We are honoured Guardian columnist and former political editor of the Observer Gaby Hinsliff included Political Turbulence in her column on the best political books of 2016. For Westminster junkies, meanwhile, one of the most useful things I read all year was a dry tome by four academics on how social media interacts with politics to produce fast-growing but volatile grassroots movements. It’s no Boxing Day page-turner, but Political Turbulence: How Social Media Shape Collective Action (Princeton), by Helen Margetts, Peter John, Scott Hale and Taha Yasseri, sheds interesting light on the year’s great upheavals. ...Read more
Helen Margetts was a keynote at the 3rd annual Computational Social Science Winter Symposium in Cologne, Germany. Details of her talk are available on the conference website. The Computational Social Science of Turbulent Politics Widespread use of social media is changing politics, by allowing 'tiny acts' of political participation which can accumulate in large-scale mobilizations through a series of chain reactions, where each act sends a signal to other actors, influencing their decision to join. The vast majority of these political mobilizations fail, but the ones that succeed are unpredictable, unstable and often unsustainable. This talk will discuss how we [...]
What role might social information have played in the Trump campaign? Political Turbulence Author Helen Margetts explores this issue in a blog post for the University of Oxford Commentators have been quick to ‘blame social media’ for ‘ruining’ the 2016 election in putting Mr Donald Trump in the White House. Just as was the case in the campaign for Brexit, people argue that social media has driven us to a ‘post-truth’ world of polarisation and echo chambers. Is this really the case? At first glance, the ingredients of the Trump victory — as for Brexit — seem remarkably traditional. ...Read more
Authors Helen Margetts and Peter John visited the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) on 27 October 2016 to talk about the unpredictability of politics and the influence of social media. A recording of the event is available below or on SoundCloud and more details are on website of the RSA. [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/290831727" params="color=ff5500&inverse=false&auto_play=false&show_user=true" width="100%" height="20" iframe="true" /]
Author Scott A. Hale presented research from Political Turbulence as the keynote of the 15th IFIP Electronic Government (EGOV) and 8th Electronic Participation (ePart) Conference 2016.