Political Communication

This course examines the main approaches to the analysis of media, and their relation to politics and public opinion. How do media institutions function? How does media influence elites, and how do elites influence media? How does media, and TV in particular, affect views and opinions, behaviors, and the way people cast ballots in elections? How do people perceive, remember, and analyze information received from the media, and how do they form opinions and make decisions based on this information? What is the role of new media, such as the Internet and social networks, in politics and opinion formation? The course considers all these questions through the lenses of both classical and contemporary literature in media and communication research, social and cognitive psychology, sociology and political science. At the end of the course we will also consider specific features of the post-soviet media landscape, with a particular focus on Russia. This course is both theoretical and practical: we will apply knowledge and methods from political communication by analyzing and explaining real news.

Maxim Alyukov:

Maxim Alyukov is a researcher with the Public Sociology Laboratory and a PhD Candidate in Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki. He started his career as an engineer and then turned to psychoanalysis: Maxim was a curator at Freud's Dream Museum, and an editor, author or translator working for several Russian journals focused on Lacanian psychoanalysis.  Currently he takes part in a number of PS Lab projects on civil society, protest movements, and war in the post-communist world, as well as working on a dissertation about Russian TV viewers during the political crisis in Ukraine. Maxim holds Specialist degrees in engineering from the State Marine Technical University, and in psychology from the East European Institute of Psychoanalysis, as well as an MA degree in sociology from the European University at St.Petersburg.