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Online networks of civil society actors as an indicator for politicization? A hyperlink analysis of the food safety issue in Germany

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This article focuses on the constellations of actors engaged in the food safety debate in Germany and the potential of civil society organizations for mobilization and politicization of the issue. In an exploratory case study we assess the structure of communication between these organizations by applying hyperlink analysis. Our study sheds light on the nature of the issue network and in particular on their linkages with media and political actors. We interpret communication network patterns with respect to civil society actors’ opportunities to make food safety salient on the agenda and to mobilize around it and politicize it. In fact, our empirical study shows that the structure of linkages between civil society actors, media organizations and political actors in Germany offers favourable opportunities for making the food safety issue salient and for politicizing it in the offline world.

Keywords: civil society actors; food safety; hyperlink analysis; issue network; mobilization; politicization

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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  • The Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies (CJCS) is committed to publishing research and theoretical articles in the fields of media studies, popular culture and cinema, public relations and advertising studies, social communication, new media, language uses in the media, communication and cultural policies, social and national identities, gender studies, sports and leisure, tourism and heritage, among other related issues. CJCS publishes double blind peer-reviewed articles and its aims and scope cover not only Catalan media and cultural systems but also other social contexts.
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