Theme 3: Democratisation of information and expertise

Theme 3: Democratisation of information and expertise


While the continuing development of information and communications technologies (ICT) has created new possibilities for some citizens and groups to communicate, mobilise and contribute to policy making, traditional sources of political information, such as the press and broadcasting, have also remained powerful in their existing forms and through adapting to the changed digital environment. Traditional sources of authoritative information – above all, experts and professionals in the established media – are being questioned, as citizens have access to alternative sources of information and news and as doubting the integrity of media professionals has become a more common political strategy. Developments in the information landscape, including the easy availability of the means of disseminating information widely, have raised a range of questions about the adequacy of traditional approaches to questions such as freedom of speech, privacy, and the incitement of hatred.

The following publications by the Governance consortia relate to the democratisation of information and expertise:


Beraldo, D., Milan, S., de Vos, J., Agosti, C., Nadalic Sotic, b., Vliegenthart, R., Kruikemeier, S., Otto, L., Vermeer, S., Chu, X., & Votta, F. (2021). Political advertising exposed: tracking Facebook ads in the 2021 Dutch elections. Internet Policy Review.

Matthes, J., Hirsch, M., Stubenvoll, M., Binder, A., Kruikemeier, S., Lecheler, S., & Otto, L., (accepted). Understanding the democratic role of perceived online political micro-targeting: Longitudinal effects on trust in democracy and political interest. Journal of Information Technology Politics.

Binder, A., Stubenvoll, M., Hirsch, M., & Matthes, J. (2021). Why Am I Getting This Ad? How the Degree of Targeting Disclosures and Political Fit Affect Persuasion Knowledge, Party Evaluation, and Online Privacy Behaviors. Journal of Advertising, 1-17.

Kefford, G., Dommett, K., Baldwin-Philippi, J., Bannerman, S., Dobber, T., Kruschinski, S., Kruikemeier, S., & Rzepecki, E. (2022). Data-driven campaigning and democratic disruption: Evidence from six advanced democracies. Party Politics.

Vermeer, V., Kruikemeier, S., Trilling D., & de Vreese, C. (2022). Using Panel Data to Study Political Interest, News Media Trust, and News Media use in the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journalism Studies, 23:5-6, 740-760.

• Stubenvoll, M., & Matthes, J. (2022). Four Paths To Misperceptions: A Panel Study On Resistance Against Journalistic Evidence. Media Psychology, 25:2, 318-341.

Boerman, S. C., Kruikemeier, S., & Zuiderveen Borgesius, F. J. (2017) Online Behavioral Advertising: A Literature Review and Research Agenda, Journal of Advertising, 46:3, 363-376, DOI: 10.1080/00913367.2017.1339368.

• Dommett, K. & Bakir, M. E. (2020). A Transparent Digital Election Campaign? The Insights and Significance of Political Advertising Archives for Debates on Electoral Regulation. Parliamentary Affairs, 73 (Supplement 1):208-224.

• Dommett, K. (2020). Researching for Democracy? Data Access and the Study of Online Platforms’, Political Insight, 11(3): 34-36.

Kruikemeier, S., Sezgin, M., & Boerman S. C. (2016). Political Microtargeting: Relationship Between Personalized Advertising on Facebook and Voters’ Responses. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 19(6): 367-372.

• Matthes, J., Hirsch, M., Stubenvoll, M., Binder, A., Kruikemeier, S., Lecheler, S., & Otto, L. (2020, August). Personalized political advertising dampens trust in democracy but increases political interest: Evidence from a panel study. Presentation to the Political Communication Division at the (virtual) AEJMC Annual Convention, August 6-9.

Vliegenthart, R., & Kruikemeier, S. (2017). Political advertising in the Netherlands: (still) little ado about (almost) nothing. In C. Holtz-Bacha & Just, M.R. (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Political Advertising. New York & London: Routledge.

Gibson, R. (2022). Data-Driven Campaigning as a Disruptive Force. Political Communication (forthcoming 2022 in Special issue on Digital Campaigning in Dissonant Public Spheres).

Gibson, R. (2020). When the Nerds Go Marching In: How Digital Technology moved from the Margins to the Mainstream of Political Campaigning. Oxford University Press.

Koc-Michalska, K., Lilleker, D., Michalksi, T., Gibson R., & Jan Zając. (2020). Facebook affordances and citizen engagement during elections: European political parties and their benefit from online strategies?. Journal of Information Technology and Politics.

Rommele, A., & Gibson, R. (2020) ‘Scientific and Subversive: Two Faces of the 4th Era of Political Campaigning.’ with Andrea Rommele. New Media & Society 2020. 22(4): 595-610. 


Van der Zwan, N., & Golka, P. (2022). Intern toezicht bij Nederlandse pensioenfondsen: Vertrouwen, diversiteit en de lerende Organisatie [Internal supervision in Dutch pension funds: Trust, diversity and the learning organization], research report for the Monitoringcommissie Code Pensioenfondsen.

Golka, P., & Van der Zwan, N. (2022). Experts versus representatives? Financialised valuation and institutional change in financial governance. New Political Economy.


Chaqués-Bonafont, L., & Jordana, J. (2022). Policy Analysis in Spain (1st ed.). Bristol University Press.


• Castro, L., Strömbäck, J., Esser, F., Van Aelst, P., de Vreese, C., Aalberg, T., Cardenal, A. S., Corbu, N., Hopmann, D. N., Koc-Michalska, K., Matthes, J., Schemer, C., Sheafer, T., Splendore, S., Stanyer, J., Stępińska, A., Štětka, V., & Theocharis, Y. (2021). Navigating High-choice European Political Information Environments: A Comparative Analysis of News User Profiles and Political Knowledge. The International Journal of Press/Politics.

Van Aelst, P., Toth, F., Castro, L., Štětka, V., de Vreese, C., Aalberg, T., Cardenal, A. S., Corbu, N., Esser, F., Hopmann, D. N., Koc-Michalska, K., Matthes, J., Schemer, C., Sheafer, T., Splendore, S., Stanyer, J., Stępińska, A., Strömbäck, J., & Theocharis, Y. (2021). Does a Crisis Change News Habits? A Comparative Study of the Effects of COVID-19 on News Media Use in 17 European Countries, Digital Journalism, 9:9, 1208-1238,