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New Book Announcement

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new book entitled:

Social Media and Politics in Central and Eastern Europe

Edited by

Paweł Surowiec and Václav Štetka

for Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies

About the Book

Social media are increasingly revolutionising the ways in which political communication works, and their importance for engaging citizens in politics and public affairs is well understood by political actors. This book surveys current developments in social media and politics in a range of Central and Eastern European countries, including Ukraine and Russia. It explores the process of adoption of social media by politicians, journalists and civic activists, examines the impact of the different social and cultural backgrounds of the countries studied, and discusses specific political situations, such as the 2012 protests in Moscow and the 2014 EuroMaidan events in Ukraine, where social media played an important role. The book concludes by addressing how the relationship between social media and politics is likely to develop and how it might affect the still relatively new democracies in the region.

Table of Contents

Foreword Darren Lilleker

Introduction: social media, politics and democracy in the post-transition Central and Eastern Europe Paweł Surowiec and Václav Štetka

Part I:  Political parties, actors and social media

Chapter 1: Who is afraid of the platforms? Adoption and strategies of use of social media by politicians in the Czech Republic Alena Macková, Václav Štětka, Jan Zápotocký, Radim Hladík

Chapter 2: Presidential elections campaining in Romania: connecting with civic-ness on Facebook Monica Pătruţ

Chapter 3: Towards self-mediatization of politics: representatives’ use of Facebook and Twitter in Croatia and Hungary Norbert Merkovity

Chapter 4: Political use of social media and personalisation of political communication in Slovenia, Tomaž Deželan, Alem Maksuti and Jernej Amon Prodnik

Chapter 5: Professionalization and intentional disengagement: Facebook campaigning in the local Bulgarian elections in 2015 Ognyan Seizov


Part II: Social movements, interest and professional groups and social Media

Chapter 6: We have been to Bolotnaya: Russian protests, the online public sphere and the discourse of division Alina Ryabovolova

Chapter 7: The networked public sphere and Ukrainian journalists Dmytro Hubenko and Melissa Wall

Chapter 8: Branding Poland online: propagating and resisting nation branding on Facebook Paweł Surowiec and Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Chapter 9: The dilemmas of social media-enabled civic activism: the case of sexual minorities in Lithunia Galina Miazhevich

Conclusions Václav Štetka and Paweł Surowiec

About the Editors
Paweł Surowiec is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University.

Václav Štetka is Lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough University.

The Book Site:

Contact Details:

Paweł Surowiec –
Václav Štětka –

Corporate and Marketing Communications academic group contributes to AHRC grant

Five years ago ‘Channel 4’ approached the Corporate and Marketing Communications academic group (CMC) to ask us to carry out for them some highly interpretive research around the Paralympics – they were interested to know how audiences make sense of the coverage and thus how they might frame this event in future. From this came award winning, nation-wide phenomenological study conducted over the period of 18 months.

Indirectly this also led to ‘Channel 4’ re-thinking some of the ways in which they promoted and covered the 2016 Paralympics in Rio. Some of those Colleagues involved in this project decided to delve deeper and edited a book published by Routledge (2015) and entitled Reframing Disability? Media, (Dis)Empowerment, and Voice in the 2012 Paralympics.

As a direct result of being editors of this book, Professor Michael Silk approached Carrie Hodges, Dan Jackson and Richard Scullion to form the core bid team at Bournemouth University for the AHRC grant entitled:  ‘Re-presenting parasport bodies: the cultural legacy of the Paralympics’. In November 2016, the team got the news that they were successful in securing over £600k to fund a 30 month long series of studies that will involve a variety of qualitative research packages to consider audience interpretations, the media production and dissemination of the Games, related content as well as media analysis. The project will culminate in an interactive public exhibition and a documentary film.


Dr Pawel Surowiec Elected to the ECREA’s Executive Board

Bournemouth University’s media and communication studies co-exist thanks to multiple international links. Among them are links with learned societies, one of which is the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA).

The election of the new ECREA’s Executive Board took place during the General Assembly held in Prague on the last day of the 6th European Communication Conference (12th November, 2016). Among the elected members of the board is academic from BU’s the Faculty of Media and Communication.

The Board have elected among themselves the President, Vice-President, General Secretary and Treasurer.

Ilija Tomanić Trivundža was elected as the President of ECREA, John Downey as Vice-President, Irena Reifová as the General Secretary and Paweł Surowiec as the Treasurer.

The Executive Board consists of the following colleagues:
Ilija Tomanić Trivundža, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

John Downey, Loughborough University, UK

General Secretary:
Irena Reifová, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic

Paweł Surowiec, Bournemouth University, UK

Members of the Board:
Ali Murat Akser, Ulster University, UK
Christina Holtz-Bacha, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
Galina Miazhevich, University of Leicester, UK
Miguel Vicente-Mariño, University of Valladolid, Spain

BU researcher speaking at the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Warsaw

On 19th September, 2016 Dr Paweł Surowiec from the Faculty of Media and Communication’s Corporate and Marketing Communication Group delivered a guest lecture to diplomats and public diplomats at the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Warsaw.

Following the publication of his research monograph entitled ‘Nation branding, public relations and soft power: corporatizing Poland’, this lecture was an excellent opportunity to share academic insights to Poland’s soft power, analysis emerging for this study, and to engage this key audience in the research produced by the Centre for Politics and Media Research.

Soft power and its communicative resources such as public diplomacy or nation branding continue to be of interest to diplomatic networks world-wide. Its local characteristics, however, the utilized media strategies, levels of professionalization as well as forces in global and regional politics shaping soft power capabilities are themes of professional discussions among diplomats.

The lecture session delivered by Paweł opened up a debate about the impact corporate resources have on Poland’s soft power as well as addressed questions concerning limitations of nation branding as a media strategy and a means to the advancement of influence in international relations.