Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies


Professor James Stanyer

Photo of Professor James Stanyer

Head of Communication and Media

Professor of Communication and Media Analysis

James Stanyer gained a PhD in Government from the London School of Economics in 1999. His research and teaching interests lie primarily in the areas of national and transnational political communication.

James has taught at various universities. In 1997 he was appointed to a temporary lectureship in Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Cambridge University. He has also held visiting lectureships in the Department of Politics, Queen Mary, University of London, and at City University, London. After completing his ESRC funded PhD, he gained a lectureship the Centre for Mass Communication Research, University of Leicester, where he remained until he started at Loughborough in September 2005.

James has been both principal investigator and co-investigator on projects funded by the ESRC, the BBC Trust, the UK government and third sector organizations. He has served on the editorial boards of various journals, is a member of the Network of European Political Communication Scholars -, - and a founder member of the COST Action IS1308, Populist Political Communication in Europe He is also a member of the political communication sections of: the American Political Science Association, International Communication Association, The European Communication Research and Education Association, the Political Studies Association, and the Media,

James’ research interests lie in the field of political communication a multidisciplinary field that draws on the main social science disciplines. He has authored 3 books, 40 journal articles and book chapters and co edited two collections, one which has become a widely adopted student text. His work is focused on documenting and explaining the changing nature of mediated political communication across advanced industrial democracies. He has examined:

  • News agenda formation and news coverage of politics in democratic societies. His work has focused on the struggles between journalists and politicians to control news agendas and focused on broader issues related to the development of political information environments and news output in different countries over time.
  • The personalisation of political communication in advanced industrial democracies. He has looked at the attention the personal lives of politicians receive in different countries across time and what this means for democratic political communication.
  • New technologies and the exercise of political voice. This research has documented, and sought to explain, the use of new communication technologies in politics and the emergence of a self-expressive political culture in the UK and other democracies.

His research is increasingly comparative in nature. With John Downey he has pioneered the use of fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis to aid explanation in small-N and medium –N comparative analysis in the field. He is currently examining the phenomenon of populist political communication across 28 European countries.

James teaches across a range of undergraduate and post-graduate modules and supervises a number of PhD students. At the undergraduate level he is involved in teaching on the core modules of the Department’s BSc Communication and Media Studies as well as providing options on global media, and political communication. At postgraduate level he teaches options on citizenship and communication and global communication. James is committed to excellence and innovation in teaching and is a fully accredited registered member of the Higher Education Academy.

James is interested in supervising PhDs that focus on a wide range of media and communication issues including: campaign communication; political participation and new communication technologies; transnational political movements and new communication technologies; personalisation of politics; impression and issue management; political public relations.

Recent books

  • Stanyer, J. (2007) Modern Political Communication: Mediated Politics in Uncertain Times, Cambridge: Polity Press. (Translated into Romanian)
  • Negrine, R. and Stanyer, J. (eds) (2007) The Political Communication Reader. London: Routledge.
  • Stanyer, J. (2013) Intimate Politics: Publicity, Privacy and Personal lives of Politicians in Media-Saturated Democracies. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Stanyer, J. (2001) The Creation of Political News: Television and British Party Political Conferences. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press,

Recent articles and book chapters

  • Deacon, D. & Stanyer, J. (2015) Mediatization of or Mediatization and: A Response to Hepp et al., Media, Culture and Society, 37 (4): 655-657
  • Deacon, D. & Stanyer, J. (2014) Mediatization: Key Concept or Conceptual Bandwagon? Media, Culture and Society, 36 (7): 1032-1044.
  • Downey, J. & Stanyer, J. (2014) Using fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis in comparative political communication research:  applying fuzzy set theoretic thinking in small and medium-N case oriented research. In Canel, M J. & Voltmer, K. (eds.). Political Communication in Comparative Perspective. Palgrave. 52-70
  • Stanyer, J. (2014) Democratic Political Communication Systems and the Transformative Power of Scandals: Phone Hacking at the News of the World as a Critical Juncture in the Regulation of the British Press. In Coleman, S., Moss, G and Parry, K. (eds) Can the Media Serve Democracy? Essays in Honour of Jay G. Blumler. Palgrave.  99-109
  • Stanyer, J. (2014) Hypes, Waves and Storms: Events and the Dynamics of their Coverage. In C. Reinemann (ed.). Political Communication: Handbook of Communication Science.  Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 151-16
  • Gao, L. & Stanyer, J. (2013) Hunting Corrupt Officials Online. Human Flesh Search Engines and the Search for Justice in China. Information Communication and Society, 17 (7): 814-829.
  • Downey, J. & Stanyer, J. (2013) Exposing Politicians’ Peccadilloes in Comparative Context: Explaining the frequency of political sex scandals in eight democracies using fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA). Political Communication, 30 (3): 495-509.
  • Esser, F., de Vreese, C., Strömbäck, J., Aalberg, T., van Aelst, P., Stanyer, J., Berganza, R., Legnante, G., Lengauer, G., Reinemann, C., Salgado, S. & Sheafer, T. (2012) Political Information Opportunities in Europe: A longitudinal and Comparative Study of 13 Television Systems. InternationalJournal of Press/Politics, 17 (3): 247 - 274.
  • Van Aelst, P., Sheafer, T., & Stanyer, J. (2012) Personalization of Mediated Political Communication: A Review of Concepts, Operationalizations and Key Findings. Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism, 13 (2): 203-220. .
  • Reinemann, C., Stanyer, J., Legnante, G., & Scherr. S, (2012) Hard News and Soft News: A Review of Concepts, Operationalizations and Key Findings. Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism, 13 (2): 221-239.