New Special Issue of IJPP: “Digital Threats to Democracy: Comparative Lessons and Possible Remedies”

Issue 3-2020 of The International Journal of Press/Politics is now out in print and it is a special issue on “Digital Threats to Democracy: Comparative Lessons and Possible Remedies”, which I guest-edited with Mike Miller from the Social Science Research Council.

This has been a long and enlightening journey, starting from a call for papers for a research workshop held at the SSRC in New York in June 2019, continuing with a second call for papers for journal manuscripts open to both workshop participants and other authors, and then through to various rounds of peer review and refinements to what was already a very strong pool of articles. The special issue includes eight research articles covering 23 countries in 4 different continents.

In our Introduction, Mike Miller and I chronicle the different ways in which scholars have thought and researched the role of the internet in democratic promotion, consolidation, and governance and reflect upon some of the challenges for future research in this area. We also introduce the contribution to the special issue as follows:

“The eight contributions collected in this Special Issue advance our understanding of some potential sources of digital threats to democracy, of how citizens are affected by and may contribute to these threats, and of some possible solutions to these problems. These studies combine a variety of disciplinary perspectives—political science, media and communication, and sociology—and employ a variety of methods—computational analysis, in-depth interviews, focus groups, surveys, analysis of secondary data, and policy analysis—often combining multiple approaches and comparing different countries. The articles cover twenty-three countries in four different continents, including established Western democracies (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States), a younger, and arguably backsliding, Eastern European democracy (Poland), an East Asian democracy (Taiwan), and two authoritarian regimes (Myanmar and Russia).”

The table of contents of the special issue is below. All articles will be accessible for free until the end of September 2020.

Digital Threats to Democracy: Comparative Lessons and Possible Remedies
Michael L. Miller and Cristian Vaccari

Cross-Platform State Propaganda: Russian Trolls on Twitter and YouTube during the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
Yevgeniy Golovchenko, Cody Buntain, Gregory Eady, Megan A. Brown, and Joshua A. Tucker

Relatively Democratic: How Perceived Internet Interference Shapes Attitudes about Democracy
Elizabeth Stoycheff

Poison If You Don’t Know How to Use It: Facebook, Democracy, and Human Rights in Myanmar
Jenifer Whitten-Woodring, Mona S. Kleinberg, Ardeth Thawnghmung, and Myat The Thitsar

Populist Attitudes and Selective Exposure to Online News: A Cross-Country Analysis Combining Web Tracking and Surveys
Sebastian Stier, Nora Kirkizh, Caterina Froio, and Ralph Schroeder

Public Beliefs about Falsehoods in News
Karolina Koc-Michalska, Bruce Bimber, Daniel Gomez, Matthew Jenkins, and Shelley Boulianne

How Politics Shape Views Toward Fact-Checking: Evidence from Six European Countries
Ben Lyons, Vittorio Mérola, Jason Reifler, and Florian Stoeckel

Resilience to Online Disinformation: A Framework for Cross-National Comparative Research
Edda Humprecht, Frank Esser, and Peter Van Aelst

Protecting Democracy from Disinformation: Normative Threats and Policy Responses
Chris Tenove

Book Reviews
Book Review: The Revolution That Wasn’t: How Digital Activism Favors Conservatives
David Karpf

Book Review: Automating the News: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Media
Cornelius Puschmann

Book Review: Social Evolution, Political Psychology, and the Media in Democracy: The Invisible Hand in the U.S. Marketplace of Ideas
Sharon Coen

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