Communication & Evidence

Populist movements all over Europe, remarkably emotional election campaigns, and alternative facts having progressively entered into political argumentation, highlight the rise of a communication culture in which political and societal debates are framed by appeals to emotions and are ever more disconnected to evidence.

ICES fosters academic exchange and interdisciplinary research addressing the nexus of communication and evidence. Communication processes and the actors contributing to it are of particular interest. As such, ICES takes an interest in research designs which take into account the framing of communication acts, the context of reception, its interpretation given by different part(ie)s, its misappropriation, subversion and containment. We support studies of political communication, in terms of the transmission of political decision-making to the public and its contestations in the public sphere. This also includes understanding the role and interplay of journalistic experts and scientific researchers. Within this, also of relevance are the multiplication of communication parties, communication acts and communication channels, as well as the rise of non-human communication by algorithmic programmed bots, their intervention in social media and their forging of political convictions. Thus, evidence is of core relevance in terms of news as proven and as a proof for ‘the truth’. The proof itself reflects a comprehensible rationality in democratic societies and for democratic communication in terms of distributed or shared agency.

Against this background, ICES promotes interdisciplinary research into ‘Communication and Evidence’ which addresses matters of esthetical, societal and political communication as well as the medial conditions and their effects on cultures of communication and the representation of Europe as a whole.