The International Communication Section (ICOMM)

of the International Studies Association

April 2015 Announcements


PhD students and recent PhD recipients working on public diplomacy related studies for upcoming 2016 ISA Convention panel on “Emerging Scholars in Public Diplomacy.” This special panel, now in its 4th year, provides a forum for emerging scholars to share their ideas and obtain feedback on their research and receive feedback from senior scholars specializing in their area of interest. All levels of PhD study and early post-doctoral study are encourage to participate. Please submit email inquiry and study abstract to R.S. Zaharna zaharna [ AT] by May 25, 2015.


The ICOMM Best Paper Committee invites nominations (including self-nominations) for the ICOMM Section Best Paper Award. This award goes to the best paper from an ICOMM section panel during the 2015 New Orleans conference.  The award will be presented at the 2016 annual conference. Panel discussants, in particular, should consider nominating the best paper on their panel.

Please send your nominated paper as a PDF file to: lroselle [AT]

Deadline for submissions: May 15, 2015


Gabriella Paár-Jákli (2015)  Networked Governance and Transatlantic Relations Building Bridges through Science Diplomacy

Gabriella Paár-Jákli’s (Assistant Professor of Political Science at Kent State University.) study aims to advance theory and practice by examining the networks used by specialists in North America and Europe to achieve their policy goals in the area of science and technology. Her book suggests that to overcome policy problems transnationally, three critical factors should be considered. First, as science and technology policy becomes increasingly critical to resolving global issues, it should be regarded as an integral element of the foreign policy process. Second, as liberal international relations theory argues, the increasing role of NGOs must be taken seriously alongside states as vital agents of policy reform. Third, as transatlantic relations remain center to maintaining the global order, they must be reconsidered. Paar-Jakli assesses the role of digital networks as facilitators of regional cooperation. Utilizing various techniques of social network analysis, her research indicates an active and structurally discernible network in cyberspace among transatlantic organizations, and demonstrates the role of virtual networks as facilitators of cooperative arrangements in transatlantic relations.

Paár-Jákli’s original research uses social network analysis to investigate transatlantic cooperation, a new approach that will be noteworthy to network and transatlantic scholars as well as policymaker

Evans, M. and M. S. Kaynak  “Media Framing in Religious-Secular Conflict in Turkey and Israel” International Political Science Review 36, No. 2 (2015) 139-152.

Evans and Kaynak began this paper as an ICOMM Panel at ISA

Kim Andreasson, Editor (2015) Digital Divides: The New Challenges and Opportunities of e-Inclusion, CRC Press. 

Buy it in book stores around the world or directly from the publisher. The rapid development of the information society has accentuated the importance of digital divides, which refer to economic and social inequalities among populations due to differences in access to, use of, or knowledge of information and communication technologies (ICT). This book discusses the current state of digital divides, ranging from global challenges in universal access to new opportunities for greater digital inclusiveness (e-inclusion).

The first part of the book illustrates current challenges and provides examples from emerging markets and developed countries alike. It covers digital divides facing a developing country like Ghana and the range of divides in large places like Australia, China, and Russia. It also discusses digital skill divides in Europe and the digital gender divide, which shows that there are more men online than women.

The second part of the book focuses on e-inclusion and describes recent efforts to bridge digital divides through a number of initiatives. It explores the inclusion programs in Singapore, the efforts in India to leverage mobile devices, and how a UK nongovernmental organization attempts to bridge existing gaps there. It also assesses programs in several countries that provide computers to youth.

The book concludes with a view toward the future, including challenges in determining outcomes in ICT for development (ICT4D) and anticipated new divides. It introduces the cyber dependency matrix to illustrate where countries are in their journey toward an information society and what happens as they reach higher levels. Emerging concerns include a global information divide, courtesy of cyber security and data policies.

Cathleen Kantner (2015): War and Intervention in the Transnational Public Sphere. Problem-Solving and European Identity-Formation. London: Routledge/UACES Contemporary European Studies. 

Prof. Dr. Cathleen is at Kantner Universität Stuttgart

Ashu M. G. Solo, Editor (2015) Handbook of Research on Political Activism in the Information Age. Maverick Technologies America Inc. ISBN13:  9781466660663; ISBN10:  146666066X; EISBN13:  9781466660670;

Technology and particularly the Internet have caused many changes in political activism.  Recent revolutions in many countries in the Middle East and North Africa have started in large part due to social networking Web sites like Facebook and Twitter.  Social networking has also played a role in protests and riots in numerous countries.  The whistleblower Web site Wikileaks has had a tremendous impact in exposing government corruption.  Mainstream media no longer has a monopoly on political commentary as anybody can set up a blog or post a video online.  Political activists can network together online.  Aspects of engineering, computer science, mathematics can be applied to political activism.

Handbook of Research on Political Activism in the Information Age, edited by Ashu M. G. Solo and published by IGI Global, includes 25 research chapters from 39 researchers at universities and research institutions in 15 countries on different aspects of political activism with information technology, engineering, computer science, or math.  This book strongly increases our understanding of methods for political activism in the information age, the effectiveness of these methods, and tools for analyzing these methods.

Ashu M. G. Solo (2015) Political Campaigning in the Information Age. IGI Global. ISBN13:  9781466660625; ISBN10:  1466660627; EISBN13:  9781466660632;

Technology and particularly the Internet have brought about many changes in political campaigning.  Politicians and candidates use their own Web sites and social network profiles to get their message out.  Aspects of engineering, computer science, or mathematics can be applied to political campaigning and political communications.

Political Campaigning in the Information Age, edited by Ashu M. G. Solo and published by IGI Global, includes 20 research chapters from 33 researchers at universities and research institutions in 15 countries on different aspects of political campaigning and political communications with information technology, engineering, computer science, or math.  This book strongly increases our understanding of methods for political campaigning and political communications in the information age, the effectiveness of these methods, and tools for analyzing these methods.

