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Members of JMECE LAB would like to thank Prof. Juliet Lodge, co-director of Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence (JMECE) at the University of Leeds, for her inspiration, support and contribution to all stages of this project.

Project coordinators: “Europe in my Eyes” and “Future visions of Europe”


Prof. JULIET LODGE

Dr. KATHARINE SARIKAKIS

JUDITH STAMPER

Research Project Assistants / JMECE Lab co-founders


FABRO STEIBEL

STERGIOS MAVRIKIS

JMECE Lab co-founders


AGNES INGE SCHNEEBERGER

MAY JACOB

TALKE HOPPMANN

JMECE Lab members


ALINA DOBREVA

FRANCISCO SEOANE PÉREZ

JASMINE LI ZHANG

SILKE M. STUMVOLL

JOSEF LITOBARSKI

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AGNES INGE SCHNEEBERGER

Webpage: http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/staff/details.cfm?id=74
Project webpage: http://www.personal.leeds.ac.uk/~icsaih/index.htm
Email: icsaih@leeds.ac.uk

Education

Mrs. Schneeberger studied Political and Communication Science at the University of Vienna and Wellesley College, USA on a Joint Study Scholarship. She is a Ph.D. student at the Institute of Communications Studies at the University of Leeds. Mrs. Schneeberger chairs the “UACES Student Forum Specialist Study Group ‘Media and Communication in Europe’ (http://www.personal.leeds.ac.uk/~icsaih/index.htm) and is a member of the “Network Turkey” (http://netzwerk-tuerkei.org/netzwerk-turkei/). Furthermore, she is a DEMO-net (http://www.demo-net.org/demo) research associate working at the Centre for Digital Citizenship (CDC) at the Institute of Communications Studies.

PhD project

Ph.D. topic: „Communicating Diversity or Unity? The Construction of European Identity in Media and Citizen Discourses on Turkey’s Accession to the EU“. Her PhD project addresses the tensions resulting from the EU’s dual objectives of furthering European unity whilst maintaining diversity, and explores the ways in which media discourses on Turkey’s accession to the EU frame European diversity and identity. Furthermore, the project will complement these elite discourses of public actors in the media with opinions, arguments and justifications expressed in citizen discourses.

The agreement on accession negotiations with Turkey in November 2006 marked the official acknowledgement of the EU that the Copenhagen criteria have been met. Discussions about these criteria, which require stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities, and their fulfilment are ongoing. These discussions touch upon key issues of European identity and integration, social cohesion and the future of Europe, testing the inclusiveness of European cultural diversity to make Turkey a part of it. Turkey serves as a case to illustrate the understanding of European diversity and the construction of European identity when confronted with the EU’s cultural boundaries.

The empirical part of this research comprises a document analysis to explore the understandings of European diversity and identity historically as expressed through EU cultural policies and official documents on relations and negotiations with Turkey. A comparative media content analysis of daily newspapers in Austria, Germany, Ireland and the U.K. aims to explore the framing of discourses on Turkey’s accession to the EU to reveal mediated cultural codes in the construction of European identity. Focus groups in the four mentioned countries will complement these elite discourses with citizen discourses to compare whether and how they differ.

Research interests

Her primary research interests include media and European political communication, European integration, cultural and communications policy, internet and society. At the current state of her research project Mrs. Schneeberger is conducting a document analysis to explore the understandings of European diversity and identity historically as expressed through EU cultural policies and official documents on relations and negotiations with Turkey. She is also preparing a code book for her newspaper content analysis.

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ALINA DOBREVA

Webpage: http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/staff/details.cfm?id=47
Email: a.dobreva04@leeds.ac.uk

Education

I studied Political and Social Psychology (MA) and Public Relations (BA) at the Sofia University, Bulgaria. My interests back then gravitated around politics, which is expressed in my MA thesis based on an original research of value orientations of Bulgarian MPs. In order to develop that interest I studied Political Science (MA) at the Central European University, Hungary on an Open Society/George Soros Scholarship. Combining all those fields, I continued with PhD studies in Political Communications at the University of Leeds on a ORS scholarship.

PhD project

My PhD project is a study of the differences between people socialised before and after the collapse of the regime in post-communist countries. I examine the patterns of media perception and interpersonal communication of these two groups in Bulgaria. People with different type of political socialisation have different experience and skills in dealing with political information. These differences are expected to influence the way people deal with information even today. I also compare people with different political affiliations, as they experience the changes and the social pressure of the incoming political information in a distinctive way. The research aims to analyse the cognitive skills and techniques used by the respective groups, their response to social pressure and affects involved in communication.

