Dr Jonathan Bright

 Dr Jonathan Bright

Jonathan Bright is a political scientist specialising in computational and ‘big data’ approaches to the social sciences.

Email: jonathan.bright@oii.ox.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)1865 287233

Profile

Jonathan Bright is a political scientist specialising in computational and 'big data' approaches to the social sciences. He holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Bristol, an MSc in International Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and a PhD in Political Science from the European University Institute.

His major interest concerns studying how people get information about the political process, and how this is changing in the internet era. He is currently working on the role of social media in the diffusion of political news and informaiton; the extent to which information seeking behaviour on Google and Wikipedia can be used to predict electoral outcomes; and the possibility of creating large scale transnational publics at the European level.

Research interests

social media, news, political behaviour, computational social science, big data

Positions held at the OII

  • Research Fellow, June 2013 -

Research

Current projects

Past projects

Publications

Articles

Conference papers

  • Bright, J. (2012) The Dynamics of Parliamentary Discourse in the UK: 1936-2011. Paper presented at Internet, Politics and Policy: Big Data, Big Challenges?, 20-21 September 2012, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.
  • Bright, J. (2012) Measuring Legislative Oversight. Paper presented at the Open Legislative Data Conference, 6-7 July 2012, Sciences-Po Paris.
  • Bright, J. (2012) Counter-terrorism legislation and the question of oversight: in search of the crisis effect. Paper presented at the European Internal Security conference, 23-25 April 2012, at the European University Institute.
  • Bright, J., and Agustina, J.R. (2011) Mediating Social Control: Natural Surveillance and Control Online. Paper presented at the Living in Surveillance Societies Working Group 4 Seminar, Barcelona, 2011.
  • Bright, J. and Little, C. (2011) Success in two dimensions. Introducing and exploring a new measure of individuals' office-seeking success. Paper presented at the 1st Annual General Conference of the European Political Science Association, 16-18 June 2011, Dublin, Ireland.
  • Bright, J. (2011) Reconsidering the Economics of Surveillant Assemblage. Paper presented at the Ghosts of Surveillance, the second Living in Surveillance Societies conference, 2011.
  • Bright, J., Doering, H., Little, C. (2011) Ministerial Importance and Ministerial Careers in Six Parliamentary Democracies. Paper presented at the ECPR Joint Sessions, San Gallen 2011.
  • Bright, J., (2010) Security, Technology and Control: Recasting Securitization Theory for the Information Society. Paper presented at 'Politics in Hard Times', the SGIR 7th Pan-European Conference on IR, 2010.
  • Bright, J., (2010) Biometrics in the Light of Actor-Network Theory. Paper presented at 'A Global Surveillance Society?', the fourth Biannual Surveillance and Society/SSN conference, 2010.

Working papers

Teaching

Courses taught at the OII

DPhil students supervised at the OII

Current students

Webcasts

  • Does Social Media Use Change the Type of News We Receive?

    Does Social Media Use Change the Type of News We Receive?

    Recorded on: 8 November 2013 Duration: 00:20:46

    Jonathan Bright explores the impact of social media on news consumption. He examines how social media users choose what to share, how this varies by platform, and what the implications may be for the type of news coverage that people receive.

News

  • QR codes used on ballot paper for the first time

    15 May 2014 BBC Oxford

    For the first time in the UK a QR code has been incorporated in a political party’s official emblem on the ballot paper. Jonathan Bright says that if this becomes more commonplace the Electoral Commission would have questions.

Blog

  • Digital Politics in Western Democracies

    Jonathan Bright on 29 Oct 2014 18:09PM

    I recently had the chance to review Cristian Vaccari’s excellent new book Digital Politics in Western Democracies. Vaccari has assembled a great cross country comparative dataset on various indicators relating to politics and the internet, and [...]

  • Can electoral popularity be predicted using socially generated big data?

    Jonathan Bright on 1 Oct 2014 09:13AM

    New article published with Taha Yasseri in IT – Information Technology. A short piece making the case for theoretically informed social media predictions, which is part of a larger project we are running with support from the Fell Fund over the next [...]

  • Policy and Internet

    Jonathan Bright on 22 Sep 2014 15:12PM

    I’ve recently been appointed as an editor of the OII’s journal Policy and Internet, which recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. There are major plans underway to develop and expand the journal so it’s an exciting project to be [...]

  • #indyref on Wikipedia

    Jonathan Bright on 18 Sep 2014 13:39PM

    My colleague Taha Yasseri and I are currently working on a Fell Fund project on social media data and election prediction, looking especially at data from Google and Wikipedia (first paper out soon; will also be presenting on that at IPP 2014 which should [...]

