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Erik Bleich

Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science

 
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 ON LEAVE 2021-22
 Munroe Hall 301

Erik Bleich joined the Political Science department in the fall of 1999. He has served as Director of European Studies, Director of International Politics & Economics, and Chair of Political Science.

His forthcoming book Covering Muslims: American Newspapers in Comparative Perspective (Oxford University Press, 2022, with A. Maurits van der Veen), couples big data analysis of more than 1.6 million articles with readings of individual texts. It conclusively shows the striking negativity in coverage of Muslims across time, country, and topics, as well as compared to groups as diverse as Catholics, Jews, Hindus, African Americans, Latinos, Mormons, and atheists. It introduces the concept of "tone checking" the media to inhibit the marginalization of vulnerable groups in our societies.

His broader research interests revolve around the topics of race and ethnicity in West European and North American politics. His first book, Race Politics in Britain and France: Ideas and Policymaking since the 1960s (Cambridge University Press, 2003) examines how theories of ideas and policymaking help explain different race policy outcomes in the two countries. His second book, The Freedom to Be Racist? How the United States and Europe Struggle to Preserve Freedom and Combat Racism (Oxford University Press, 2011), explores how liberal democracies balance a desire to promote freedom with the goal of curbing racism. He has also published on hate crimes, political violence, the status of Muslims, the concept of Islamophobia, ethnic riots, theories of immigration and integration, and the legacies of colonial history on contemporary policymaking. His articles have appeared in journals such as Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, Social Forces, Theory & Society, and World Politics. He has edited and contributed to the book Muslims and the State in the Post-9/11 West (Routledge, 2010) and co-edited and contributed to the book Migrants, Minorities and the Media: Information, Representations and Participation in the Public Sphere (Routledge 2017). Since 2012, he has directed the Media Portrayals of Minorities Project.

Outside of Middlbury College, he has served as the Chair of the Executive Committee of the Council for European Studies (2019-2021), as a member of the Council of the American Political Science Association (2019-2022), and as Fulbright-Tocqueville Distinguished Chair (2022).

 

Courses

Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

FYSE 1510 - Free Speech/Racist Speech      

What Can I Say? Free Speech v. Racist Speech in the United States and Europe
In this course we will delve into the politics and law surrounding issues of racist speech in the United States and Europe. We will look at the development of speech doctrines in the post-World War II era, drawing on well-known case studies from American constitutional history, as well as European examples such as the Danish Cartoon Controversy and Holocaust denial cases. Through comparison across time and countries, we will debate the appropriate limits on racist speech in different contexts. 3 hrs. lect./disc. CMP CW SOC

Fall 2017

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IGST 0702 - EUS Senior Thesis      

European Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022

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IGST 0706 - MES Senior Thesis      

Middle East Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Winter 2018, Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021, Winter 2022

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INTD 1196 - Intro to Media and Minorities      

Introduction to Media and Minorities
In this course we will learn a process for understanding how the media portray minorities. Students will be introduced to techniques developed by Middlebury’s Media Portrayals of Minorities Project lab that enable quantitative and qualitative analysis of digital news to better understand how social groups as diverse as immigrants, refugees, Muslims, Jews, Latinos, Chinese, Africans, and others have been portrayed in the US and international media. Students in this class will learn how to download bulk newspaper data from Lexis-Nexis, to process it using python notebooks, and to statistically analyze it using Stata as they work on a concrete project of their choice. DED WTR

Winter 2018, Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021

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IPEC 0500 - Independent Project      

Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022

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IPEC 0700 - Intl.Pol.&Economics SR. Thesis      

Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022

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PSCI 0103 - Intro to Comparative Politics      

Introduction to Comparative Politics
This course offers an introduction to the comparative study of political systems and to the logic of comparative inquiry. How are different political systems created and organized? How and why do they change? Why are some democratic and others authoritarian? Why are some rich and others poor? Other topics covered in this course include nationalism and political ideologies, forms of representation, the relationship between state institutions and civil society, and globalization. The goal in this course is to use comparative methods to analyze questions of state institutions -- how they arise, change, and generate different economic, social, and political outcomes. 3 hrs. lect. disc. (Comparative Politics)/ CMP SOC

Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2021

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PSCI 0219 - Free Speech v. Racist Speech      

