Subprojects | Project Area B | Spaces of Communication

Translocal Networks: Public Sphere in the Social Web

The project, led by Prof. Dr. Annie Waldherr (University of Münster) and Prof. Dr. Barbara Pfetsch (FU Berlin), investigates digital urban public spheres, focusing on the Twitterspheres of Berlin and Jerusalem. The research is conducted in cooperation with Dr. Neta Kligler-Vilenchik and Maya de Vries (Hebrew University of Jerusalem).

Asking how virtual urban spaces are constituted through networked communication, the team investigates communicative relations among Twitter users, their spatial locations, and the topics they talk about. Daniel Maier (FU Berlin) and Daniela Stoltenberg (University of Münster) conduct research for the Translocal Networks project. In it, the team investigates the urban public spheres forming on Twitter in the cities of Berlin and Jerusalem: With whom, in what locations, and about what topics do Twitter users communicate? How do virtual urban public spheres emerge from this usage? How do users synthesise global and local, virtual and material, as well as public and private spatial reference points into individual figurations of space? What subjective spatial knowledge do they relate to this?

To approach these questions, the researchers collect Twitter data and investigate it using network analysis, geo-coding, and automated content analysis procedures. To tie in this evidence on the societal level with subjective experiences, ego-networks and survey data will be collected for a group of particularly active users.


Maier D, Niekler A, Wiedemann G & Stoltenberg D (pre-print, 2019). How document sampling and vocabulary pruning affect the results of topic models. Working paper in Computational Communication Research. Available on Open Science Foundation:

Pfetsch B, Heft A & Knüpfer C (2019). Transnationale Öffentlichkeiten in der Digitalen Gesellschaft: Konzepte und Forschungsperspektiven. In: Hofmann J, Kersting N, Ritzi C & Schünemann W (eds.), Politik in der digitalen Gesellschaft. Bielefeld: transcript, 83-101.

Stoltenberg D & Maier D (2019). Descriptive Methods for Investigating Dynamics in Online Networks. In:  Müller P , Geiß S, Schemer C, Naab T K & Peter C (eds.): Dynamische Prozesse in der Kommunikationswissenschaft: Methodische Herausforderungen. Köln: Herbert von Halem, 147-176.

Stoltenberg D, Maier D & Waldherr A (2019). Community detection in civil society online networks: Theoretical guide and empirical assessment. Social Networks, 59, 120-133. DOI: 10.1016/j.socnet.2019.07.001.

Wehden, L-O & Stoltenberg D (2019). So Far, Yet So Close: Examining translocal twitter audiences of regional newspapers in Germany. Journalism Studies, 20(10), 1400-1420. DOI: 10.1080/1461670X.2018.1520609.