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W. Lance Bennett

Professor Emeritus
Founding Director, Emeritus, Center for Communication & Civic Engagement

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Lance Bennett (Ph.D. political science, Yale. 1974). Ruddick C. Lawrence Professor Communication and Professor of Political Science. He is founding director of the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement, which focuses on how communication can enhance citizen engagement with society, politics, and global affairs.

Lectured internationally on the role of media in civic life. Research areas include: press-government relations; communication and social movements; transnational activism; citizenship and youth civic engagement, digital media and political participation, and the organizational uses of information technology. Current work focuses on aligning ideas about the economy, democracy and the environment to build more equitable and sustainable human systems.

His 12 books include: News: The Politics of Illusion, (University of Chicago Press, 10th ed., also published in China); Taken By Storm: The Media, Public Opinion, and U.S. Foreign Policy in the Gulf War (Chicago, co-edited with David Paletz); Mediated Politics: Communication in the Future of Democracy (Cambridge, co-edited with Robert Entman, also published in China); When the Press Fails: Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina – winner of the 2016 Doris Graber Award from the American Political Science Association (Chicago, with Regina Lawrence and Steven Livingston); and The Logic of Connective Action: Digital Media and the Personalization of Contentious Politics (Cambridge, with Alexandra Segerberg).

Professional service includes: editorial boards of leading journals in political science and communication; editor, Cambridge University Press series Communication, Society and Politics; and past chair, Political Communication Section, American Political Science Association. Visiting appointments include: Laurence M. Lombard Visiting Professor of press/politics in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard; the Olof Palme Visiting Professor in Sweden, at Stockholm University; Visiting Professor, John F. Kennedy Institute, Free University, Berlin, and Research Fellow, Transformative Power of Europe Institute, Free University, Berlin.

Awards include: the E. E. Schattschneider dissertation award, the Ithiel de Sola Pool Award and Lectureship, the Murray Edelman Distinguished Career Award, and the Doris Graber Award, all from the American Political Science Association. Uppsala University, Doctor of Philosophy, honoris causa. International Communication Association 2013 Outstanding Article Award for “The Logic of Connective Action” with Alexandra Segerberg. National Communication Association Distinguished Scholar. International Communication Association Fellow for lifetime achievement. 2015 Research Prize, Humboldt Foundation of Germany.


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