Research interests

My research interests are in the fields of political communications, audience perception and influence, political campaigns. I have particular interest in post-communist countries, establishing democracies and comparative approach as well. I have interests in both, quantitative and qualitative research methods. Currently, I am analysing the data from my field research and writing up my PhD thesis.

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FABRO STEIBEL

Webpage: http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/staff/fsteibel
Email: csfbs@leeds.ac.uk

Education

I am a PhD Student at the Institute of Political Communication of University of Leeds. I have a BA in Communication Studies (Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil), MA Communication Studies (Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil), MA Photography and Social Sciences (Universidade Cândido Mendes, Brazil). I published several articles related to political communication advertising in Brazil, include the publication of my MA thesis in book (STEIBEL, Fabro. Feios, sujos e malvados: políticos, juízes e a campanha eleitoral de 2002 na Tv [Ugly, dirty and bad: politicians, judges and the 2002 electoral broadcast campaign]. E-papers editors, Rio de Janeiro/Brazil, 2007).

PhD project

My PhD thesis is a comparative field study of political advertising regulation in Brazil, England and the United States. The aim is to understand how states can improve political campaign accountability when politicians, journalist, judges and political parties debate and produce negative advertising. Using semi-structured interviews, content-analysis and the use of historical sources, it asks: how do the media interact with other social actors during election periods? Which points of views are able to enter the public sphere? How can negative advertising be more accountable? And finally, how can the state control the level of negativity in political campaigning without using censorship? It draws on theoretical and empirical work in political communication theory and politics.

Research interests

My main research area is negative advertising and political advertising into a comparative view. I joined the JMECE LAB to monitor elections and policies around Europe, and to study how the European Union campaigns take place.

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FRANCISCO SEOANE PÉREZ

Webpage: http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/staff/f.perez
Email: icsfsp@leeds.ac.uk

Education


I studied Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. As a journalist I worked for local and regional newspapers, radio stations, and magazines. With a grant from the Fundación Pedro Barrié de la Maza, I earned an MA in Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Since October 2006 I am a PhD student and researcher at the Institute of Communications Studies at the University of Leeds.

PhD project

My doctoral research is concerned with the so-called European communications gap. The guiding normative question is: If we are ever to enjoy a European democracy that deserves its name, what kind of political communications system can sustain it? I would like to describe how the European public sphere works at a regional scale (the level at which many relevant EU policies are implemented) revealing the gaps in the communication among political actors, and suggesting ways to improve the mediation of European politics. My method, defined by scholar Philip Howard as ‘network ethnography’, involves a combination of social network analysis and ethnographic fieldwork.

Research interests

My favoured area of research is political communication, understood as the intersection of communication, politics, and citizenship. As our patriarch Jay Blumler once wrote, democracy needs of communication to work, as the access to power is achieved through persuasion. Studying the relationship between journalism, politics, and public life, and exploring the new avenues for political engagement opened by communication technologies (namely the Internet) are the motivations that have driven my academic career so far.

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JASMINE LI ZHANG

Webpage: http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/staff/details.cfm?id=58
Email: icslz@leeds.ac.uk

Education

Jasmine Li Zhang has got her BA in Literature and MA in Media Studies in Beijing Normal University, China. She was a journalist for newspapers and editor for books in Beijing before she came to University of Leeds for her Ph.D. study in the Institute of Communications Studies.

PhD project

Ph.D. Topic: “Interaction between news media and external policy: The case of EU-China relations in the post-Cold War era”. This research is to explore the media impact, if any, on external policy-making in the context of the European Union by focusing on the case of EU’s policy-making toward China and will be a contribution to further developing a model of the relationship between the news media and foreign policy in a broader context. The research will use case studies, quantitative and qualitative analysis, followed by interviews with EU and China’s officials involved in the decision-making process as well as the journalists involved in reporting issues between the EU and China to answer the research questions and test two pairs of contrasting hypothesis.

Research interests

Her primary research interests are International Communications, Media and European political communications, EU external relations, Communications and Branding, and Internet Communications. After collecting and coding the media content as well as interviewing with officials and journalists in both EU and China sides, she is in her writing-up stage of her Ph.D. study.

