This major new comparative project will study the drivers and effects of digital campaigning in 5 countries and 7 national elections during the period 2020-2023. We will use an exciting mix of social and data science methods to investiate questions about the rise of a new form of ‘data-driven’ campaigning (DDC) within new and established democracies.
Specifically, we will look at how far digital and data-related innovations are fundamentally changing how campaigns are run, who runs them, and what their effects are on voters, parties and democratic systems more generally. DiCED will be delivered by a team of country, methodologicla and data management experts from the UK, Germany, France, Poland and the United States.
DiCED has four key goals:
- To define the concept of data-driven campaigning (DDC) and to locate it in wider historical trends. Does DDC really form a new and distinct era of electioneering and if so, what are its key characteristics?
- To measure DDC at both the party and national or country level and thereby identify the organisational and systemic-level factors most closely associated with its development.
- To understand the main effects (both positive and negative) of the use of these new techniques at the individual, party and systemic level.
- To recommend what should and can be done at the policy and regulatory level to curb the more negative impact of DDC and to encourage any of its more positive effects.
To meet these goals, the project will draw on a range of established and newer cutting edge methods and data that will allow for unique insights into how and where DDC practices such as micro-targeting, are being deployed. This will include the use of online surveys, interviews and experimental methods, as well as techniques drawn from AI, computer and data science such as natural language processing and topic modeling.
Literary reading & pedagogy
The goal of this project is to better understand changes in the locations and means of literary reading behaviour and how these affect and interact with cognition. What are the implications of the move to digital reading and digital learning? This is especially a relevant question considering the need for online and digital teaching and learning brought about by COVID-19.
MP Communication & Representation on Facebook
My PhD project and candidacy revolved around this theme. The goal of this project is – and has been – to map the extent to which UK MPs use Facebook as a platform for communication and representation.