The Illiberal Turn?

Dr Vaclav Stetka - Social, Political and Geographical Sciences
Communication and Culture

Vaclav Stetka is recognised as a leading expert in Central and Eastern European (CEE) communication and media studies.

The Illiberal Turn? News Consumption, Polarization and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe is supported by the University’s largest ESRC standard grant to be awarded in the past five years. It is also the first UK grant that Vaclav applied for as Principle Investigator.

The project uses innovative methodologies – including digital data tracking – to analyse the relationship between news consumption and political attitudes in four CEE countries – Poland, Czechia, Hungary and Serbia.

He is an active member of several pan-European research projects and networks, publishes in the leading journals of the field, and is co-editor of the first book mapping the relationship between social media and politics in CEE.

He is regularly invited to offer expert opinion across CEE news channels as well as by other media organisations including (in 2018) the BBC, LeMonde, France Télévisions, and Radio Free Europe.

Photograph of Vaclav Stetka speaking at the Athens Democracy Forum’s Central and Eastern European Symposium

Since 2018, he has been the local expert for Reporters without Frontiers, and has been involved in several initiatives supporting independent journalism, including the Czech Independent News Foundation.

In 2018, he gave a keynote address at the European Centre for Press & Media Freedom conference, and was invited to lecture at several media and democracy summer schools. He has twice convened and chaired the Athens Democracy Forum’s Central and Eastern European Symposium, in collaboration with The New York Times, and is Vice-Chair of the Political Communication Section of the European Communication Research and Education Association.