School of Film, Media and Communication


Photo of Dr James Dennis

Dr James Dennis

  • Qualifications: PhD, MSc, BA (Hons)
  • Role Title: Senior Lecturer in Political Communication and Journalism
  • Address: Milldam, Burnaby Road, Portsmouth, Hants PO1 3AS
  • Telephone: 023 9284 6218
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Film, Media and Communication
  • Faculty: Creative and Cultural Industries


I am a Senior Lecturer in Political Communication and Journalism at the University of Portsmouth. My research interests lie in political communication, with a particular focus on social media, political participation and citizenship, and digital news. My work has been published in the Middle East Journal of Culture and CommunicationParticipations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, and Political Studies. My first monograph, Beyond Slacktivism: Political Participation on Social Media, will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2018. This builds on my PhD research, for which I was awarded the American Political Science Association Information Technology and Politics Section Best Dissertation Award.

I have experience of working with industry, carrying out social media research with the BBC World Service and the British Council. I have been a guest contributor for Open Democracy and the Political Studies Association blog and discussed digital politics on BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Solent, and Inter TV. I maintain a personal research site at, and can be found on Twitter at @jameswilldennis.

Teaching Responsibilities

I coordinate Academic & Professional Skills (Level 4), Digital Media and Democracy (Level 6), and Mobile and Social Journalism (Level 5), and deliver lectures on the internet and citizenship, digital news, and social media and society.


  • Political communication
  • Social media
  • Digital news
  • Political participation and citizenship
  • British politics

I welcome proposals from prospective PhD candidates interested in political communication, digital journalism and the changing news media environment, and social media and political participation. Current PhD supervisions include Amandine Hostein, ‘The Role of the Internet in Enabling the Emergence of NGOs as Public Spheres’ (second supervisor)

I am currently involved in the following research projects:

Social Media, Political Participation and Slacktivism in Britain

This project explores the relationship between social media and democratic citizenship in Britain, arguing that Facebook and Twitter create new opportunities for cognitive engagement, discursive participation, and political mobilisation. James is currently working on a monograph from this project.

Analysing BuzzFeed and VICE during #GE2017

This ongoing project examines how the 2017 UK general election was reported to younger audiences by two new-media organisations, BuzzFeed and VICE. This is a collaborative study with Dr Susana Sampaio-Dias (University of Portsmouth).

Transnational Civil Society

I am also a member of the the Faculty-funded Research Project: Transnational Civil Society. This new project seeks to understand the formation of transnational networks, their interaction with governments and international organisations, the effect of their activities on their organisational structure and working practices, and their impact on regional and global politics. My work will analyse how digital campaigning groups, such as 38 Degrees, GetUp! and MoveOn, operate at a regional and global level.

Citizenship, 'Race' and Belonging

I am a member of the Citizenship, ‘Race’ and Belonging (CRaB) research network. CRaB’s mission is to promote social justice and investigate structural inequalities through rigorous research, innovation, and public engagement. My work focuses on the impact that digital technologies have on how citizens envisage their citizenship, and then act upon it.


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

View profile