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JOSEF LITOBARSKI

Webpage: http://www.citizen-europe.eu/
Email: josef.litobarski@gmail.com

Profile

Josef Litobarski is currently a postgraduate student of European and International Studies at the University of Trento, Italy. He earned his first degree in Conflict Resolution from the University of Bradford, England, and then trained as a facilitative mediator in both Northern Ireland and England. He has worked in the humanitarian and international development sector in South-East Asia, managing the construction of rural health-centres in Indonesia. His current areas of interest are European nationalism and identity formation and the generation of conflict (both positive and negative), community building, new media and internet society. He is also active in the EU blogosphere, blogging regularly at http://www.citizen-europe.eu/.

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Prof. JULIET LODGE

Webpage: http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/staff/Juliet
Email: j.e.lodge@leeds.ac.uk

Profile

Juliet Lodge is Director of the Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence, Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds, Uk. Her current research is on egoverment, ethics, transparency and accountability in the EU. She co-chairs the Ethics and Technology committee on eGoverment, and has participated in expert groups on biometrics and governance. Recent publications include: Are you who you say you are? the EU and Biometric Borders (Wolf Legal Publishers, 2007, editor); ‘The 2004 Elections to the European Parliament (London, Palgrave, 2005, editor); “eJustice, Security and Biometrics: the EU;s Proximity Paradox’ (European Journal of Crime and Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, 13, 2005); ‘EU Homeland Security : Citizens or Suspects’ (Journal of European Integration, 26, 2006); and many other.

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JUDITH STAMPER

Webpage: http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/staff/judith
Email: j.stamper@leeds.ac.uk

Profile

Judith Stamper is an experienced television journalist. For several years she was a presenter of BBC North’s daily evening news and current affairs programme, Look North. She is prepared to supervise dissertations in the area of regional and national news journalism. She is responsible for the following modules at Leeds University: Basic Journalism, Broadcasting Institutions in the Modern World, TV Production [taught with the BBC], TV News Journalism, and others related to Broadcasting.

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KATHARINE SARIKAKIS

Webpage: http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/staff/sarikakis
Email: K.Sarikakis@leeds.ac.uk

Profile

My work focuses on the political processes and political economic dimensions of media and communications policies, nationally and globally. An important strand of my research is the study of the development of supranational representational politics and its role in European communications policies and governance; while a second strand is that of the study of international policy regimes as they are shaped by and further facilitate processes of globalisation. Underlying my research is an attention to the micropolitics of citizenship, its changing notions and configurations as lived and ‘everyday’ experience, and with particular reference to the ‘organic’ exercise of citizenship and social justice. I am developing my work to address the entanglement of macro and micro structures of media and communications policy and the regularisation of political economic regimes with their impact on civil liberties, democratisaton of decision-making and radical democracy. The social categorisation factor of ‘gender’ is an important analytical tool in understanding the second strand of this work.

I am managing editor of the International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics (MCP) Our aim is to create a forum of critical and astute analysis of contemporary world affairs as these are related to media and cultural politics. I am director of the Centre for International Communications Research at ICS and head of the Communications Law and Policy Section of ECREA.

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MAY JACOB

Webpage: http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/staff/details.cfm?id=123
Email: M.Jacob@leeds.ac.uk

Education

After an under-graduate degree and masters degree in Business Studies and Communication Studies respectively, I joined the Institute of Communication Studies for an MA degree in International Communications for a more critical approach to communications research. I have now returned to pursue my Doctoral studies at ICS. My MA dissertation was an inquiry into e-learning and internet usage amongst the Pakistani Muslim community in Bradford. This furthered my interest in the community and their sense of identity especially amongst second generation Muslim women in Britain.

PhD project

The research I’m undertaking focuses on the interactions of Pakistani Muslim women with Information and Communication technology and how this leads to construction of identity; national, cultural et al. This project focuses on women from ethnic communities, and their uses of information and communication technologies with specific reference to new media and domesticity. These spheres of activity will, in the long run reveal more about the behaviour of social groups as the subaltern in contested spaces. The domestic and prosaic details, especially within communities that have been estranged from one situation and forced/moved into another, will divulge much about marginalisation, identity creation and cultural paradoxes.

Research interests

Research interests are: identity, ethnicity and multiculturalism, feminine use of technology and new media. I’m in the initial stages of my research, compiling my literature review and getting ‘key concepts’ ironed out without losing focus is where I’m at!

