Section Head Election 2019 - Call for candidates and statements

Political Communication Research Section

The Political Communication Research Section of IAMCR will be holding elections during the section's business meeting at the upcoming conference in Madrid. We invite candidacies for the position of chair and vice-chair of the section.

Responsibilities include all phases of conference programming for the group as well as participation in association-wide decision-making, both during face-to-face meetings before and sometimes after the annual conference and, between conferences, online. Within that remit, there is room for a great deal of creativity in conceptualizing, organizing, and populating sessions; engaging in substantive and programmatic collaborations with other sections; stimulating collaborative research; working with emerging scholars; and so on.

The section's current chairs María José Canel and Christina Holtz-Bacha and vice-chair Bengt Johansson will not run again. Julio Juárez Gamíz, who also served as vice-chair since 2012, will be running for chair.

Nominations and self-nominations are welcome. Interested candidates should send their name, institutional position and a statement (maximum 500 words) to Christina Holtz-Bacha christina.holtz-bacha [at] with a copy to IAMCR General Secretary Maria Gerard Goggin gerard.goggin [at] and to the IAMCR secretariat membership [at] The deadline for submitting candidacies is June 14, 2019.

You will find the election rules at:

Candidates and statements

For Co-Chair:

For Vice-Chair:

Statements of candidates for Co-Chair

Martín Echeverría (Autonomous University of Puebla, Mexico)

I work at the Center of Studies in Political Communication at the Autonomous University of Puebla, Mexico. I have a Ph.D. in Communication (University of Seville, Spain) and a masters degree in Political Communication (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain). My work is focused in the content of political debates, structure of political advertising, the normative performance of news media, and the mediatization of politics in the press, attitudes of journalists and media effects.

I am concerned about the low participation of the global south scholars in the international discussion of our field. While South East Asia and Africa, for example, have recently begun to institutionalize and thrive in their internationalization, other regions such as Latin America have a minimal presence in global journals, conferences, and seminars. Of course there are linguistic barriers but also other ones, like different research practices and agendas that preclude discussion and collaboration.
Therefore, one of my main purposes as Chair of the Section is to reinforce the integration of global south scholars into the IAMCR community through some actions: a) invite scholars in those regions that have already an international scope or share the agendas and practices of the international mainstream, b) promote special issues in journals and editorial opportunities for global south scholars and their research interests, c) promote seminars to train those scholars to comply international standards of scientific work, including the structure and style of their papers.

That, of course, is not the only task I am willing to perform. I will actively work to continue and improve on the scholarly tradition and excellence of the Section, through the collective pursuit of theoretical creativity and methodological rigor. I think my candidacy will fit in the team of officers that is being assembled and will help to achieve our goals as a field.

Martín Echeverría, PhD. Full professor
Center of Studies in Political Communication
Autonomous University of Puebla, Mexico

Marie Grusell (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)

I have decided to announce my interest to candidate for chair or vice-chair in the Political Communication Research Section. Today I´m a Director of Media and Communication (Bachelor and Master) at the University of Gothenburg, as well as an Associate Professor in Political Communication Mid Sweden University. Since my dissertation (2008), I consider it a privilege to be able to perform my own research in addition to being part of established research networks.  I have considerable knowledge working with both qualitative and quantitative studies and I enjoy the aspects of both theoretical and empirical challenges. 

My strength as a researcher and Director of studies is my ability to “make things happen”. I have the capacity to make ideas come to life in everyday life. Examples of this are the two major projects I have been working on in the past year. I have been the coeditor for Snabbtänkt ( and Euroflections ( The main purpose of both these projects is to link the research community together and at the same time extend knowledge about different aspects of political communication in an accessible manner to scholars as well as ordinary people. In the first project close to 100 researchers (mostly Swedes and Scandinavians) came together and published a report 10 days after the Swedish General election 2018. In the most recent project, Euroflections, 76 researchers from all over Europe, presented interesting analysis just 18 days after the EU-election 2019. 

I am a candidate because I want to further help develop the group's opportunities in the new political landscape. By evolving the group's strengths and weaknesses my aim is to create strong conditions for further development. I am responsive and flexible and with the help of the group’s members, my plan is to create new opportunities to develop the group further. I’m hard working and I will do my utmost to develop the Political Communication Research Section for new challenges. 

Marie Grusell
Senior Lecturer, Ph.D.
Director Media and Communication (MKV)
Associate Professor in Political Communication Mid Sweden University

Julio Juárez Gámiz (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)

After seven years serving as Vice-Chair of the Political Communication Research Section, I’ve had the opportunity to know first-hand IAMCR’s dynamic and vibrant academic community. Through the work of my fellow colleagues presenting their work in the Section I have come to recognize and appreciate research trends both regional and international. The study of political communication is a primal aspect of my academic and professional career. I certainly think there are many activities our section can embark in years to come in order to consolidate the inclusion of emerging theories, research interests and methods to the study of a fast-moving political environment worldwide.