  • Ideology and Social Structure on Twitter

    Jonathan Bright on 4 Sep 2014 15:42PM

    Last week I was at the VOXPOL conference @ King’s College London. Vast majority of researchers were talking about terrorists and extremists, so I was a bit out of my field; though interestingly they were also all talking about big data and [...]

  • Point size legends in matplotlib and basemap plots

    Jonathan Bright on 12 Aug 2014 16:51PM

    Python’s matplotlib and basemap can do a lot. I think I still prefer R’s ggplot, but I much prefer manipulating data in Python and sometimes it’s more natural to do the analysis in the same language. Recently I have been combining the [...]

  • Opening up local council meetings

    Jonathan Bright on 11 Aug 2014 14:00PM

    Over the last week or so I gave a short comment on BBC South Today (as well as various radio stations) about a recent government move to allow anyone to record local council meetings and then post the results on the internet. A good idea I thought, though [...]

  • Python and Social Media Data for the Social Sciences

    Jonathan Bright on 1 Aug 2014 12:29PM

    In July I gave two short workshops at the OII’s Summer Doctoral Programme and also at the Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School. I had two great groups of bright PhD students and postdocs to teach to. The sessions were only two hours long, and [...]

  • A “big data” approach to studying parliamentary scrutiny

    Jonathan Bright on 30 Jun 2014 10:24AM

    I have a new article out in the British Journal of Politics and International Relations: In Search of the Politics of Security. In it, I take what could be called a big data approach to the study of parliamentary scrutiny, by scraping information on the [...]

  • Why do MOOC users meet face to face?

    Jonathan Bright on 29 May 2014 16:35PM

    Last week Monica Bulger, Cristobal Cobo and I presented a paper at the ICA’s pre-conference on higher education innovation. Monica and Cris are the experts in this area and did most of the heavy lifting, but I was pleased to take part, mainly out of [...]

  • Computational Social Science: Social Contagion, Collective Behaviour, and Networks

    Jonathan Bright on 23 May 2014 11:05AM

    I am part of the organising committee of this event -> part of my growing interest in all things related to sociophysics. Call for abstracts follows: Computational Social Science: Social Contagion, Collective Behaviour, and Networks to be held in [...]

  • QR codes on ballot papers

    Jonathan Bright on 16 May 2014 14:29PM

    I was asked to provide a brief comment on this BBC Oxford article about the insertion of QR codes onto ballot papers by a political party in the south east. A really smart idea (and the party is pretty interesting as well), though also one which [...]

  • Creating transnational political links with euandi & Facebook

    Social Election Prediction on 30 Apr 2014 13:57PM

    Jonathan Bright Just wanted to put up a quick plug for the euandi voting advice application [VAA] which has recently been launched by the European University Institute. I was one of the 100 or so political scientists across Europe who got together to [...]

  • euandi

    Jonathan Bright on 28 Apr 2014 14:23PM

    Over the last couple of months I’ve been involved with the “euandi” project run by Alex Trechsel at the European University Institute. euandi is a voting advice application designed to offer information to users about the extent to which [...]

  • Media effect or media replacement?

    Social Election Prediction on 22 Apr 2014 12:21PM

    Taha Yasseri, Jonathan Bright Online political information seeking, at least in the data we’ve gathered so far, happens in short, concentrated bursts. When we began the project, I (JB) was hoping that these bursts would tell us something about how [...]

  • Outliers on the electoral information cycle

    Social Election Prediction on 11 Apr 2014 10:56AM

    Taha Yasseri, Jonathan Bright In the last post we looked at patterns of access to the Wikipedia article on the European Parliament election, 2009 identified an electoral information cycle which consists of a build up period, a peak of information seeking, [...]

  • Can social data be used to predict elections?

    Jonathan Bright on 8 Apr 2014 14:56PM

    I’ve just started a new research blog with my colleague Taha Yasseri. Two aims: we want to know if and when social data might be useful in election prediction; we want to see if this knowledge teaches us anything about the political process. [...]

  • The electoral information cycle

    Social Election Prediction on 8 Apr 2014 13:45PM

    Taha Yasseri, Jonathan Bright When do people start getting interested in elections, and how does this differ in different countries? In this post we try to get a handle on this question looking at data drawn from Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a useful resource [...]

  • Social Media and News Distribution

    Jonathan Bright on 12 Mar 2014 10:01AM

    I spend about half of my research time at the moment looking at the way in which social media affects the distribution of news. I recently had a chance to give a talk to the OII’s board on the subject, which can be found here.

  • Teaching Inferential Statistics with Netlogo

    Jonathan Bright on 12 Feb 2014 14:41PM

    Last term I decided to try using a Netlogo simulation in stats class to help explain some basic principles of inferential statistics. The advantage of having a simulation package is that students can see for themselves that things like that standard error [...]