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SILKE M. STUMVOLL

Webpage: http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/
Email: silke_stumvoll@yahoo.de

Education


I studied “Publizistik- and Kommunikationswissenschaft” (Communication Science, MA) and History at the University of Vienna and University of Edinburgh as an Erasmus – exchange student. As I was very interested in Journalism, I worked during my studies for a regional newspaper in Austria. My BA thesis deals with the Scottish/Jewish newspaper “The Jewish Echo” and its role among the German – speaking immigrants from 1928 to 1945. In 2007-2008 I attended an MA course on “International Communications” at the University of Leeds. My MA thesis intended to examine the concept of European citizenship and how it is perceived within the Jewish diaspora. From January to September 2008 I worked as project assistant under the guidance of Dr. Myria Georgiou for project “Mediated Networks: Engendering Diaspora and Global Citizenship”.

MA thesis


My thesis examines the development of the concept of European citizenship and European identity and especially concentrates on its meaning for Jewish European citizens. Several authors, such as Hannah Arendt and Stefan Zweig, referred to Jews as the “first Europeans” because of their international networks and history of dispersion and moving around. My hypothesis follows this idea and claims that Jews are more likely to feel as a European citizen with a European identity. However, this claim is only partly true, as the survey with over 50 participants and 5 interviews with mainly Jewish people from Great Britain and Germany shows. The transnational link of Jewish people (if felt) remains mainly private. A feeling of being European certainly exists, but is not linked with institutions of the European Union. The research indicated a lack of knowledge about what means to be a citizen of Europe and what rights and duties go along with this status. People hardly know where to ask for information concerning the European Union while the internet, television and radio are the main sources of information.

Research interests


The concept of European citizenship, EU and immigration, Diaspora within the EU, construction of a European identity and culture, communicating Europe (Media and the EU).

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STERGIOS MAVRIKIS

Webpage: http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/staff/details.cfm?id=120
Email: cla7sm@leeds.ac.uk

Education

I studied Classics at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, specialized in ancient Greek and Latin Literature and Civilization, as well as in linguistics, semiotics, history, art etc. My second degree in professional Journalism at a private institute (Ergastiri Epagelmatikis Dimosiografias, Athens) gave me the opportunity to acquire professional knowledge in reportage, PR, sound recording, radio production, speech Training etc. Finally, I recently finished an interdisciplinary M.A. on “Media Psychology” at Panteion University of Social and Political Science (Athens) – Department of Psychology and Department of Communication, Mass Media and Civilization.

PhD project

Ph.D. topic: “Internet and New Media constructing a common European identity”. In this research, I intend to examine the role of Internet and New Media in the construction of a common European identity. This research will also consider the role of this new prevailing digital platform, on which nationalities meet the on line post-national European identity, since, as Europe moves into 21st Century, the interplay between culture and technology is more profound and pronounced than any time before. The goal is to exhibit European examples of how citizens and the new media take an active role in their community and of how new technologies optimize their interactivity. Can the establishment of a digital interaction influence our inner identity and contribute in the formation of a supra-national existence with respect to the European cultural diversity? Can the national and pan European New Media systems (internet and I.C.T.) contribute in the creation of a common sentimental basis, a special feeling of co-belonging, an awareness which is a necessary for decision-making multinational mechanisms to acquire legalization for present and future goals?

Research interests

Research interests are: identity, ethnicity and multiculturalism, new media, European political communication and mobilisation, Internet and society. Currently, I am at an early stage of this research, dealing with theories, literature review and keywords and collecting empirical data.

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TALKE HOPPMANN

Webpage: http://www.communiphil.de
Email: t.hoppmann@hans-bredow-institut.de

Education

I studied Communication Science and American Studies at the Ruhr-University Bochum, the University of Hamburg and at Temple University Philadelphia, USA on a Fulbright Scholarship.

PhD project

My PhD project is a comparative study that examines user perceptions of EU institutions and communicator perceptions of their users. It is study concerned both with the attitudes and perceptions of school students in the UK, Denmark and Germany and their use of the EU website (www.europa.eu.int), in relation to the picture communicators within the EU have of their users when producing the website. By integrating both sides within the same theoretical framework the study seeks to analyse and compare intentions to perceptions.

Research interests

My primary research interests are audience/user and reception research, new media, online communication, political communication as well as the whole European Union complex. My project examines both sides of the communication process and employs a mix of methods: questionnaires, think-aloud protocols, and in-depth interviews. I have conducted research in Germany, Denmark and Brussels so far and am in my final empirical stages in the UK. I have my core framework and developed my theoretical foundations (U&G, Sense-making & the dynamic transactional approach (DTA), so that I’m currently in the process of data analysis and writing up my findings. My work is more concerned with the Commission and with the online strategy of the EU institutions and I’ve done a lot of audience and reception research so far.

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