What Can I Say? Free Speech v. Racist Speech in the United States and Europe
In this course we will delve into the politics and law surrounding issues of racist speech in the United States and Europe. We will look at the development of speech doctrines in the post-World War Two era, drawing on well-known case studies from American constitutional history, as well as European examples such as the Danish Cartoon Controversy and Holocaust denial cases. Through comparison across time and countries, we will debate the appropriate limits on racist speech in different contexts. (Not open to students who have taken FYSE 1510 or PSCI 1023) 3 hrs. lect./disc (Comparative Politics) CMP CW SOC

Fall 2018, Fall 2020

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PSCI 0232 - Diversity Politics in Europe      

The Politics of Diversity in Western Europe
Contrary to common perceptions, most West European populations are no longer overwhelmingly white and Christian. The new diversity prompted by post-World War II immigration has generated opportunities and challenges for European societies. In this course, we will examine how ethnic diversity is affecting contemporary West European politics. We will cover the topics of citizenship, immigration, immigrant integration, the rise of far right parties, and state policies toward Europe's new ethnically, racially, and religiously diverse societies. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Comparative Politics)/ EUR SOC

Spring 2020

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PSCI 0326 - Media and Minorities      

The Media and Minorities
In this course we use techniques developed by Middlebury’s Media Portrayals of Minorities Project lab to examine how the media portray identifiable groups. These techniques enable quantitative and qualitative analysis of digital news to better understand how different types of groups--such as, for example, immigrants, refugees, Muslims, Jews, Latinos, Chinese, Africans, or others--have been portrayed in the US and international media. Students in this class will contribute to ongoing publication projects of the lab, and will have the opportunity to pursue their own research topics. Student projects will culminate in research papers that may form the basis for further independent work or for senior theses. 3hrs. seminar (Comparative Politics) (Approval Only) DED SOC

Spring 2018, Spring 2020

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PSCI 0500 - Independent Project      

Independent Projects
A program of independent work designed to meet the individual needs of advanced students. (Approval required)

Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022

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PSCI 0700 - Honors Thesis      

Honors Thesis
(Approval required)

Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022

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Faculty Expert Profile

Erik Bleich Faculty Expert Profile

Books and Edited Volumes

Covering Muslims: American Newspapers in Comparative Perspective, Oxford University Press, 2022, with A. Maurits van der Veen

Migrants, Minorities, and the Media: Information, Representations, and Participation in the Public Sphere, editor, with Irene Bloemraad and Els de Graauw, Routledge, 2017; also published as a special issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 41, 6, 2015

Punir la haine?, editor, with Charles Girard; special issue of Esprit, October 2015

The Freedom to Be Racist? How the United States and Europe Struggle to Preserve Freedom and Combat Racism, Oxford University Press, 2011

Muslims and the State in the Post-9/11 West, editor, Routledge, 2010; also published as the March 2009 special issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

Race Politics in Britain and France: Ideas and Policymaking since the 1960s, Cambridge University Press, 2003

Refereed Journal Articles

Diplomats in Robes? Judicial Career Paths and Free Speech Decision-Making at the European Court of Human Rights,” Erik Bleich, Thomas Keck, Neha Sharma, and Claire Sigsworth, Law & Social Inquiry, 29, 2, 2021: 1-32

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: A Corpus Linguistics Analysis of US Newspaper Coverage of Latinx, 1996-2016,” Erik Bleich, James P Callison, Georgia Grace Edwards, Mia Fichman, Erin Hoynes, Razan Jabari and A. Maurits van der Veen, Journalism, 22, 6, 2021: 1522-39

Atheism in US and UK Newspapers: Negativity about Non-Belief and Non-Believers,” A. Maurits van der Veen and Erik Bleich, Religions, 12, 2021: 291-310

Media Portrayals of Muslims: A Comparative Sentiment Analysis of American Newspapers, 1996-2015,” Erik Bleich and A. Maurits van der Veen, Politics, Groups, and Identities, 9, 1, 2021: 20-39

The Qualitative Transparency Deliberations: Insights and Implications,” Alan M. Jacobs, Tim Büthe, et al., Perspectives on Politics, 19, 1, 2021: 171-208

Afro-Pessimist or Africa Rising? US Newspaper Coverage of Africa, 1994-2018,” Erik Bleich, Mira Chugh, Adrienne Goldstein, Amelia Pollard, Varsha Vijayakumar and A. Maurits van der Veen, Journalism Studies, 21, 13, 2020: 1775-94

What Factors Best Explain National Identification among Muslim Adolescents? Evidence from Four European Countries,” Lars Leszczensky, Rahsaan Maxwell and Erik Bleich, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 46, 1, 2020: 260-76

