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The Norwegian Storting, or parliament building.

POLKOM researchers use methods from the humanities and the social sciences to study the use of symbols in politics.

Central questions

Many of the POLKOM researchers conduct interdisciplinary work providing insight into the historical and cultural context for political communication.

The research thus involves disciplines both within the humanities and the social sciences, and a whole range of different interests, theories and methods. At the Department of Media and Communication, most of the research is conducted within two tracks:

Outlets – political communication in different public spheres

Examples of key questions include:

  • How are alternative public spheres established and maintained? What do they look like in different Nordic countries, and how can these differences be explained?
  • How do alternative and mainstream media interact?
  • In what ways does public discourse in these arenas contribute to social trust in societies facing various forms of crises and challenges?

Outcomes – political influence through strategic communication

Questions for research in this track include:

  • Which vested interests have political influence and under what circumstances?
  • How are technologies and social media used to gain influence?
  • What kind of rhetoric do lobbyists use?
  • How do the authorities communicate in a crisis like COVID-19?
  • How do the authorities build trust?