Shawn Powers and Michael Jablonski (2015) The Real Cyber War: The Political Economy of Internet Freedom. University of Illinois Press.

The book is on sale now for $25 (paperback). The Kindle edition is just $12.00.

About the Book:  Discussions surrounding the role of the internet in society are dominated by terms such as internet freedom, surveillance, cybersecurity, and, most prolifically, cyber war. But behind the rhetoric of cyber war is an ongoing state-centered battle for control of information resources. Powers and Jablonski conceptualize this real cyber war as the utilization of digital networks for geopolitical purposes, including covert attacks against another state’s electronic systems, but also, and more importantly, the variety of ways the internet is used to further a state’s economic and military agendas.

Moving beyond debates on the democratic value of new and emerging information technologies, The Real Cyber War focuses on political, economic, and geopolitical factors driving internet freedom policies, in particular the U.S. State Department’s emerging doctrine in support of a universal freedom to connect. They argue that efforts to create a universal internet built upon Western legal, political, and social preferences is driven by economic and geopolitical motivations rather than the humanitarian and democratic ideals that typically accompany related policy discourse. In fact, the freedom-to-connect movement is intertwined with broader efforts to structure global society in ways that favor American and Western cultures, economies, and governments.

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Geopolitics & the Internet

  1. Information Freedom & US Foreign Policy: A History
  2. The Information Industrial Complex
  3. Google, Information & Power
  4. The Economics of Internet Connectivity
  5. The Myth of Multistakeholder Governance
  6. Towards Information Sovereignty
  7. Internet Freedom in a Surveillance Society

Conclusion: Taming Geopolitics

Kaarle Nordenstreng & Daya Kishan Thussu, Editors (2015)  Mapping BRICS Media. New York: Routledge.

Mapping BRICS Media is the first comprehensive and comparative study of the emerging media landscape in the world’s most dynamic and fastest growing markets. This pioneering collection focuses on one of the key topics in contemporary international relations – the emergence of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) – a grouping that includes some of the world’s largest populations and fastest growing economies.

The volume brings together leading scholars, mainly from the BRICS nations, to examine how the emergence of the BRICS media will impact on global media and communication. Contextualizing the rise of the BRICS nations within the broader shifts in global power relations, the chapters investigate the unprecedented growth of the BRICS media within a ‘multi-polar’ world, evaluating the media landscapes in the individual BRICS countries, their histories, and their journalism practices, as well as analyzing emerging inter-BRICS media relationships.

Accessible and comprehensive, the book provides a critical guide to the complex debates about the impact of the ‘rise of the rest’ on the media globe and how far this poses a challenge to the Western-dominated world order and its media systems.


Fellowship Programme on Violent Online Political Extremism – Call for Expressions of Interest

VOX-Pol is an EU FP7-funded Network of Excellence that integrates the world’s leading researchers and research groups in Violent Online Political Extremism. The network includes those researching the intersection of terrorism and the Internet (incl. violent jihadists, violent separatists, etc.), the online activities of the extreme left and the extreme right, the potential for violent online radicalisation, and related topics.

The Fellowship Programme will recruit promising researchers in the area of Violent Online Political Extremism, train them in related research and analysis, and mentor them in delivering excellent completed projects.

The research fellow will be hosted and mentored by one or two VOX-Pol partner institutions for twelve months in total. The fellowship may also include a short stay at an associated end-user of VOX-Pol (details upon request). The provisional date for the first fellowship is October 2015.

For further details regarding VOX-Pol, see including details regarding VOX-Pol partner institutions, at

*** Deadline May 28, 2015 ***

Completed applications should be submitted by email to Late applications will not be considered.

Further details, including selection criteria, are available here.



Iowa State University political science professor Steffen Schmidt is working to make that user-friendliness a key component of the Massive Open Online Course ( MOOC) he is developing about the subject he knows best: the role of the Iowa presidential caucuses in the presidential nomination process.

When the course goes live in September, the Iowa caucuses MOOC will be ISU’s first official massive online offering. To create the course, Schmidt has been working for more than a year with ISU Web designers, technicians, videographers, online curriculum writers and other experts.

He touts it as a “short, fun and free” discussion on the past, present and future of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential contest.

“The course will be open to anyone, 100% online, includes a discussion forum, and will award a certificate to participants,” says Schmidt. “You can stay in and drill down deep, you can “graze,” or snack” whatever fits your interest,” he adds.

Participants for the first session which starts September 1 can reserve a place now at

The VOX-Pol Network of Excellence (NoE)

The VOX-Pol Network of Excellence (NoE) is a European Union Framework Programme 7 (FP7)-funded academic research network focused on researching the prevalence, contours, functions, and impacts of Violent Online Political Extremism and responses to it.

VOX-Pol’s purpose is to establish a robust partnering, research, training, and dissemination network with the core function of comprehensive research, analysis, debate, and critique of topics in and issues surrounding Violent Online Political Extremism.

To this end, VOX-Pol has formed a partnership of nine world class institutions of learning and research combining complementary expertise from a range of disciplines such as Communications, Computer Science, Criminology, Ethics, International Relations and Politics.

To date, VOX-Pol has hosted five events including a major London conference, a summer school, and three workshops (Berlin, Brussels, Budapest) bringing together hundreds of scholars, experts, practitioners and activists from various fields. VOX-Pol also has a strong Researcher Mobility Programme, which includes funded Fellowships of 12-18 months; a new call for which is now open.

For more details about VOX-Pol and its activities visit:, which includes a weekly blog. To keep up-to-date, you can also sign up for VOX-Pol’s quarterly Newsletter or follow @VOX_Pol on Twitter.


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