Oscar Barberà.

Krimmer Robert Krimmer (University of Tartu, Estonia):

-‘Representation and Democratic Resentment’ – funded by the FNRS-FWO Excellence of Science. Partners: ULB, UA (PI), VUB, KULeuven, UCL.

Oscar Barberà (Universitat de València, Spain):

– “AICO Project on Digitalization of political parties”-Funded by the Valencian Regional Government (2020-2021) with Borucki, Fitzpatrick, Sandri, Barrat, Correa, von Nostitz, Vittori, Biancalana, Borge, Balcells

Márton Bene (Centre for Social Sciences, Hungary):

-“Networked locality: A multimethod approach to investigate the role of social media in local politics” – 2020 – 2024, NKFIH funding

-“COMPACT: A comparative approach to investigate strategic social media activity during political campaigns” – 2020 – 2022 TK Incubator funding

-“Political information consumption and activity on social media” – 2020 – 2023, Bolyai János scholarship

Giorgos Charalambous (University of Nicosia, Cyprus):

– Project title: ‘Mobile citizenship, states of exception and (non)border regimes in post-Covid19 Cyprus’

– Project Grant, Awarded for the 2nd Call of the Hellenic Observatory, LSE, A. Leventis Foundation Research Innovation Programme on Cyprus

Patricia Correa (Aston University, UK):

-Co-investigator in a project on party digitalization coordinated by O. Barbera (PI) at the University of Valencia (funded by the Valencian regional government).

Iva Nenadic (University of Zagreb, Croatia):

-member of the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) at the European University Institute funded by the European Commission
Rachel Gibson (University of Manchester, UK):

-ERC Advanced Investigator Grant, Digital Campaigning and Electoral Democracy (DiCED) 2020-2025,

Joan Balcells (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain):
-“The new online public sphere in the deliberative system: political deliberation on Twitter and political parties’ platforms in Spain” (ONPARTDEL)

Giulia Sandri (Université catholique de Lille, France):

-Co-investigator in a project on party digitalization coordinated by O. Barbera (PI) at the University of Valencia (funded by the Valencian regional government).

Work Packages

Events

The initial idea for this network first emerged during the workshop on “Cyber parties: New parties, ICTs and organization in the digital age” at the University of Valencia in December 2018. This lead to a first panel covering the theme of this research network at the ECPR general conference 2019. Other events such as the Duisburg Workshops (2019, 2020) and more panels at ECPR general conference 2020 followed. For 2021 members of the Digital Parties Network are involved as organisers and/or presenters at IPSA conference 2021 (Panel) and ECPR General Conference 2021 (Section and Panels). Further members of the network organised panels at national conference such as Jasmin Fitzpatrick (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany with Manès Weisskircher) at the DVPW-Congress 2021.

Contact us

If you have any questions or want to join the network, please contact one of the two chairs:

  • Giulia Sandri, Université Catholique de Lille, Giulia.SANDRI(at)univ-catholille.fr
  • Michał Jacuński, University of Wroclaw, michal.jacunski(at)uwr.edu.pl
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