Social media and politics in central and Eastern Europe
Authors: Surowiec, P. and Štetka, V.
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.
Branding poland online: Propagating and resisting nation branding on facebook
Authors: Surowiec, P. and Kania-Lundholm, M.
The international relations concept of soft power has been adopted in political and marketing communication studies to bridge the ties between foreign policy and its communicative resources (Potter, 2008; Surowiec, 2012). This chapter unfolds the links between statecraft in Poland and a relatively new resource of soft power, namely nation branding. The Polish state, an increasingly influential member state of the European Union (EU) has, in recent years, diversified its soft power capabilities. Since 1999, a group of newcomers to this area of statecraft, nation branders, has been struggling to shape the governance of Poland’s soft power. Against this backdrop, this chapter explores the ‘Logo for Poland’campaign run by a coalition of state and corporate actors. This subsidiary campaign was part of the ‘Polska. Spring into new …’ (launched in May 2014) – an attempt to reinvent the archetypical in Poland’s nation branding programme, ‘Creative Tension’ (2004). The introduction of new policies on the avenues of soft power has mobilized civic and corporate resources to ‘rebrand’ Poland, often with the use of social media by professionals such as nation branders. In this way, the mediated spaces for deliberation of nation branding have emerged (Kania-Lundholm, 2012). Following this trend, we explore the ‘Logo for Poland’ campaign (2014) to unfold the ways social media users participate in the nation branding campaign on Facebook. The trend of using social media by professional classes has had continuity among Poles, as the local Goldenline social media platform was set up in 2005 (with 1.81 million users in 2014) and, indeed, nation branding has been a theme of discussion on it. In that respect, social media are considered as technological ‘structuring structures’ (Surowiec, 2012, p. 147) enabling meaning making in soft power and normalization of nation branding. In theory, shaping political meanings and mobilizing participation through social media advances the quality of democracy; enhances levels of activism and political culture (Sobré-Denton, 2016). The actors governing the resources of soft power in Poland have adopted social media (Fundacja e Panstwo, 2015), yet little is known about the usage of social media in articulating soft power. 1 Vickers (2004) argues 161that technology has the potential to shape the governance of soft power: from overseas audiences’ reception focused on participatory approaches, engaging interest groups and NGOs as well as overseas publics in policy and communicative practices aimed at national reputation management. Previous studies demonstrate that Facebook has been applied in Polish election campaigns (Koc-Michalska et al., 2014), but our analysis focuses on political marketing in a different context: Facebook-mediated exchanges between nation branders and Facebook users in Poland. The trends in usage of social media in Poland reveal that Facebook is the unprecedented leader (16.16 million) with 74.97 per cent of outreach; whereas the local NaszaKlasa Group of 6.13 million lost 460,000 users in one month at the beginning of 2014, and reported an outreach of 28.44 per cent (Megapanel PBI, 2014).
Introduction: Social media, politics and democracy in post-transition central and eastern Europe
Authors: Surowiec, P. and Štetka, V.
I mean, who the fuck are you? You hate bloggers, you mock Twitter, you don’t even have a Facebook page. You are the one that does not exist!
Authors: Lilleker, D.
Social media and politics in Central and Eastern Europe
Editors: Surowiec, P. and Štětka,, V.
Place of Publication: London