I am an associate professor at the Department of Communication and Journalism and the Smart Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, affiliated also with the Hebrew University's Center for Interdisciplinary Data Science Research (CIDR). My research focuses on the collaborative construction of meaning in dynamic, political public debates. Specifically, I study processes of contestation and the renegotiation of shared meanings, as well as those cultural and discursive resonance processes that render specific ideas intuitively plausible and account for their enduring, sometimes resilient presence in public discourse and contribute to political polarization and hostility. My publications have contributed to theory and methodology in research on framing, discourse dynamics, and the social and psychological process of sense making, consensus and contestation in a political public sphere. My methodological work combines techniques of qualitative discourse analysis and frame analysis with network-analytic perspectives and contemporary strategies for the automated processing of large-scale discourse. I am chair of the European-wide COST network OPINION, I am a member of the European research infrastructure project OPTED "Observatory for Political Texts in European Democracies", as well as the PROFECI project team on “Mediating the Future: The Social Dynamics of Public Projections”, and I operate the JAmCAT platform for automated text analysis. I am also a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Communication, Communication Methods & Measures, International Journal of Press/Politics, Communication Research, Digital Journalism and Computational Communication Research.
Prior to this, I have been part of the INFOCORE (“(In)forming Conflict Prevention, Response, and Resolution”) project consortium investigating the role of media in violent conflict, as well as a Marie Curie Fellow with a project focusing on frame resonance in violent discourse (RECORD): “Frame Justification and Resonance in Conflict-Related Discourse”). From 2009 to 2014, I worked as assistant professor at the Institute for Communication Studies at Ludwig Maximilian University Munich. My PhD dissertation “Communication, Contextualization and Cognition: Patterns and Processes of Frames' Influence on People's Interpretations of the EU Constitution”, defended at the University of Amsterdam (ASCoR) in 2010, develops a theory of frames within thought and discourse. Applying large-scale semantic network analysis, I have developed various techniques for detecting frames as latent, time-changing structures in complex debates. Other lines of my research include the psychology of discourse reception and sense making processes, the integration of visual information (and information processing) into theories of political discourse, and the study of the strategic construction of meaning in political debates (e.g., political public relations, propaganda). Most of my research deals with the meaning constructed to make sense of (political or violent) conflict and crisis in contemporary society (including European political debates, the financial crisis, war and conflict).
I have taught courses on various aspects of strategic political communication, journalism and the public construction of meaning, as well as social science methodology and research practice. At present, I am teaching classes in conflict discourse and propaganda, plurality of meaning, online communication and computational text analysis.
Appointments & Education
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society Berlin
Ludwig Maximilian University Munich
University of Amsterdam
The London School of Economics & Political Science