In this report, Cole Edick—program assistant for the Anxieties of Democracy program—outlines the ideation and theoretical principles that served as the basis of conversation at a research workshop, held at IE University in Segovia, Spain, entitled “The Ideational Approach: Consequences and Mitigation.” Edick highlights five key challenges discussed at the workshop for the contemporary study of populism, among them: how to define populism, what unites populism across different political systems, and can social media inform the study of populism. Future endeavors assessing the modern ascendance of populism will benefit from this report, which contextualizes extant as well as ongoing research seeking to understand populism in varying contexts.
From Our Programs
SSRC programs focus on scholarly innovation and border-crossing, deepening understanding of major public issues, and providing opportunities for social researchers. From Our Programs provides a window on current work at the SSRC, including intellectual breakthroughs and challenges; impacts on practice and policy; and the craft of organizing social knowledge production, dissemination, and use.
On April 25–26, 2019, the SSRC’s Media & Democracy program hosted a workshop on “Race, Gender, and Toxicity Online,” preceded by a roundtable featuring comments from leading scholars in this field. Senior program officer Mike Miller highlights key insights from the event, including how users do not simply leave their identities behind when they go online. The result for marginalized communities and women, whose identities tend to structure their political lives, can be disproportionate levels of hateful speech and vitriol. The roundtable participants—Zizi Papacharissi, Lisa Nakamura, and Catherine Knight Steele—explain how three stakeholders with significant influence over the content and form of online discourse—journalists, developers, and academics—can and should address its increasing toxicity.
The International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) Photo Competition is offered every year to IDRF recipients. Prizes are awarded for the best single photo, the best self-portrait, the best photo essay, and the best video following a vote by IDRF fellows and staff.
In this conversation, hosted by the SSRC’s Media & Democracy program, program officer Mike Miller revisits an often overlooked topic—expectations and predictions for the internet in its early days—with Sarah J. Jackson (Northeastern University) and David Karpf (George Washington University). Understanding the pessimistic and optimistic outlooks journalists, entrepreneurs, and others had for the internet, where these predictions fell short, and whose voices were listened to, sheds light on the digital age’s present and future shortcomings.