The Political Communication Research Unit investigates language, symbols, and communication of people who make and who interpret policies.
On the one hand, according to a narrow view of political communication, it looks at the use of language, symbols, and communication in politics, or the organization of society. On the other hand, it also holds a broad conception of political communication, according to which language, symbols, and communication are associated with political ideology, and their political function is examined in the context of e.g. popular culture and sports, or elite culture and architecture.
Tradition of mass communication , public opinion and collective behavior, propaganda. New: political psychology. Politics is people’s work; therefore, the attention in the research process goes to people and their emotions rather than to structures and authorities.
Interdisciplinary. The research domain possesses a natural affinity with political, social and communication sciences. However, the angle is interdisciplinary and according to the concrete research theme insights are also used from other humanities sciences such as (cognitive) Linguistics, (clinical, social, ...) Psychology, (marketing, macro, financial, etc.) Economics, (political) History, European or International Relations Studies.
International comparative. The data collection is mainly based on the Belgian, Dutch or European context, but also other continents get attention. There is usually worked with international data sets (e.g. ICCS data). Scientific generalization is the goal.
Case study-oriented. In a general sense, resource domains for possible themes are leadership, nationalism, populism, economic or political crisis and political or military conflict, but also sports and popular or elite culture.
Historical and international. The research works especially with current and European case studies but considerable importance is attached to the historical and international context.