Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 820044-B-6
Digital Media and Politics
Course info
Course module820044-B-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryBA (Bachelor)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences; TSH: Department of Culture Studies; Culture Studies;
Is part of
B Culture Studies
Minor Online Culture: Digital Media
Minor Online Culture for CIS
dr. I.E.L. Maly
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2020
Starting block
SM 1
Course mode
RemarksCaution: this information is subject to change
Registration openfrom 20/08/2020 up to and including 20/08/2021
After completing the course you will be able to: 
  • Understand and critically analyze politics as a discursive battle for meaning (analytical skills) 
  • Explain and critically evaluate the role of digital media, especially internet-based and social media, in politics and activism (analytical skills)
  • Understand and identify factors influencing political participation on social media (analytical skills)
  • Engage in critical discussion on the role of digital media in shaping today's societies (communication skills)
  • Write a clear and balanced expository text on one of the topics covered during the course (writing skills)
  • Publish a paper on Diggit Magazine (publishing skills)


This course makes use of Diggit Magazine
Digital media are said to be changing political participation – in particular social media such as Twitter and Facebook are often seen as instruments in this (e.g. in the so-called Arab Spring, Brexit or the victory of Trump). The internet is also seen by many as a new kind of a ‘public sphere’ with promises of increased democratisation, active participation and access to political information, and the younger generations in particular are supposed to have become more politically active thanks to the Web. Others criticise these new platforms as facilitating ‘slacktivism’ – ‘feel-good’ activities for a cause that have little effect other than making the person feel good about themselves for having contributed to the cause (think of e.g. ‘liking’ on Facebook) – and for lack of constructive debate.          

In this course we will address the relation between digital media and politics by looking at it from different angles. We will explore the relation between politics and media from a theoretical, historical, economic and societal perspective. We will focus on the rise of democratic societies in relation to mass media. By doing this, we will introduce concepts like democracy, universal human rights, privacy, press freedom, and introduce a specific understanding of politics, namely politics as a discursive battle for meaning in the media.

We will also look at how internet-based digital media (Web 2.0, social network sites...) reshape the political game for politicians and social movements. How do politicians use new media to gain votes and popularity? What effects do new media have on political activism? What is the Alt-Right and how do they use new media? What is Black Lives Matter? These and many more questions will be answered. Last but not least, we will take a look at the political effects of the (commercial) politics of these new media. 

Compulsory Reading
  1. Lempert & Silverstein, Creatures of politics. (the introduction), 2012.
  2. Thompson, J.B., The new visibility, 2005.
  3. Maly, I., forthcoming) New media, new resistance and mass media. A digital ethnographic analysis of the Hart – Boven – Hard movement in Belgium. In Papaioannou, T. & : Media Representations of Anti-Austerity Protests in the EU: Grievances, identity and agency., London: Routledge..
  4. Maly, I., 'Scientific’ nationalism. N-VA and the discursive battle for the Flemish nation. Nations and Nationalism, Volume 22, Issue 2, April 2016, Pages 266–286., 2016.
  5. Maly, I., Why Trump won, 2016.

Recommended Reading
  1. Publications for this course on Diggit Magazine
Course available for exchange students
Conditions of admission apply
Contact person
dr. I.E.L. Maly
Timetable information
Digital Media and Politics
Required materials
Recommended materials
To be announced

Final Result


Kies de Nederlandse taal