It’s All About Context: Political Polarization on Twitter and Electoral Systems

Urman, Aleksandra (25 May 2019). It’s All About Context: Political Polarization on Twitter and Electoral Systems (Unpublished). In: The 69th Annual International Communication Association Conference (ICA19) - "Communication Beyond Boundaries". Washington, DC, USA. 24.05.-28.05.2019.

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The present paper explores the issue of political polarization on social media. It addresses two main questions: 1) Whether the intensity of political partisanship on SNS varies significantly in different countries depending on the electoral rules; 2) what electoral rules are associated with higher levels of polarization on SNS. To answer these questions audience duplication approach is applied to the data on the followers of the official Twitter accounts of political parties of 16 democratic countries. Based on the topology of the audience duplication graphs, the political Twitterspheres of the countries are classified into five categories: perfectly integrated, integrated, mixed, polarized and perfectly polarized. The analysis demonstrates that levels of political polarization differ based on the electoral rules and party systems. Polarization is the highest in two-party systems with plurality electoral rules and the lowest in multi-party systems with proportional voting.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Communication and Media Studies (ICMB)

UniBE Contributor:

Urman, Aleksandra


000 Computer science, knowledge & systems > 070 News media, journalism & publishing
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science




Aleksandra Urman

Date Deposited:

07 May 2020 13:34

Last Modified:

28 Jun 2023 03:04




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