Politics, Participation and Big Data

Partecipazione & Conflitto

Vol. 11, No. 2 (2018). Special Issue: From Big Data in Politics to the Politics of Big Data

Guest Editors: Alice Mattoni and Elena Pavan

This editorial defines big data as an inherently political object and then briefly discusses its ontological, epistemological, and methodological implications in the social sciences. Furthermore, it addresses these issues in connections with the realm of politics, political participation and political mobilization. Finally, it addresses three main emergent themes related to big data in the broad realm of politics. First, big data as a methodological conundrum – something that can possibly empower or completely bias research activities and results. Second, big data as an object of study in its own right, a contested research and political terrain characterized by strong power dynamics between private and public actors and entwining with governance processes at all levels – from the national to the transnational one. Third, big data as research catalyser that can leverage our understanding of participation and contentious dynamics.


Politics, Participation and Big Data. Introductory Reflections on the Ontological, Epistemological, and Methodological Aspects of a Complex Relationship
Alice Mattoni,    Elena Pavan

Special Issue

Software Power as Soft Power. A Literature Review on Computational Propaganda Effects in Public Opinion and Political Process
Rose Marie Santini, Larissa Agostini, Carlos Eduardo Barros, Danilo Carvalho, Rafael Centeno de Rezende, Debora G. Salles, Kenzo Seto,        Camyla Terra, Giulia Tucci

From Super-Participants to Super-Echoed. Participation in the 2018 Italian Electoral Twittersphere
Roberta Bracciale, Antonio Martella, Chiara Visentin

Striking, Marching, Tweeting. Studying How Online Networks Change Together with Movements
Elena Pavan, Arianna Mainardi

The Last Will Be the First. A Study of European Issue Publics on Twitter
Javier Ruiz-Soler

The Politics of Big Data Assemblages
Biagio Aragona, Cristiano Felaco, Marina Marino


Big Data and Accountability in Nigeria. Insights from the BudgIT Organization and the #OpenNASS Campaign
Kelechi Okechukwu Amakoh, Babatunde Adeshina Faustino, Faith Aanu Oloruntoba, Abigail Odozi Ogwezzy-Ndisika

The Promise and Pitfalls of Big Data and Computational Studies of Politics
Jennifer Earl

When Context Matters. Analyzing Conflicts with the Use of Big Textual Corpora from Russian and International Social Media
Svetlana S. Bodrunova

The Political Economy of Data Localization
Jyoti Panday, Jeremy Malcolm

How Data-Driven Research Fuelled the Cambridge Analytica Controversy
Annika Richterich

Gender Equality and Big Data in the Context of the Sustainable Development Goals
Aimée Vega Montiel

Social Media Research After the Fake News Debacle
Richard Rogers

Open Section

Discourses and Practices of Radical Democracy. The 15M movement as a space of mobilization
José Candón Mena, David Montero Sánchez, Ángel Calle Collado

Book Reviews

Martínez López, Miguel Angel (Eds., 2018) The Urban Politics of Squatters’ Movements: The Contemporary City, Palgrave McMillan
Carlotta Caciagli

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