Crick Centre Hosts British Academy Workshop and Lecture on Digital Campaigning

Posted on January 22nd, 2019 by Nikki Soo

Digital campaigning is a rapidly changing field. Not only are new technologies and practices constantly emerging, but new methodological challenges and opportunities also constantly evolve.

On 24th to 25th January 2019 the Crick Centre will host a workshop entitled “The Rise of Digital Campaigning: Challenges, Implications and Response”. The second event sponsored by the British Academy, the aim of the workshop is to provide a space in which to diagnose and formulate responses to the challenge of studying practices online.  It will bring together over 30 academics along with practitioners, to discuss and share expertise on the study of digital campaigns. We have invited scholars from across Europe who have different expertise in studying digital practices that reflects different disciplinary and methodological expertise. Over 2 days, participants will diagnose emerging practices and research questions, and will then work collectively to identify possible responses. We hope that this meeting will fuel a range of new research collaborations, helping to drive forward the way in which we study digital campaigns.

In addressing methodological questions about digital campaigning, this workshop will build on the findings of an initial session with stakeholders interested in digital campaigning (for more info see: here). Attended by representatives from Parliament, think tanks, industry and academia this session identified several key issues confronted by those interested in digital campaigns, including:

  • Representation – Are social media users’ representative of the wider population, and can we use this data to understand what is happening in digital campaigns?
  • Robustness – How robust are the methods we use for understanding digital campaigning given rapid change?
  • Repeatable – Can the same methods be used across different elections to study digital campaigning ?
  • Time – How we do study digital campaigns in real time?
  • Impact – How do we monitor the impact of political campaigning online on attitudes and behaviour?
  • Access – How can data be collected, and what impact do different modes of access have on what we can study?
  • Implications – What do changes in political campaigning mean for how we respond to practices online?

Building on these questions, this workshop will rethink how we currently understand and study digital campaigns.

In addition to workshop proceedings, the Crick Centre are delighted to host Professor Rachel Gibson from the University of Manchester who will be giving a public lecture as part of this workshop. The title of the talk is: “From ‘Me Too!’ to Micro-targeting: The Study of Digital Campaigning in Historical Perspective”. It will be held at Elmfield Lecture Theatre, from 4.30 to 6pm, on 24th January 2019. All are welcome for the lecture.