Track | Politics and Institutions

The investigations in this track consider media and communication as factors of how political systems operate. The empirical studies carried out from an interdisciplinary perspective (e.g. political science, history, sociology, discourse analysis, etc.), deal with audiovisual media and more generally with the important place of images and their political significance in contemporary societies.

Research strategies. The investigations undertaken in this track focus on the analysis of production conditions of discourses or images, the study of their narrated contents and of their reception by the public. They also embrace a comparative approach by conducting studies that examine multiple media outlets (press, radio, television, social networks), or by combining different spatiotemporal scales. In this respect, besides French case studies, the investigations deal with other political and media contexts like Chili, Tunisia, Spain or Germany. Finally, another guideline adopted is a meticulous historical contextualization and a longitudinal approach of the research objects.

Research concerns and research objects. The studies deal with the communication processes (e.g. dissemination of information, suggestive effects, appropriation, uses, and practices). Other research topics are studied that can be listed as follows: the political communication sector professionalization; journalistic cultures (i.e. practices, sociability, representations) related to political life in its institutional and private aspects (reputations, celebritization); the argumentative structure of political discourse; the regulation of media political pluralism; the mediatization of events (e.g. unusual events, terrorists attacks, wars and conflicts, commemorations) and their representations. These research issues are undertaken in electoral campaign contexts (presidential or local elections, etc.), and in the context of the functioning of institutions and of the practice of power.

Research methods. The empirical work is organized around a wide variety of genders, media outlets and formats: television interviews on politics, broadcasted debates, report magazines, documentaries, TV news, special release programs/all-news live, satirical programs and “infotainment”, campaign spots, propaganda material, speeches, etc. To properly contextualize the research topics, observations in many political spaces (e.g. institutions or organizations) and interviews with various actors (e.g. media professionals) are carried out, which can be completed by the consultation of several sources of information (archival and documentary sources). Finally to include general public, individual and group interviews are driven that can be supplemented by quantitative surveys (e.g. questionnaires).