The project will examine the role of digital social & news media in creating political value polarization among citizens & in promoting the rise of populism in Europe. It includes a comparative survey in 6 countries & qualitative analysis of debates conducted through social media. The overall aim of our research is to explain the growing tendency in and across Europe to contest the core values that anchor the European project, and clarify how this new trend relates to digital media usage. At a broader level, ValCon addresses the challenges posed by a deep crisis of liberal democracy in Europe and the world. This crisis, we assume, is a manifestation of increasing conflicts over liberal values, which—we further argue—social media both drives and amplifies.ValCon asks the following core question: To what extent can value conflicts, as expressed in polarized opinions and extremist political views among the public, be attributed to patterns of social media communication? To answer this question, we analyse the dynamics of online value conflicts and how they affect the legitimacy of political order. Is the EU as a community of value drifting apart?
Further information on the ValCon Website: https://www.uni-flensburg.de/de/valcon

01.09.2020 - 31.08.2023
Monika Eigmüller
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