School of Social Sciences

School news

Dr Vaclav Stetka & Prof Sabina Mihelj awarded new ESRC research grant to study polarisation and news consumption in Central & Eastern Europe

Dr Vaclav Stetka (PI) and Professor Sabina Mihelj (Co-I) have been awarded an ESRC standard research grant for a project titled "The Illiberal Turn? News Consumption, Political Polarisation and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe" (£817,000).

The project will carry out a comparative analysis of the relationship between news consumption and political attitudes in four CEE countries - Poland, Czechia, Hungary and Serbia, at a key point in time when the region is witnessing the rise of populist leaders, resurgence of illiberal nationalism, and a shift towards authoritarian forms of government.

Scheduled to run from May 2019 until November 2021, the project will be using a novel multi-method analytical framework that combines survey data, digital tracking of media consumption, as well as media diaries and qualitative interviews with audiences. The project has also a significant impact component, which will be realised through collaboration with several partner organisations representing European media regulators, journalists and researchers, including the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA), European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) or the Centre for Media, Data and Society at the Central European University (CEU). Two Research Associates will be recruited to work on the project, both to be based at our School.