April 23, 2012: The Hebrew University’s Prof. Tamir Sheafer and colleagues from Belgium and Canada have won a €2.5 million research grant from the European Union’s European Research Council (ERC) to support political communication research in Belgium, Israel and Canada. Prof. Sheafer shares the grant with colleagues Prof. Stefaan Walgrave from the University of Antwerp in Belgium, which heads the research group, and Prof. Stuart Soroka from McGill University in Canada.
The research, entitled ‘Information-processing by individual political actors: The determinants of exposure, attention and action in a comparative perspective’, will examine how politicians process incoming information from society, by comparing the parliaments of Israel, Belgium and Canada.
"Political players in democracies need to be aware of society’s real problems, possible solutions to these problems, and which of the possible solutions are favored by citizens," explains Prof. Sheafer, a member of the Department of Political Science and Department of Communication and Journalism in the Faculty of Social Sciences. "We will try to understand how exposure to different types of information leads politicians to allocate their attention in different ways and act in different ways."
The ERC Advanced Grant was received through the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Union by Prof. Walgrave, with professors Sheafer and Soroka as partners. For the Israeli part of the study, expected to last five years, the Hebrew University will receive half a million euros out of the total amount of the grant.
This is the first study to examine the issue both directly and comparatively. In Israel the research will be conducted through observations and interviews in the Knesset, as well as collecting written material. "This fascinating project is both important and challenging, and the grant will enable my colleagues and me to do the best possible job," said Prof. Sheafer.Source: Dept. Media Relations, Hebrew University