It is very important for our section to strengthen our ties to the world of practitioners in the field. Political communication is constantly changed by political actors and the media but there are significant cases in which academics have played a major role in designing and implementing communication strategies and actions beyond the traditional bounds of academia. I believe this knowledge should be incorporated through seminars and workshops where we can debate concepts and theories in light of specific case studies. Pre-conferences should be an ideal scenario to promote this interaction.

I think we live in the era of interdisciplinary thinking and that more than ever the study of political communication needs to learn from other academic fields. I mention one particular case regarding my own experience as a psychologist. Looking at the interaction between communication and politics makes it necessary to adopt innovative research into the way our personality, mediated experience and media habits interact at the moment in which people communicate and process political communications. 

This is a significant insight given the number of participations we have had in previous conferences where colleagues around the globe are trying to make sense of the impact social media and other digital platforms have in the way we process and modify political messages and narratives. These trends will continue growing in years to come and our Section and Association should find innovative ways to attract emerging scholars interested in the study of political communication.

Statements of candidates for Vice-Chair

Sara Garcia (Universitat Ramon Llull, Spain)

I am thrilled to announce my candidacy as vice-chair of the IAMCR Political Communication section. I am currently a research fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania (USA) and an Associate Professor at the Universitat Ramon Llull (Spain). My recent work has examined the surge of populism and nationalism both in Europe and Latin America, the use of social media in political communication, the role of digital media in authoritarian contexts and the (dis)connections between media and good governance. I am currently analysing the way in which right-wing politicians build precarious aesthetics on social networks as a way of associating themselves to the common people.  

As vice-chair, I would like to contribute by strengthening research networks between western and non-western scholars and by taking research beyond academia in a way that connects with real-life settings. These goals are very much in line with the section’s current focus on diversity and impact. Throughout my career, I have repeatedly observed the power imbalances between western scholars and those who conduct their work in non-western countries, where a lack of resources often means their marginalization from international academic networks. I have grown as a scholar in parallel to the Media and Governance network and my contribution as a founding convenor has been precisely the creation of strong collaborations between European and Latin American scholars.

Drawing on my own experience, I greatly value the richness of working in networks that have a distinctly critical, global outlook. I have developed my career in six countries - the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Finland in Europe, and the United States and Cuba in the Americas. These experiences have allowed me to take an active role in international projects that are strongly committed to the de-westernization of political communication and media studies, such as Mainstreaming Populism (University of Helsinki), the Aid and Journalism Network (University of Leeds) and the Global Media Monitoring Project.

I come from a multi-disciplinary background that intertwines with the fields of Political Communication, Journalism Studies, Latin American Studies and Discourse Theory. This has allowed me to develop my research agenda beyond academia, collaborating with journalistic and documentary projects. I believe that making an effort to reach a broader audience is one of the pending tasks of the IAMCR if it wants to have an impact in a real-world setting. That is why in my prospective role as vice-chair of the Political Communication section, I look forward to expanding the reach of this section beyond formal academic networks, working in an international and diverse environment that is increasingly aware of the value of bringing academic debates closer to society.



André Haller (University of Bamberg, Germany)

The election of the chair and vice-chairs of the Political Communication Research Section of IAMCR will soon take place at the conference in Madrid. After thinking about the upcoming elections for some days I am announcing my candidacy for a vice-chair of the section. Since 2012 I am working at the Institute for Communication Science at University of Bamberg in Germany. My research and teaching focusses on political communication, particularly campaign communication and digital political communication, and on scandal communication, especially political scandals. 

Please let me introduce three main reasons for my candidacy in short: Since the early days of my career one of my main concerns was to strengthen international networking between political communication scholars. Therefore, colleagues and I organized the International Conference in Scandalogy which will take place for the third time in 2020. It would be a pleasure to bring in my skills in networking scholars of different backgrounds in the section. A further goal on my agenda is to strengthen scientific knowledge transfer to the public. In the last years we have witnessed an erosion of trust towards political and media institutions accompanied by a rise of populist parties, digital disinformation and polarization. In my opinion, political communication research has a duty to offer valid knowledge on these (and related) topics to the public discourse in order to strengthen democratic institutions and processes. I therefore propose to develop open expert clusters in which IAMCR members can collect and discuss their results and communicate them to journalists and interested citizens. One last point concerns the career options of younger scholars. My wish is to offer early-career scholars more options to contribute to the IAMCR community, for instance by giving them more opportunities to serve as a session chair or to connect them with established colleagues during their dissertation phase.

I hope that my main objectives encourage you to vote for me: The development of international networking opportunities, an increased transfer of scientific knowledge to the public and more opportunities for early-career colleagues to participate in our scientific community are central issues in my work as a scientist. It would be a pleasure and an honor to serve as a vice-chair of the Political Communication Research section during the next election period.