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Chair for Digital Democracy

Summer 2022


Students who wish to write a Master thesis in the field of Digital Democracy and Political Communication are most welcome to join our Digital Democracy Colloquium.You are free to develop a project on your own or pursue a topic that you are deeply interested in – whether it has a theoretical, empirical or methodological focus. Just reach out and we’ll provide feedback and, if possible, data. Here are some suggestions for those who do not yet have an idea what to work on. For all of these topics there is enough research to build a literature review, even though some of the topics are very contemporary and some off the beaten path. Basically, these are topics we would love to work on ourselves if we had the time and task to write a Master thesis. For all of these topics we can provide the data you need to do empirical research. These are our suggestions for theses to be developed in Spring/Summer 2022:

  • Social media and the 2022 French presidential elections (condition: you need to speak French)
  • We welcome theses on any election or referendum in any country you choose. These will be linked to the Digital Elections Lab we are launching in the Summer term 2022.
  • The role of fashion in political communication, e.g. apparel of candidates in election campaigns (think President Macron in his unusual hoodie recently), gender differences in perceptions of power dressing, personalizing messages on Instagram through fashion, symbolic statements and stages events etc.
  • Visual political communication (think TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, explore theories and methods how to analyze pictures and videos)
  • Ukraine: info war, crisis communication, strategic communication and propaganda
  • Celebrity Politics, e.g. Wolodymyr Selensky – from TV star to president
  • Connective action and the pandemic: Covid protest movements like #querdenken and their mobilization patterns
  • Political communication on small and niche platforms, e.g. 9gag, Reddit, Parler, or dating platforms, or…
  • The rise of political influencers and micro-influencers, e.g. Brittanny Pettibone Sellner, feminist influencers and make-up tutorials,…
  • Political communication in podcasts