SMaPP: Social Media and Political Participation



Adam Berinsky
Personal Site

Adam Berinsky is a Professor of Political Science at MIT and serves as the director of the MIT Political Experiments Research Lab (PERL). Berinsky received his PhD. from the University of Michigan in 2000. He is the author of In Time of War: Understanding American Public Opinion from World War II to Iraq (University of Chicago Press, 2009). He is also the author of Silent Voices: Public Opinion and Political Participation in America (Princeton University Press, 2004) and has published articles in The American Journal of Political Science, The Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Political Psychology, Public Opinion Quarterly, The Quarterly Journal of Political Science, American Politics Research, and Communist and Post-Communist Studies. He is the recipient of grants from the National Science Foundation and was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.


SGB_150x150Sandra González-Bailón

Sandra González-Bailón is an Assistant Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and affiliated faculty at the Warren Center for Network and Data Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Penn, she was a Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute (2008-2013), where she is now a Research Associate. She completed her doctoral degree in Nuffield College (University of Oxford) and her undergraduate studies at the University of Barcelona. Sandra’s research lies at the intersection of network science, data mining, computational tools, and political communication. She is currently working on the book Decoding the Social World. When Data Science meets Communication (forthcoming with MIT Press) and co-editing The Oxford Handbook of Communication in the Networked Age (with Brooke Foucault-Welles, forthcoming with Oxford University Press). More information about her research and publications can be found at her group’s website <>.



Marko Klasnja



Marko Klasnja is a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University. His research mainly centers on the political economy of accountability in developing democracies. To examine the factors that hinder or promote the electoral sanctioning of corrupt politicians, Marko uses a variety approaches, including game-theoretic models, survey and natural experiments, and the analysis of large datasets (e.g. politicians’ wealth declarations and a large volume of public procurement contracts to measure corruption more precisely). He is also interested in the issues of political representativeness of social media data.



Cristian Vaccari
Research Project Site

Cristian Vaccari is Reader in Politics at Royal Holloway, University of London and Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of Bologna. He studies political communication in comparative perspective, with a particular focus on digital media and is the Principal Investigator of a three-year research project titled “Building Inclusive Societies and a Global Europe Online:  Political Information and Participation on Social Media in Comparative Perspective” ( that the Italian Ministry of Education has awarded more than 900,000 Euros in funds. The project investigates the role of social media in citizens’ and politicians’ practices of political communication in Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom from 2013 until 2016. His latest book is Digital Politics in Western Democracies: A Comparative Study (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). He tweets as @25lettori.