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European Election in times of (poli)crises

Gaining insight into the concepts of populism, Euroscepticism and hate speech as challenges to democracy

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CIVIS focus area
Society, culture, heritage
Open to
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
Field of studies
  • Social Science and humanities
Type
  • Blended Intensive Programmes (BIP)
Course dates
30 January - 7 March 2025
Apply by
28 April 2024 Apply now

The aim of the BIP project is to provide an informed and deep understanding of the concepts of populism, Euroscepticism and hate-speech and their impact on EU democracy. By the conclusion of this course, students will possess the capacity to identify global traits and local aspects of populism across Europe, discern between various types of Euroscepticism and to typologies hate-speech that is frequently associated with them and increase on their account.

Main topics addressed

  • Gain insight into the rules of political propaganda, regarding the proposed regulation on transparency of political advertising and to the role of digital intermediaries in combating the spread of illegal content, including disinformation and hate speech, according to the Digital Services Act.
  • Develop critical thinking skills through the analysis of communication flows in 2024 European electoral campaign. This includes examining communication from leaders and candidates, as well as media coverage. Additionally, students will analyze the interconnection between anti-gender politics and radical right populism, focusing on country case studies. These studies will explore actors and narratives within political parties, media, civil society, and religious entities, as chosen by the students.
  • Reflect on how to be a catalyst for change, of identify and understand the consequences of hate-speech and the discursive practices of extremism in social networks. The students will also explore on how politeness and impoliteness/antipoliteness strategies work together with the emotion of hate in relation to the construction of identity and sense of belonging to an in-group.

Learning outcomes

  • Use content analysis and computational methods to understand electoral communication;
  • Have the skills and knowledge necessary to critically analyze and evaluate electoral communication in order to identify populist patterns of communication, types of Euroscepticism and nationalism, and to detect hate-speech and techniques of manipulation.
  • Will understand and critically analyze the psychological mechanisms behind the populist vote 
  • Gain knowledge on European politics
  • Will comprehend the similarities between different countries in Europe
Dates: 30 January - 7 March 2025 Total workload: 100 hours
Format: Blended ECTS: 4*
Location: Bucharest, Romania Language: English (B2)
Contact: adriana.stefanel@fjsc.ro  

*Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university.

Physical mobility

3 – 7 March 2025

Face-to-face courses which will consist of lectures and class discussions on the following topics:

  • Grasping the field: definition of populism, Euroscepticism, nationalism, and hate-speech
  • The rules of political propaganda: proposed regulation on transparency of political advertising and to the role of digital intermediaries in combating the spread of illegal content, including disinformation and hate speech, according to the Digital Services Act.
  • The analysis of communication flows during European election campaigns, both from the point of view of the communication produced by leaders and candidates and from the point of view of media coverage. 
  • The discursive practices of right-wing extremism in social networks (Twitter and Instagram) within the general framework of Social Media-CDS
  • Anti-gender politics and radical right populism: An analysis of the entanglement between anti-gender politics and radical right populism, comprising country case studies that explore both the actors and narratives within political parties, media, civil society, and religious entities (as chosen by the students)
  • Manipulation techniques in the digital environment (cognitive hacking, social hacking, para-social hacking, symbolic actions, disinformation, and fake news, counterfeiting and information leakage, "Potemkin villages" type evidence, mistaken identities, bots, "puppets", botnets and cyborgs, trolling and flaming, humor and memes, malicious rhetoric, etc.)

Virtual part

30 January - 27 February 2025

  • 30 January - Introduction - Adriana Ștefănel
  • 6 February -  Populism, Euroscepticism and hate speech as challenges to democracy - Adriana Ștefănel
  • 13 February - Analysis of communication flows during European election campaigns - Christian Ruggiero
  • 20 February - Regulation on transparency of political advertising and to the role of digital intermediaries in combating the spread of illegal content - Maria Romana Allegri 
  • 27 February - Hate speech, honour right and liability in case of damages referred to fake news - Sebastian Lopez Maza and Gemma Minero Alejandre

Requirements

No prerequisites are necessary, only interest in the content of the course. The course is open to Bachelor's and Master's students at CIVIS member universities enrolled in social science or related.

Participants should have a B2 level of English.

NB: Visiting Students - Erasmus Funding Eligibility

To be eligible for your selected CIVIS programme, you must be a fully enrolled student at your CIVIS home university at the time you will be undertaking the programme. Click here to learn more about the eligibility criteria.

Application process

Send your application by filling in the online application form by 28 April 2024 and including a motivation letter.

Apply now

Assessment

The programme’s second part will conclude with written exams at the end of the on-site part. The grade of the course will be calculated by the result of these exams (100%). 4 ECTS will be granted upon successful completion of the programme.

Blended Intensive Programme

This CIVIS course is a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP): a new format of Erasmus+ mobility which combines online teaching with a short trip to another campus to learn alongside students and professors across Europe. Click here to learn more about CIVIS BIPs.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

  • Adriana Ștefănel - Associate Professor in Communication Studies, Head of Department of Anthropology and Communication Studies, University of Bucharest
  • Maria Romana Allegri - Associate professor in Public Law at the Department of Communication and Social Research, Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Manuel Alcántara-Plá - Associate Professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid 
  • Sofia Messini - PhD in Big Data in Politics (with an emphasis on Elections Data Visualization),MA in New Media and Journalism, Panteion University
  • Christian Ruggiero - Associate Professor in Sociology of Cultural and Communicative Processes at the Department of Communication and Social Research (CoRiS), Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Sebastián López Maza - Professor of Civil Law at the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid and Secretary of the Spanish Research Centre on Copyright
  • Gemma Minero Alejandre - Lecturer in Civil and Intellectual Property Law at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Antonio Momoc - Associate Professor, University of Bucharest
  • Oana Băluță - Associate Professor, University of Bucharest
  • Silvia Branea - Associate Professor, University of Bucharest
  • Bogdan Oprea - Lecturer, Head of the Department of Journalism and Spokesperson of the University of Bucharest
  • Alexandra Bardan - Lecturer, University of Bucharest
  • Daniel Nica - Lecturer, University of Bucharest