Group Status, Geographic Location and the Tone of Media Coverage: Jews and Muslims in New York Times and Guardian Headlines, 1985-2014,” Hasher Nisar and Erik Bleich, Comparative Migration Studies, 8, 3, 2020

Leveraging Identities: The Strategic Manipulation of Social Hierarchies for Political Gain,” with Kimberly Morgan, Theory and Society, 48, 4, 2019: 511-34

“Freedom of Expression, Public Morals, and Sexually Explicit Speech in the European Court of Human Rights,” Neha Sharma and Erik Bleich, Constitutional Studies, 5, 2019: 55-80

“Historical Institutionalism and Judicial Decision-Making: Ideas, Institutions, and Actors in French High Court Hate Speech Rulings,” World Politics, 70, 1, 2018: 53-85

“Investigating Status Hierarchies with Media Analysis: Muslims, Jews, and Catholics in The New York Times and The Guardian Headlines, 1985-2014,” with Hasher Nisar and Cara Vazquez, International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 59, 3, 2018: 239-57

“Media Coverage of Muslim Devotion: A Four-Country Analysis of Newspaper Articles, 1996-2016,” with Julien Souffrant, Emily Stabler, and Maurits van der Veen, Religions, 9, 8, 2018: 247-61

“The Effect of Terrorist Events on Media Portrayals of Islam and Muslims: Evidence from New York Times Headlines, 1985-2013,” with Hasher Nisar and Rana Abdelhamid, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 39, 7, 2016: 1109-27, DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2015.1103886

“Introduction: Migrants, Minorities, and the Media: Information, Representations, and Participation in the Public Sphere,” with Irene Bloemraad and Els de Graauw, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 41, 6, 2015: 857-73

“Media Portrayals of Minorities: Muslims in British Newspaper Headlines, 2001-2012”, with Hannah Stonebraker, Hasher Nisar and Rana Abdelhamid, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 2015, 41, 6, 2015: 942-62

“What Makes Muslims Feel French?” with Rahsaan Maxwell, Social Forces, 93, 1, 2014: 155-79. Winner, Association for the Sociology of Religion’s Distinguished Article Award

" Explaining Differences between High Court Regulations in the USA and EuropeFreedom of Expression versus Racist Hate Speech: Explaining Differences between High Court Regulations in the USA and Europe," Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 40, 2, 2014: 283-300

 Evidence from 10 Liberal DemocraciesWhy Racist Associations Are Free in Some States and Banned in Others: Evidence from 10 Liberal Democracies,” with Francesca Lambert, West European Politics, 36, 1, 2013: 122-49

What Is Islamophobia, and How Much Is There? Theorizing and Measuring an Emerging Comparative ConceptWhat Is Islamophobia, and How Much Is There? Theorizing and Measuring an Emerging Comparative Concept,” American Behavioral Scientist, 55, December 2011: 1581-1600

The Rise of Hate Speech and Hate Crime Laws in Liberal DemocraciesThe Rise of Hate Speech and Hate Crime Laws in Liberal Democracies,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 37, 6, July 2011: 917-34

"Social Research and 'Race' Policy Framing in Britain and FranceSocial Research and 'Race' Policy Framing in Britain and France," British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 13, 1, January 2011: 59-74

" Evidence from Western EuropeState Responses to 'Ethnic Riots' in Liberal Democracies: Evidence from Western Europe," with Carolina Caeiro and Sarah Luehrman, European Political Science Review, 2, 2, July 2010: 269-95

"Where do Muslims Stand on Ethno-Racial Hierarchies in Britain and France?  Evidence from Public Opinion Surveys, 1988-2008Where do Muslims Stand on Ethno-Racial Hierarchies in Britain and France? Evidence from Public Opinion Surveys, 1988-2008," Patterns of Prejudice, 43, 3-4, July/September 2009: 379-400

"Muslims and the State in the Post-9/11 West:  IntroductionMuslims and the State in the Post-9/11 West: Introduction" Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 35, 3, March 2009: 353-60

"  A Comparison of Six West European CountriesState Responses to 'Muslim' Violence: A Comparison of Six West European Countries," Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 35, 3, March 2009: 361-79

Immigration and Integration Studies in Western Europe and the United States The Road Less Traveled and a Path AheadImmigration and Integration Studies in Western Europe and the United States:  The Road Less Traveled and a Path Ahead,” World Politics, 60, 3, April 2008: 509-38

 The Evolution of German Approaches to Measuring ‘Hate Crimes’Quantifying Hate: The Evolution of German Approaches to Measuring ‘Hate Crimes’,” with Ryan K. Hart, German Politics, 17, 1, March 2008: 63-80

" Responding to Racist Violence in Britain, Germany and FranceHate Crime Policy in Western Europe: Responding to Racist Violence in Britain, Germany and France," American Behavioral Scientist, 51, 2, October 2007: 149-65.

  Response to Tariq Modood and Randall HansenOn Democratic Integration and Free Speech: Response to Tariq Modood and Randall Hansen,” in Modood, Hansen, Bleich, O’Leary, & Carens, “The Danish Cartoon Affair: Free Speech, Racism, Islamism, and Integration,” International Migration 44, 5, December 2006: 3-62

 Norms, Lesson-Drawing, and the Introduction of Race-Conscious Measures in the 1976 British Race Relations ActInstitutional Continuity and Change: Norms, Lesson-Drawing, and the Introduction of Race-Conscious Measures in the 1976 British Race Relations Act,” Policy Studies, 27, 3, 2006: 219-34

The Legacies of History?  Colonization and Immigrant Integration in Britain and FranceThe Legacies of History? Colonization and Immigrant Integration in Britain and France,” Theory and Society 34, 2, April 2005: 171-95

 du déni à la lutteHistoire des politiques antidiscrimination: du déni à la lutteHommes & Migrations, no. 1245, septembre – octobre 2003 : 6-18

 Frames and Race Policies in Britain and FranceIntegrating Ideas into Policymaking Analysis: Frames and Race Policies in Britain and France,” Comparative Political Studies 35, 9, November 2002: 1054-76

 Politics and Policy in a ‘Color-Blind’ StateAntiracism without Races: Politics and Policy in a ‘Color-Blind’ State,” French Politics, Culture & Society 18, 3, Fall 2000: 48-74

 Educational Multiculturalism in England and FranceFrom International Ideas to Domestic Policies: Educational Multiculturalism in England and France,” Comparative Politics 31, 1, October 1998: 81-100

Book Chapters and Other Publications

Report on Media Portrayals: 2020 Newspaper Coverage of African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, Jews, and Muslims, Erik Bleich, Emma Brown, Abigail Chang, Lukas Kauth, Kai Milici, Nicolas Pantelick, Emily Wander and A. Maurits van der Veen. Media Portrayals of Minorities Project, 2021

“Hate Speech and the European Court of Human Rights: Ideas and Judicial Decision-Making,” Erik Bleich and Sylvia Al-Mateen, 29 Mich. St. Int’l L. Rev. 2021: 179-212

Report on Media Portrayals: 2019 Newspaper Coverage of African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, Jews, and Muslims, Erik Bleich, Mira Chugh, Adrienne Goldstein, Lukas Kauth, Kai Milici, Amelia Pollard, Varsha Vijayakumar, Emily Wander and A. Maurits van der Veen. Media Portrayals of Minorities Project, 2020

“The Council for European Studies at 50: Looking Back and Looking Ahead,” in Erik Jones, ed., European Studies: Past, Present, and Future, Newcastle upon Tyne: Agenda Publishing, 2020

Report on Media Portrayals: 2018 Newspaper Coverage of African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, Jews, and Muslims, with Mira Chugh, Adrienne Goldstein, Yiyi Jin, Julien Souffrant, Emily Stabler, A. Maurits van der Veen, and Varsha Vijayakumar. Media Portrayals of Minorities Project, 2019

“Review Essay: Free Speech on Campus,” Contemporary Political Theory, 18, 4, 2019: 226-31, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/s41296-018-0244-1

“What Is Hate Speech?” 61 金沢法学 (Kanazawa L. Rev.), 2018, 168-98. Translated and with a postscript by Koji Higashikawa

“From Race to Hate: A Historical Perspective,” in Thomas Brudholm and Birgitte Schepelern Johansen, eds., Hate, Politics, Law: Critical Perspectives on Combating Hate, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018: 15-33

“L’avènement des lois contre les discours et les crimes de haine dans les démocraties libérales,” Raisons Politiques, 63, 3, August 2016: 35-49

“Deux poids, deux mesures? La justice française face aux discours islamophobes,” Esprit, October 2015

“Que faire des discours de haine en démocratie?” with Charles Girard, Esprit, October 2015

"Data Access, Research Transparency, and Interviews: The Interview Methods Appendix," with Robert Pekkanen, in Tim Büthe and Alan M. Jacobs, eds., Qualitative and Multi-Method Research, 13, 1, Spring 2015: 8-13

How to Report Interview DataHow to Report Interview Data,” with Robert Pekkanen, in Layna Mosley, ed., Interview Research in Political Science, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013: 84-105

Free Speech or Hate Speech? The Danish Cartoon Controversy in the European Legal ContextFree Speech or Hate Speech? The Danish Cartoon Controversy in the European Legal Context," in Kavita Khory, ed., Global Migration: Challenges in the 21st Century, New York: Palgrave, 2012: 113-28

 De l’incompréhension mutuelle à la concertation?Les politiques de diversité raciale en France et en Grande-Bretagne: De l’incompréhension mutuelle à la concertation?" in James Cohen, Andrew J. Diamond, and Philippe Vervaecke, eds., L’Atlantique multiracial:. Discours, politiques dénis, Paris: Éditions Karthala, 2012: 181-203.

"Defining and Researching IslamophobiaDefining and Researching Islamophobia," Review of Middle East Studies, Winter 2012, 46, 2, 179-88

“France,” in David Samuels, ed., Case Studies in Comparative Politics, New York: Pearson, 2012: 114-49

 Where Do Muslims Really Stand?Assessing Islamophobia though Survey Evidence: Where Do Muslims Really Stand?” with Rahsaan Maxwell, in Marc Helbling, ed., Islamophobia in Western Europe and North America, London: Routledge, 2012: 39-55

"  British Policy Responses to 'Islamist' ExtremismFaith and State: British Policy Responses to 'Islamist' Extremism," in Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin, eds., The New Extremism in 21st Century Britain, London: Routledge, 2010

"Responding to Racist Violence in Europe and the United StatesResponding to Racist Violence in Europe and the United States," in Joanna Goodey and Kauko Aromaa, eds., Hate Crime, Helsinki: HEUNI, 2008

 Race and Identity in France and the United StatesFrom Republican Citizens to ‘Young Ethnics’ in the ‘Other France’: Race and Identity in France and the United States,” French Politics, 6, 2008: 166-177

“Constructing Muslims as Ethno-Racial Outsiders in Western Europe,” Council for European Studies Newsletter, 36, 1/2, September 2006: 1, 3-7

Des colonies à la métropoleDes colonies à la métropole. Le poids de l’histoire sur l’intégration des immigrés en Grande-Bretagne et en France,” in Patrick Weil and Stéphane Dufoix, eds., L’esclavage, la colonisation, et après, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2005

Racism and Racially Motivated AttacksRacism and Racially Motivated Attacks,” in Mathew J. Gibney and Randall Hansen, eds., Immigration and Asylum: From 1900 to the Present, Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2005

“Antiracism without Races: Politics and Policy in a ‘Color-Blind’ State,” in Herrick Chapman and Laura Frader, eds., Race in France: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Politics of Difference, New York: Berghahn Books, 2004

 Color-Blind IntegrationThe French Model: Color-Blind Integration,” John David Skrentny, ed., Color Lines: Affirmative Action, Immigration and Civil Rights Options for America, University of Chicago Press, 2001

"Race Policy in France," Brookings U.S.-France Analysis Series, 2001, on line at http://www.brookings.edu/articles/2001/05france_bleich.aspx

Re-Imagined Communities? Education Policies and National Belonging in Britain and FranceRe-Imagined Communities? Education Policies and National Belonging in Britain and France,” in Adrian Favell and Andrew Geddes, eds., The Politics of Belonging: Migrants and Minorities in Contemporary Europe, Aldershot: Ashgate/ICCR, 1999: 60-75

Work In Progress

“Assessing the Effect of Media Tone on Attitudes toward Muslims: Evidence from an Online Experiment and Broader Implications,” Erik Bleich, Jeffrey Carpenter and A. Maurits van der Veen

“How Negative is the Negative Coverage of Muslims? A New Approach to Sentiment Analysis for the Social Sciences,” Erik Bleich and A. Maurits van der Veen

“Chronic Frames of Social Inequality: How Mainstream Media Frames Race, Sex, and Economic Inequality,” Sora Jun, Rosalind Chow, A. Maurits van der Veen and Erik Bleich

Research Projects

My current research is focused on the transnationalization of Black Lives Matter as a movement and as a concept, with a particular focus on portrayals of BLM in the US and French media. For more information on the media analysis aspect of this project, please see the Media Portrayals of Minorities Project website, here.