Michael J. Christensen



Assistant Professor am Institut für Recht und Rechtswissenschaft, Carleton Universität (Ottawa, Kanada)

Aufenthalt am Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:
Juli 2019

Forschungsthema am Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:
»Practices of Promoting Democratic Media: Paradoxes of Legitimacy and Institution Building in the Disinformation Era«

Projektbeschreibung:
Is online disinformation an existential threat to global democracy? Is it a symptom of corporate media concentration, or is it just a new iteration of an ever-present feature of political communication? Whatever the answer, scholarly debates about ‘fake news’, disinformation and media manipulation have reached a fever pitch. Recent scholarship has focused on coordinated disinformation campaigns targeting the United States and the United Kingdom, partly in reaction to the 2016 Brexit referendum and the US Presidential election, but this research project argues that fake news is a smaller part of a much larger story. Since the Cold War era, Western democracies have waged global information campaigns extolling the virtues of free elections, free markets and free media. Governments in Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom eventually institutionalized these campaigns in the form of organizations promoting and assisting the development of democratic institutions around the world. Now these democracy promotion organizations are facing a crisis as networks of authoritarian governments, far-right political parties, internet trolls and social media personalities have leveraged popular social media platforms to undermine the legitimacy of democratic institutions. This research project looks at how formal democracy promotion organizations work to counter anti-democratic narratives by mobilizing international aid in the service of developing »independent media«. (Michael J. Christensen)

Förderung des Aufenthaltes:
Exzellenzcluster »Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen«

Zusammenarbeit:
Michael Christensen folgt einer Einladung von Jens Steffek (Professor für Politikwissenschaft an der Technischen Universität Darmstadt) und dem an der Goethe-Universität angesiedelten Exzellenzcluster »Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen«.

Wissenschaftliches Profil von Michael J. Christensen


Michael Christensen ist Professor am Fachbereich Rechtswissenschaft der Carleton Universität in Kanada. Zuvor war er Fellow am Global Digital Citizenship Lab der York Universität und dem Democratic Resource Center am National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, DC.

Website:
Weitere Informationen zu Michael Christensen finden Sie hier.

Forschungsschwerpunkte:
Demokratie und digitale Kultur; Internationale Organisationen; Recht, Wissenschaft und Technologie; Sozial- und politische Theorie; qualitative Forschungsmethoden; Geschichte der Menschenrechte und des Humanitarismus

Veröffentlichungen (Auswahl):
  1. »Interpreting the Organizational Practices of North American Democracy Assistance«, in: International Political Sociology, 11(2), 2017.
  2. »A Critical Sociology of International Expertise: The Case of International Democracy Assistance«, in: Kurasawa (Hg.) Interrogating the Social – A Critical Sociology for the 21st Century, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.
  3. »Re-establishing ›the social‹ in research on democratic processes: Mid-century voter studies and Paul F. Lazarsfeld’s alternative vision«, in: Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 51(3), 2015.
  4. »The Social Facts of Democracy: Science meets politics with Mosca, Pareto, Michels & Schumpeter«, in: Journal of Classical Sociology, 13(4), 2013.