When? February 7th, 2021 at 12-13
Where? Online, links will be sent to those registered
Registration via https://forms.gle/5WmcTndj3YnHQyCq5
During our first DISA seminar for 2022 we will listen to Elizaveta Kopacheva, PhD student in Political Science and a part of the DISA group for Computational Social Sciences
Previously, the importance of weak ties, no ties and periphery nodes was reported in the context of political information diffusion. Yet, earlier studies did not focus on the primary role of weak/no ties in mobilization into low-cost political activities. Moreover, examining the importance of such ties, previous research solemnly relied on the surveys.
Low-cost participation is often the only resort to influence decision-making in societies with underdeveloped democratic values and fragmented civil society (e.g., the Russian society). In that regard, it is essential to examine successful mobilization strategies that increase participation in low-cost activities.
In this talk, I will show how using social media data, we can analyze the patterns of increased participation in e-petitioning, as an example of low-cost political participation.
By assessing mobilization strategies carried out on two social networking sites, i.e., VKontakte characterized by the presence of strong ties and Twitter where communication takes place via weak ties or no ties, one can compare the effects of strong vs. weak/no ties on e-petitioning.
Moreover, examining participation in semi-authoritarian regimes, one must consider the costs of participation in unconventional activities (such as petitioning, protesting, etc.). To control for the constraints of political mobilization related to the costs of participation, in my study, I compared participation on the two biggest e-petitioning platforms in Russia, i.e., Russian public initiative and Change.org.
The results of my study showed that “information” mobilization via weak/no ties is the most important step for successful recruitment into low-cost political activities. At the same time, poorly designed e-governance services substantially increase the cost of participation, thus, the need for persuasion and social support via strong ties.
Linear regression with interaction effects and Bayesian network analyses are applied to test for the significance of the “information”, “persuasion” and “social support” effects on the petition-signing.
Key words: social media, successful mobilization, recruitment, political information, weak ties, Russia, e-petitioning, low-cost participation