The Europeanization of Eurosceptics? A Hyperlink Network Analysis of the Sweden Democrats

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch

  • Anamaria Dutceac Segesten
  • Michael Joseph Bossetta Jr
NB: For those interested in our use of the Issuecrawler in this paper, please see our more recent web science paper entitled "Tracing Eurosceptic Party Networks via Hyperlink Network Analysis and #FAIL!ng: Can Web Crawlers Keep up with Web Design?", where we outline the limitations we uncovered while using the Issuecrawler.

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the, perhaps paradoxical, phenomenon of Europeanization of Eurosceptic parties and the role the internet played in this process during the campaign for the European Parliament elections of May 2014. We exemplify this phenomenon with the case of Sweden. Sweden is a good example because it has a high density of internet use, a politically active population as reflected in voter turnout and many politicians and political parties with a web presence. The main research questions of the paper are: Which actors are involved in the Swedish Eurosceptic debate online (political parties, NGOs, think tanks, citizen groups) and how are they networked? Are these actors only national or can linkages outside Sweden be observed? In such a case, with whom? What role do Social Networking Sites (SNSs) play in the online political campaigning of Swedish Eurosceptic parties anno 2014 and do they facilitate a transnational communicative network attributing to a shared Eurosceptic agenda? Our analysis has three dimensions: descriptive, explanatory and normative. The descriptive dimension will contribute to the charting of this so far unexplored empirical domain, the online transnational communication of Swedish Eurosceptics. The explanatory dimension will elucidate some of the phenomena described, focusing on the transformative power of the internet for transnational political communication. The normative dimension will explore the implications the creation of a Europeanized network of anti-European voices for European integration and democracy. We plan to operationalize our research question through the use of webcrawling (i.e. Issue Crawler) and social media analytic softwares (Twitonomy and Bluenod). Using these softwares we will be able to discern whether or not non-Swedish Twitter users are participating in and/or affecting the Swedish Eurosceptic dialogue on social media.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateMay 2015
Publication statusPublished - May 2015
EventECPR Joint Sessions in Warsaw - Warsaw University, Warsaw, Poland
Duration: 30 Mar 20152 Apr 2015


ConferenceECPR Joint Sessions in Warsaw
LocationWarsaw University

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - Issuecrawler, Democracy, European politics, European Union, Social media, political parties

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