Die transformierte Öffentlichkeit. Die Rolle von Social Media in der Corona-Pandemie in den EU-Mitgliedstaaten

  • Europa-Universität Flensburg / Vilnius University
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.


In diesem Beitrag gehen wir der Frage nach, wie sich Öffentlichkeit in der Corona-Pandemie in Europa verändert hat. Auf der Grundlage von Eurobarometer-Daten zeigen wir, welche Rolle insbesondere digitalen Medien in der Pandemie zugekommen ist und wie diese die Einstellungen zu ergriffenen Corona-Maßnahmen beeinflusst haben. Die Daten zeigen deutlich, dass ungeachtet der großen medialen Aufmerksamkeit, die den Anti-Corona-Protesten zukam, die Unterstützung für die ergriffenen nationalen Corona-Maßnahmen und die damit verbundenen individuellen Freiheitseinschränkungen in den EU-Mitgliedstaaten hoch war, wenn auch in den nord- und westeuropäischen Ländern höher als in den ost- und südeuropäischen Ländern. Dabei ist die Art und Weise, wie Menschen die ergriffenen Corona-Maßnahmen wahrnehmen, abhängig von ihren Informationsquellen. Die verstärkte Nutzung sozialer Medien während der Pandemien geht mit einer geringeren Unterstützung der Corona-Maßnahmen einher. Dennoch können wir auf der Grundlage von Eurobarometerdaten der letzten zwei Jahre zeigen, dass die Corona-Krise in keinem der EU-Mitgliedstaaten die gesellschaftliche Polarisierung nachhaltig verstärkt hat.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Full-text available
The COVID-19 crisis has revealed structural failures in governance and coordination on a global scale. With related policy interventions dependent on verifiable evidence, pandemics require governments to not only consider the input of experts but also ensure that science is translated for public understanding. However, misinformation and fake news, including content shared through social media, compromise the efficacy of evidence-based policy interventions and undermine the credibility of scientific expertise with potentially longer-term consequences. We introduce a formal mathematical model to understand factors influencing the behavior of social media users when encountering fake news. The model illustrates that direct efforts by social media platforms and governments, along with informal pressure from social networks, can reduce the likelihood that users who encounter fake news embrace and further circulate it. This study has implications at a practical level for crisis response in politically fractious settings and at a theoretical level for research about post-truth and the construction of fact.
Full-text available
The rise of the new radical populist right has been linked to fundamental socioeconomic changes fueled by globalization and economic deregulation. Yet, socioeconomic factors can hardly fully explain the rise of new right. We suggest that emotional processes that affect people’s identities provide an additional explanation for the current popularity of the radical right, not only among low- and medium-skilled workers, but also among the middle classes whose insecurities manifest as fears of not being able to live up to salient social identities and their constitutive values, and as shame about this anticipated or actual inability. This link between fear and shame becomes particularly salient in competitive market societies where responsibility for success and failure is increasingly individualized. Failure implies stigmatization through unemployment, being on welfare benefits, or forced migration to find work. Under these conditions, many tend to emotionally distance themselves from social identities that inflict shame and other negative emotions, instead seeking meaning and self-esteem from those aspects of identity that are perceived to be stable and to some extent exclusive, such as nationality, ethnicity, religion, language, and traditional gender roles. At the same time, repressed shame can manifest as anger and resentment against immigrants, refugees, gays, and other minorities as well as liberal cultural elites who appear as enemies of these more stable social identities.
How can we explain the rise in diffuse political support during the Covid-19 pandemic? Recent research has argued that the lockdown measures generated political support. In contrast, I argue that the intensity of the pandemic rallied people around political institutions. Collective angst in the face of exponentially rising Covid-19 cases depresses the usual cognitive evaluations of institutions, and leads citizens to rally around existing intuitions as a lifebuoy. Using a representative Dutch household survey conducted over March 2020, I compare the lockdown effect to the dynamic of the pandemic. I find that the lockdown effect is driven by pre-existing time trends. Accounting for nonlinearities in time makes the lockdown effect disappear. In contrast, more flexible modelling techniques reveal a robust effect of Covid-19 infections on political trust. In line with an anxiety effect, I find that standard determinants of political trust – such as economic evaluations and social trust – lose explanatory power as the pandemic spreads. This speaks to an emotionally driven rally effect that pushes cognitive evaluations to the background.
The new European Union (EU) is characterised by the simultaneity of continuing integration and obvious trends of disintegration. This volume examines the reasons for this new simultaneity and what it means for the process of integration.
This article examines ways in which social movements have been impacted and responded in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Between March and May 2020, lockdown measures put a halt to mass protests for democracy, and the virus spread became the only political focus and news headline. Far from disappearing, social movements have adapted to unexpected circumstances and been particularly active during this challenging period. The first section of the article provides an overview of grassroots movements initiatives to complete five roles. The second section focuses on the struggle over the meaning of the crisis. While progressive intellectuals and movements consider the COVID-19 pandemic opened opportunities to build a fairer world, they compete with reactionary, capitalist and state actors to shape the meaning of the crisis and the world that may come out of it. The intensity of social justice movements’ initiatives during the lockdown may show the outlines of a global wave of movements, embodied in countless decentralized reactions to a global event that affected has shaken billions of human lives.
Media scholars have increasingly examined the effects of a negativity bias that applies to political news. In the ‘spiral of cynicism’, journalist preferences for negative news correspond to public demands for sensational news. We argue that this spiral of cynicism in EU news results in a ‘spiral of Euroscepticism’, taking media autonomy seriously to understand how media logics and selective devices contribute to the shaping of public discourse about the EU. We review the literature on the media and EU legitimacy to show how media frames and their amplification on social media can account for the salience of Eurosceptic opinions in the public sphere that then push parties to contest the EU in predominantly negative terms.
‘Religion and politics’, as the old saying goes, ‘should never be discussed in mixed company.’And yet fostering discussions that cross lines of political difference has long been a central concern of political theorists. More recently, it has also become a cause célèbre for pundits and civic-minded citizens wanting to improve the health of American democracy. But only recently have scholars begun empirical investigations of where and with what consequences people interact with those whose political views differ from their own. Hearing the Other Side examines this theme in the context of the contemporary United States. It is unique in its effort to link political theory with empirical research. Drawing on her empirical work, Mutz suggests that it is doubtful that an extremely activist political culture can also be a heavily deliberative one.
Proceeding from mass society theory and the theory of social capital, this article discusses the effect of social isolation, social trust, and membership in voluntary organizations on radical right-wing voting in Belgium, Denmark, France, Norway, and Switzerland. By using data from the first and third rounds of the European Social Survey, a number of logistic regression models are estimated. The results indicate that social isolation and social capital, measured as active membership in voluntary organizations, are of marginal value for explaining radical right-wing voting, although there is some cross-national variation. Moreover, the results show that not even members of humanitarian aid and human rights organizations are less likely to vote for the radical right, which clearly questions the universalistic ambitions of Putnam's theory of social capital and its core idea that organizational membership fosters tolerance and civic virtues.
  • H.-J Trenz
  • A Heft
  • M Vaughan
  • B Pfetsch
Trenz, H.-J., Heft, A., Vaughan, M., & Pfetsch, B. (2020): Resilience of Public Spheres in a Global Health Crisis. Berlin: Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society. https://doi. org/10.34669/
COVID-19: Level of support for actions governments could take
  • Yougov
Yougov (2021). COVID-19: Level of support for actions governments could take. https://yougov.
In-home media consumption due to the coronavirus outbreak among internet users worldwide as of
  • Statista
Statista (2020): In-home media consumption due to the coronavirus outbreak among internet users worldwide as of March 2020, by country. home-media-consumption-coronavirus-worldwide-by-country/.
European Parliament Covid-19 Survey
European Parliament Covid-19 Survey, Round 3, ZA7738, Eurobarometer 93.1, ZA 7649, https://doi. org/10.4232/1.13746.
Trump and the Xenophobic Populist Parties: The Silent Revolution in Reverse
  • R F Inglehart
  • P Norris
Inglehart, R. F., & Norris, P. (2017). Trump and the Xenophobic Populist Parties: The Silent Revolution in Reverse. Perspectives on Politics, 15(2), 443-454.
Die »Querdenker «. Wer nimmt an Corona-Protesten teil und warum
  • S Koos
Koos, S. (2021). Die »Querdenker «. Wer nimmt an Corona-Protesten teil und warum?: Ergebnisse einer Befragung während der »Corona-Proteste «am 4.10. 2020 in Konstanz. https:// pdf?sequence=1
Political Trust in the Time of CO-VID-19 in Germany
  • J Riedl
Riedl, J. (2020). Political Trust in the Time of CO-VID-19 in Germany. in: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (2020). Panorama -Insight into Asian and European Affairs, Special Issue: Trust in Politics, 25-38.