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Politicians and Social Media in the Global South

Keynote: Merlyna Lim, Carleton University

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A one-day seminar workshop to examine contemporary scholarship on political social media in the Global South. The workshop will feature a mix of talks and small workgroup sessions to explore these topics, with specific attention to politicians and political collectives.

In the last decade, politicians in various parts of the world have invested in social media campaigns, including in settings where a relatively small proportion of the voting public is actually online. Leaders may use social media for a range of reasons including to actively court constituents, to present a narrative on their political program to the international community, or to use the affordances of social media to frame the agenda on a specific issue.

Social media can also present a means for politicians to bypass the free professional media corps to directly speak to the electorate, and exercise greater control over the story crafted about them. After an early phase of enthusiasm on the scope of social media to bring decentralized power to the people, we increasingly have a balanced view of the potential and risks of online behavior for democratic societies.

Today, we see a social media environment in which a vast majority of major national politicians in countries throughout the world build social media presences for a diverse mix of these reasons. What do these developments mean for the future of political campaigning? What tactics have worked? How is the online strategy impacted by ideology, national economic priorities, or political structure?
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When and Where

Map North Quad - Space 2435

April 2018

9:00am - 5:00pm

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