This symposium brought together scholars from Europe and America to consider populism and its relationship to the contemporary communication ecology. We do so with two driving questions in mind: (1) How has growing polarization and fragmentation in the media ecology, as reflected in partisan media, broadcast content, political advertising and social media, contributed to ideological and partisan political divides? (2) Under what conditions does the flow of information in the media ecology encourage citizens across the ideological spectrum to retrench into increasingly homogeneous sub-clusters that amplify highly partisan messages of party leaders and political pundits? The scholars hosting this campus event (Kathy Cramer, Lewis Friedland, Dhavan Shah, Michael Wagner, and Chris Wells) are examining parallel questions by gathering social network, survey, and qualitative data on contentious politics in Wisconsin.
Sponsored by the Center for European Studies, the Jean Monnet European Union Center of Excellence, and the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication