Twitter and Political Rebranding in the Global South: The Case of Narendra Modi

Assist Prof. from the University of Michigan, a long-standing friend of the ICT4D Centre, will be visiting us and give a talk on: Twitter and Political Rebranding in the Global South: The Case of Narendra Modi.   The talk is co-hosted by the SoM Technology and Innovation Management Group and the ICT4D Centre, and will be chaired by Dr Yingqin Zheng.

All are welcome, students and staff. PhD students are particularly welcome, especially those in their final years and interested in exploring the US job market. Joyojeet will be happy to chat with students after the talk. 

An abstract and more information on Prof. Pal is included below.


Twitter and Political Rebranding in the Global South: The Case of Narendra Modi

Social media such as Twitter and Facebook are increasingly used as a means of political communication by political leaders around the world. In over 30 low- and middle-income countries, both the head of government and primary opposition leader have significant social media campaigns. In this talk, we explore the factors that make social media an attractive form of outreach for political leaders, examining the case of one of the most successful social media campaigns – that of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With over 19 million followers on Twitter and over 32 million “likes” on Facebook, Modi has a means of directly reaching the citizenry or addressing the mainstream media through social media channels. His rise on social media offers an important example on political brand management, we discuss specific outreach strategies and how these have evolved overtime. We examine the frequency, tenor, and popularity of messages, the evolution of thematic discussions, and the use of political metaphor in Modi’s sharpening of a new populist discourse as leader of an aspirational, global India.

About Joyojeet:

Joyojeet Pal is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information where his work focuses on user experience and accessibility in low- and middle-income countries. His recent research looks at the use of social media in political communication in India, specifically on the role of political branding online in India. He has also researched and produced the feature documentary, “For the Love of a Man” based on the religious, political, and economic origins of fan following for film stars in South Indian Cinema.