Upcoming EVENTS

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Past Events




19-21 JUNE, 2019 



 The Emmy Noether Group will hold a workshop called "Theorizing Publics Under Authoritarian Rule." It will take place at Freie Universität Berlin on June 19-21, 2019.


Over the past decades, a variety of approaches have theorised the role of the “public sphere,” “the public,” and “multiple publics” in the political life of Western democracies. By contrast, little academic effort has been dedicated to the question of whether – and, if so, how – “publics” may function in (semi-)authoritarian contexts. Against this backdrop, the aim of this workshop will be to create novel theoretical thought about the forms, modes, and types of “publics” that we may imagine as participating in (semi-)authoritarian political life. In order to do so, the workshop will bring together theorists of (the) public(s) (sphere) of Western democracies, on the one hand, and scholars of media and communication under (semi-)authoritarian rule, on the other. 


Leading scholars from both fields of research will participate in the event, including Svetlana Bodrunova (St. Petersburg University), Lincoln Dahlberg (independent scholar, New Zealand), Susanne Fengler (TU Dortmund), Michael Meyen (LMU München), Barbara Pfetsch (FU Berlin), Carola Richter (FU Berlin), Natalia Roudakova (Södertörn University), Slavko Splichal (University of Ljubljana), Daniela Stockmann (Hertie School of Governance), Ingrid Volkmer (University of Melbourne), Katrin Voltmer (University of Leeds), Hartmut Wessler (University of Mannheim), and others. 


The programme of the event can be downloaded as a PDF here.  In order to attend, registration is required.  Please write to daria.kravets[at]fu-berlin.de to inquire about available places. 





25 MAY, 2017 


The Consequences of the Internet for Authoritarian Politics: COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES

This one-day pre-conference was hosted by the Emmy Noether research group at the 67th annual conference of the International Communication Association that took place on May 25-29, 2017 in San-Diego, USA. The pre-conference provided a forum for scholars from across the globe to discuss, and develop, comparative perspectives on the consequences of the Internet for authoritarian politics.  






Time & Venue 

Date: May 25, 2017

Time: 9 am - 5 pm 
Location: San Diego Hilton Bayfront, 2, Indigo 204B



Wednesday 24th May 


19:00 Welcome dinner for participants in a restaurant close to the conference hotel (venue to be announced). 



Thursday 25th May


9:00 – 10:00 Panel discussion: Comparing Political Communication Across Authoritarian Contexts: Challenges and Perspectives


Paolo Mancini (University of Perugia, Italy)

Muzammil M. Hussain (University of Michigan, USA)

Svetlana Bodrunova (Saint Petersburg University, Russia)


Moderator: Florian Toepfl (FU Berlin, Germany)



10:00 – 10:30 Coffee break



10:30 – 12:30 Panel I: The Consequences of the Internet for Authoritarian Politics: Comparative Perspectives


Marlies Glasius, Marcus Michaelsen (Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, the Netherlands)

Digital Authoritarian Practices: A Conceptual Approach to Internet Use and Governance in Authoritarian Contexts


Muzammil M. Hussain, Vishnupriya Das, Fan Liang, Nadiya Kostyuk, Wei Chen, Nicholas Moore (University of Michigan, USA)

High-Tech Governance through Big Data Surveillance: Tracing the Development of India and China’s Population-Data Infrastructures, 2000 - Present 


Michael Meyen, Kerem Schamberger (LMU Munich, Germany) 

Authoritarian Media Steering in the Internet Age. A Comparative Study of 18 Mass Media Systems


Florian Toepfl, Anna Litvinenko (FU Berlin, Germany) 

Mapping Comment Sections of News Websites across Authoritarian and Non-Authoritarian Contexts


Chair: Terhi Rantanen (London School of Economics, UK)



12:30 – 13:30 Lunch break



13:30 – 14:30 Panel II: Political Communication and New Media in Authoritarian Contexts: Case Studies


Juana Du (Royal Roads University, Canada), Hongzhong Zhang (Beijing Normal University, China) 

Media Credibility: A Comparison between Privately Owned Websites and State-Owned CCTV in the Context of China


Yusi Liu (Zhejiang University, China)

The Changing Mediated Environment and Collective Memory of Netizens in Authoritarian China: Revisit the Critical Period Hypothesis, Digital Immigrants, and Digital Shock 



Chair: Anna Litvinenko (FU Berlin, Germany)


14:30 – 15:00 Coffee break 


15:00 – 16:00 Panel II: Continued


Sarah Oates (University Maryland, USA) 

Mapping Russian Propaganda in a Rewired World: Leveraging the Analytic Power of Strategic Narrative and Computational Linguistics


Daniela Stockmann (Hertie School of Governance, Germany), Ting Luo (Leiden University, Netherlands) 

Which Social Media Facilitate Online Public Opinion in China?


Chair: Anna Litvinenko (FU Berlin, Germany)



16:00 – 16:30 Final remarks 


The pre-conference is organised by the Emmy Noether research group “Mediating (Semi-)Authoritarianism: The Power of the Internet in the Post-Soviet World,” Freie Universitaet Berlin.  

 Please download the programme here


17-20 November, 2015

Tweeting the War: Social Media and WAR Coverage in the Ukraine

Four-Day Conference at FU Berlin

This four-day conference will be hosted by the Emmy Noether research group, in co-operation with the International Center for Journalism, in Berlin from 17-20 November 2015. Approximately 25 journalists and scholars primarily from Russia, Ukraine, and Germany are expected to participate. Selected sessions of the conference entitled "Tweeting the War: Social Media and War Coverage in the Ukraine" will be open to the public.


More information on the event can be found here.

Monday, 26 October 2015, 6:00 pm

RT Versus the World: Russia’s Global Media Strategy

TALK at the FU BY Ann CoopeR, Columbia Journalism School


The spread of ideas matters. That's why Russia is spending so much money to spread its ideas via global media like RT, Sputnik and Russia Beyond the Headlines. Is anyone paying attention? Ann Cooper, CBS Professor of Professional Practice in International Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, will offer an answer to this question.


Ann Cooper is CBS Professor of Professional Practice in International Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, New York. She is an award-winning journalist and foreign correspondent with more than 25 years of radio and print reporting experience. Most recently, Professor Cooper was the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, one of the world's leading press freedom advocacy groups. More information on Professor Cooper can be retrieved from http://www.journalism.columbia.edu/profile/30-ann-cooper/10. The event was sponsored by the US embassy in Berlin.


5-7 October 2015

Tweeting the War: Social Media and War Coverage in the Ukraine

Three-DAy Workshop in Kiev

This three-day workshop was co-organized by the Emmy Noether group and the International Center for Journalism at the Free University of Berlin. It featured more than a dozen speakers, amongst them journalists, scholars, and human rights activists from Germany, Ukraine, and Russia.


A short summary of the discussion (in German) is available from the website of the International Center for Journalism.  A summary of the event in Ukrainian was published by the NGO Telekritika.