DMRC to Host ICA24 Postconference P³: Power, Propaganda, Polarisation

Together with DATALAB – Center for Digital Social Research at Aarhus University and the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the DMRC will host a two-day postconference on 26/27 June 2024, following the 2024 International Communication Association conference on the Gold Coast.

In recent years, scholars around the globe have increasingly sounded alarms about the threats to democracy posed by media and technological change. Researchers have analysed the relationship between mis- and disinformation, political and state propaganda, the growth of a new class of social and political influencers, and deepening partisanship, growing populism, and increasing polarisation.

Despite the insights this work has already generated, the relationship between media, propaganda, mis/disinformation, and polarisation and power is either not well understood or conceptual models are subfield-specific. However, it is increasingly clear that political actors and movements wield media, propaganda, and mis/disinformation in pursuit of social, political, economic, or cultural power. Polarisation is often a tool in the service of people pursuing power, or the inevitable by-product of struggles over power.

The P³: Power, Propaganda, Polarisation postconference brings together current and emerging conceptual and applied theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of the relationship between power, propaganda, and polarisation. Day One reviews and challenges our conceptual frameworks for understanding the relationship between power and patterns of information and social interaction, while Day Two takes stock of the current methodological toolkit for the study of power, propaganda, and polarisation.

The postconference will centrally address the dynamics of our destabilising contemporary social media and platform landscape – affected by the slow decline of Facebook, the rapid disintegration of Twitter, and the swift rise of algorithmic-driven platforms such as TikTok. These have created a complex digital environment of partially intersecting publics whose flows of information, discourse, and influence are as yet difficult to trace, analyse, and conceptualise both qualitatively and computationally.

Both days will feature keynotes by eminent scholars in the field, with particular attention paid to the diversity of perspectives and backgrounds represented by keynote and paper presenters. The organising team represents leading research institutions across three continents, and is committed to ensuring a broad geographical representation of participants.

We invite your paper contributions on these issues. Abstracts of up to 500 words / 3500 characters (plus references) are due by 15 February 2024, and should be submitted through the form at https://bit.ly/p3postconf.

The P³ postconference is supported by the Digital Media Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology, the DATALAB – Center for Digital Social Research at Aarhus University, and the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; it is held at the Kelvin Grove campus of Queensland University of Technology in central Brisbane, Australia. Funding for the postconference is provided by Prof. Bruns’s Australian Laureate Fellowship project, the Independent Research Fund Denmark, and the European Digital Media Observatory.

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