International Journal of Communication Publishes a Special Section on Media Use and Political Engagement: Cross-Cultural Approaches

International Journal of Communication Publishes a Special Section on Media Use and Political Engagement: Cross-Cultural Approaches

While democracies around the world are struggling with the decline of traditional civic and political engagement, new forms of engagement are on the rise in many parts of the world. These new forms of engagement are exemplified in countless social movements, including the current Iranian protests for women’s rights, Black Lives Matter, the Gezi Park protests, and the Arab Spring. These movements have convincingly shown the enabling power of digital media, especially social media, for political engagement. Around the globe, media are increasingly at the center of political engagement, most notably in countries where political rights and civil liberties are restricted.  

In this global climate of media-enabled citizenship, this Special Section on Media Use and Political Engagement: Cross-Cultural Approaches, guested edited by Özen Odağ, Frank Schneider, Larisa Buhin, and Jinhee Kim, takes up a cross-culturally comparative perspective to the uses of media for political engagement. Central questions of this Section are: In what ways does cultural context affect the enabling power of the media toward political engagement in various parts of the world? What are the roles of diverse media formats, such as visual communication, news podcasts, and entertainment media, for political engagement and mobilization cross-culturally? What are the social-psychological drivers of mediated political engagement across countries? How do these differ across repressive countries in which human rights are violated versus democratic countries in which civil liberties are protected? The Special Section speaks to a broad audience of academics and practitioners alike, interested in understanding and embarking on the potential of the media for mobilizing citizens for political action.

The study of digitally-enabled political engagement brings together a highly interdisciplinary and multicultural group of authors in the Special Section. Communication scholars, media scholars, political scientists, and psychologists from in Asia, Europe, Oceania, and North America have created this edited Section together. The works compiled are empirical, based on rigorous quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis procedures. The Special Section therefore represents an effort to collate state-of-the-art scholarship across disciplinary, cultural, and methodological borders. 

We invite you to read these articles that published in the International Journal of Communication on February 14, 2023. Please log into to read the papers of interest. We look forward to your feedback! 


Media Use and Political Engagement: Cross-Cultural Approaches—Introduction 
Özen Odağ, Frank M. Schneider, Larisa Buhin, Jinhee Kim

News Podcast Use, Press Freedom, and Political Participation: A Cross-National Study of 38 Countries
Yoonmo Sang, Sunyoung Park, Jiwon Kim, Sora Park

When Pop and Politics Collide: A Transcultural Perspective on Contested Practices in Pop Idol Fandoms in China and the West
Qian Huang, Simone Driessen, Daniel Trottier 

What Role Does Media Entertainment Play in Emerging Adults’ Political Identity and Engagement Across Cultures?
Frank M. Schneider, Katharina Knop-Huelss, Jinhee Kim, Larisa Buhin, Miriam Gröning, Audris Umel, Özen Odağ 

Political Engagement Through Visual Mediation: The Visuality of the Christchurch Attack and a Cross-Governmental Analysis of Performative Populist Responses
Balca Arda

Media Use and Green Lifestyle Politics in Diverse Cultural Contexts of Postmaterialist Orientation and Generalized Trust: Findings From a Multilevel Analysis
Laura Leissner

Between Individual and Collective Social Effort: Vocabularies of Informed Citizenship in Different Information Environments 
Emilija Gagrčin, Pablo Porten-Cheé 

The Role of Media Use in Political Mobilization: A Comparison of Free and Restrictive Countries
Regina Arant, Katja Hanke, Alexandra Mittelstädt, Rosemary Pennington, Audris Umel, Özen Odağ

Larry Gross, Editor
Kady Bell-Garcia, Managing Editor
Chi Zhang, Managing Editor, Special Sections
Özen Odağ, Frank Schneider, Larisa Buhin, Jinhee Kim, Guest Editors

Please note that according to the latest Google Scholar statistics, IJoC ranks 9th among all Humanities journals and 9th among all Communications journals in the world — demonstrating the viability of open access scholarly publication at the highest level.