Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon is a sociologist interested in the internet, social networks, and political engagement. Her research uses large-scale data to analyse the structure and content of political discussions, and how interactions evolve over time.
Dr Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon
Former Research Associate
Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon graduated in sociology at the University of Barcelona. She came to Oxford as an MSc student, graduating with distinction at Lady Margaret Hall (2003-2004), and moved on to complete her DPhil in Sociology as a member of Nuffield College (2004-2007). Prior to coming to the OII, she held an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship in the department of Sociology (2007-2008). She is still affiliated to Nuffield College as a Research Fellow, where she co-organises the OII-Nuffield Social Networks Seminar Series.
Sandra is broadly interested in how internet technologies shape the flow of information and how online networks influence exposure to ideas and debates. She is involved in several projects that explore the structure and evolution of political discussion networks, and that use the contents of those discussions to track public opinion. More information about these projects can be found on the projects page of her website.
Sandra is an editor of the OII-edited journal Policy and Internet.
Internet and political engagement, threaded conversations, discussion networks, online deliberation, public opinion, sentiment analysis, social networks
Positions held at the OII
- Research Associate, July 2013 – November 2019
- Research Fellow, September 2008 – June 2013
Participants: Dr Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon, Dr Ning Wang, Dr Jonathan Bright
How effective are open data initiatives in encouraging civic engagement in policy-relevant domains?
Participants: Professor Helen Margetts, Professor Eric T. Meyer, Dr Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon, Dr Scott A. Hale, Tom Nicholls, Dr Taha Yasseri, Dr Jonathan Bright
This project aims to enhance JISC's UK Web Domain archive, a 30 TB archive of the .uk country-code top level domain collected from 1996 to 2010. It will extract link graphs from the data and disseminate social science research using the collection.
Participants: Dr Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon
This project examines the research potential of online communication to gauge public opinion by reviewing different methods to draw public opinion indicators from online communication, focusing on what the public thinks and how they think about it.
Participants: Professor Helen Margetts, Dr Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon, Dr Ning Wang
Where do political and policy-oriented mobilizations (such as e-petitions or organized protests) start and how are they sustained? What affects the propensity of people to join a mobilization, and hence, the mobilization's success?
Participants: Dr Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon, Dr Michael Biggs
How are digital media changing the way in which people mobilize for a collective cause? Why do some individuals take part in protest, and others not? These issues are investigated through the UK student campaign against raised tuition fees.
Participants: Dr Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon
Investigating instances of collective action that have solved an old dilemma: why should people contribute to collective goods (eg online collaborative platforms) when, by being public, they can be enjoyed without making a contribution to their provision?
Recorded: 29 May 2012
Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon outlines the methodological challenges that social scientists should think about when analysing new media data. Recorded at a conference on new media and the social sciences, organised by the National Centre for Research Methods.
Recorded: 24 January 2011
Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon discusses the main themes of her lecture in the OII's "Society and the Internet" lecture series; use of the Internet to engage in the political process, and the Internet's effect on declining civic participation.
Recorded: 18 September 2009
Can Web 2.0 tools (eg blogs, social networking and wikis) enhance our democratic freedoms? Or can we dismiss the socially egalitarian and politically democratic potential of these social media? Have any significant social impacts been ignored so far?
5 November 2013
We are pleased to call for papers for the 2014 Internet, Politics, Politics conference, convened by the OII for the journal Policy and Internet, in collaboration with the ECPR Standing Group on Internet and Politics.
Thursday 25 - Friday 26 September 2014
The IPP2014 conference will explore the new research frontiers opened up by crowdsourcing for politics and policy. Taking place in Oxford, it is convened by the OII, the journal Policy and Internet, and the ECPR.
19 September 2013
This satellite meeting of the ECCS conference will address the question of ICT-mediated social phenomena emerging in multiple scales ranging from the interactions of individuals to the emergence of self-organized global movements.
1 March 2013
This workshop will bring together researchers working on automated content analysis for large scale data and social scientists interested in tracking changes in public opinion.
Thursday 20 - Friday 21 September 2012
Reprising the very successful 'IPP2010', this conference organised by the journal Policy and Internet subjects the relationship between the Internet, Politics and Policy to multi-disciplinary scrutiny, focusing this time on the challenges of 'Big Data'.
29 May 2012
This conference explores whether social science researchers should embrace social media, and the likely impact on their methods and practices.
7 February 2012
It has long been argued that the Internet has a democratizing influence on society. This talk considers what makes online communities successful at activating political engagement, and how their effects can spill over into offline politics.
1 December 2011
This is the third workshop in a three-part series on social science research methods, aimed at doctoral students at the University of Oxford.
29 November 2011
This lecture will analyse how online networks unfold over time and how they increase commitment to politically relevant activities.
17 May 2011
This event marks the publication of a RISJ report on the use of social media in political mobilisations against authoritarian regimes in Africa, with the aim of better understanding of new media in Africa and its links to democratization.
24 January 2011
How do people use the Internet to engage in the political process? Do online interactions change the shape and dynamics of civic networks? How is the Internet affecting declining trends in civic participation?
Monday 12 October - Monday 30 November 2009
A series of weekly seminars for fellows and students at the University of Oxford to discuss their research on online networks in an informal environment.
Monday 13 October - Monday 01 December 2008
Summary to come.
13 June 2013 World Bulletin
The main points of research by Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon and colleagues into how Twitter messages about the events in Turkey were spread rapidly both inside and beyond the borders.
9 June 2013 The Monkey Cage
Sandra-Gonzalez-Bailon writes about her work on the role of social networking sites in the political protests taking place in Turkey. There is abundant evidence that social media have been pivotal in the spread of information she says.
14 May 2013 Eldiario.es
Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon writes for Spanish language web site about the grass roots protest movement known as Los Indignados and also the 15-M Movement and the online mobilization of citizens against corruption and cuts.
16 April 2013 World Politics Review
Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon compares the communication methods used by the revolutionary Zapatista movement of the 1990s with those of the modern age that use new technologies and the Internet.
10 October 2012 BBC Technology
Both candidates in the US Presidential race are using social media heavily to promote their cause. Commenting on evidence that this is not welcome to many voters, Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon says they must be wary of intruding on private digital lives.
6 April 2012 AlJazeera
Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon looks back on the online mediated protests of last year. Online networks reach a large number of people in a short time but what is left after the activity winds down? How much of a difference did the last revolution make?
16 December 2011 BBC R4 Today Programme
What is the role of social media in the starting and spreading of mass movements? Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon talks about research, published in the journal Scientific Reports, which has been following trends on social networking sites such as Twitter.