Professor Sophie Lecheler appointed as Scientific Programme Coordinator of the NORFACE Governance programme


The NORFACE partners are pleased to announce that Professor Sophie Lecheler has been appointed as Scientific Programme Coordinator for the research programme Democratic governance in a turbulent age. As Scientific Programme Coordinator she will work for the duration of the programme to bring together researchers within and outside the programme, to increase the networking, capacity building and impact of the programme. Professor Lecheler will start her work as of January 2021. 

Sophie Lecheler is professor of Political Communication at the University of Vienna. Her research focuses on digital election campaigns, emotions in politics and media, and the impact of disinformation on citizens and elites. She has published in a wide range of international journals, such as Political Communication, Journal of Communication, New Media & Society, and Political Psychology. She currently functions as Associate Editor of two journals, the International Journal of Press/Politics and Human Communication Research, and she is the Chair of the Political Communication Division of the International Communication Association. 

She is also the Principal Investigator of the NORFACE Governance project DATADRIVEN, which addresses data-driven political campaigns and focuses on both the intended and unintended consequences of data-driven targeting and digital persuasion. 

Professor Lecheler will be supported by assistant coordinator Jana Laura Egelhofer, who is a final-year PhD candidate in political communication at the University of Vienna. Her research interests include fake news, disinformation, incivility and politicians’ media criticism. She is part of the DATADRIVEN project. Her work has been published in international journals such as Annals of the International Communication Association and Journalism Studies.

Professor Lecheler is ready to take on her work as SPC: ‘With the experiences we have all had during this past year, it is hard to overstate the significance of the research performed in this NORFACE programme. I am thrilled to be working with such an excellent group of scholars, and will do all I can to promote their research in academia and society. I also know that this year has been a challenge for the way we produce and disseminate research results, so we will work hard in creating a useful academic network, even in the absence of travel and physical meetings.’

About the Governance programme

Democratic politics and governance in Europe are facing turbulent times. Party systems have crumbled or been substantially changed and so have citizen attachments to government, political parties and democratic procedures. This sixth NORFACE transnational programme on Democratic governance in a turbulent age offers a timely investigation of the precise nature of this recent turbulence, on how European states can negotiate it and develop strategies to enhance the quality of democratic politics and governance. 

This programme has three major objectives:

  • To develop innovative and excellent research proposals addressing important challenges to democratic governance and politics;
  • To produce added value through the development of European cross-national research collaborations exploring the impacts of variations in social, economic, cultural and political contexts on changes in how democracies work;
  • To identify promising forms of policy innovation and institutional design and explore the conditions for their application in different jurisdictions.

> Programme Democratic governance in a turbulent age 

> About Professor Sophie Lecheler