Publications

2014
Shaul R. Shenhav, Odelia Oshri, Dganit Ofek, and Tamir Sheafer. 2014. “Story Coalitions: Applying Narrative Theory to the Study of Coalition Formation.” Political Psychology, Pp. 661. Publisher's Version
Meital Balmas, Gideon Rahat, Tamir Sheafer, and Shaul R. Shenhav. 2014. “Two routes to personalized politics: Centralized and decentralized personalization.” Party Politics, 20, Pp. 37. Publisher's Version
2013
Tamir Sheafer, Pazit Ben-Nun Bloom, Shaul R. Shenhav, and Elad Segev. 2013. “The conditional nature of value-based proximity between countries: strategic implications for mediated public diplomacy.” Pp. 1256. Publisher's Version
Meital Balmas and Tamir Sheafer. 2013. “Leaders First, Countries After: Mediated Political Personalization in the International Arena.” Journal of Communication, Pp. 454. Publisher's Version Abstract
Byline: Meital Balmas, Tamir Sheafer This study is the first comparative analysis of mediated political personalization in the international arena; its contribution to the research in the field is twofold: (a) through a longitudinal analysis, it shows that media coverage of foreign countries focuses increasingly on state leaders rather than on the countries per se; and (b) it accounts for variations in the level of mediated political personalization between pairs of countries: the greater the distance between a pair of countries, in terms of values, political interests, economic relations, and geographical distance, the more their news coverage of each other focuses on the foreign country's leader at the expense of other political aspects. Author Affiliation:
Nicolas Hubé, Peter van Aelst, Tamir Sheafer, and Stylianos Papathanassopoulos Stylianos. 2013. “Personalization of Political News: A Comparative Study.”. Publisher's Version
Gadi Wolfsfeld, Elad Segev, and Tamir Sheafer. 2013. “Social Media and the Arab Spring: Politics Comes First.” International Journal of Press/Politics, 18, Pp. 115. Publisher's Version Abstract
The goal of this article is to place the role that social media plays in collective action within a more general theoretical structure, using the events of the Arab Spring as a case study. The article presents two broad theoretical principles. The first is that one cannot understand the role of social media in collective action without first taking into account the political environment in which they operate. The second principle states that a significant increase in the use of the new media is much more likely to follow a significant amount of protest activity than to precede it. The study examines these two principles using political, media, and protest data from twenty Arab countries and the Palestinian Authority. The findings provide strong support for the validity of the claims. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Nicolas Hubé, Peter van Aelst, Tamir Sheafer, and Stylianos Papathanassopoulos Stylianos. 2013. “Who is in the news? Personalized political news in comparative perspective.”. Publisher's Version
Elad Segev, Tamir Sheafer, and Shaul R. Shenhav. 2013. “Is the world getting flatter? A new method for examining structural trends in the news.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Pp. 2537. Publisher's Version Abstract
The study presents a new approach to analyzing structural changes in networks over time and explores how newspapers such as the 'New York Times' and 'Der Spiegel' have changed their representation of the world over a period of 50 years. Results reveal a constant gap between the most and least central countries over the years as well as a convergence trend in both newspapers, that is, a more equal centrality of European, Middle Eastern, and Asian nations in the news.
Moran Yarchi, Gadi Wolfsfeld, Tamir Sheafer, and Shaul R. Shenhav. 2013. “Promoting stories about terrorism to the international news media: A study of public diplomacy.” Media, War & Conflict, 6, Pp. 263. Publisher's Version Abstract
Antagonists’ images in the international news media can play a significant role in determining their level of political success in the international arena, which explains why so many political actors invest considerable resources in public diplomacy. The goal of the present study is to explain the level of success that various actors (countries and non-state actors) have in promoting their preferred frames about terror to the international news media. Four types of explanatory variables are proposed, divided into context and focal event factors. Context factors include the political values and policy proximity between the country attacked (the victimized country) and a country whose news media have been targeted for influence (the target country), as well as the target country’s experience in dealing with terror. Focal event factors refer to the nature of the trigger events that generate news coverage of terrorism. Apart from one exception (the policy proximity), all of the hypotheses
2012
Personalization has become a central concept in discussions on how political news, and election coverage in particular, has changed over time. The general belief is that the focus of news coverage has shifted from parties and organizations to candidates and leaders. However, the evidence is far from conclusive. This is due in no small part to a lack of conceptual clarity and an absence of common operationalizations which are a major cause of the unclear or conflicting conclusions about the personalization of political news. This article seeks to remedy this shortcoming. It presents a model for comprehending the personalization of political news based on a review of relevant studies. The article makes a series of recommendations for how the concept might be operationalized for an analysis of media content in order to enable cross-nationally comparative research. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
Frank Esser, Claes H. de Vreese, Jesper Strömbäck, Peter van Aelst, Toril Aalberg, James Stanyer, Günther Lengauer, Rosa Berganza, Guido Legnante, Stylianos Papathanassopoulos, Susana Salgado, Tamir Sheafer, and Carsten Reinemann. 2012. “Political Information Opportunities in Europe: A Longitudinal and Comparative Study of Thirteen Television Systems.” International Journal of Press/Politics, 17, Pp. 247. Publisher's Version Abstract
This study examines the supply of political information programming across thirteen European broadcast systems over three decades. The cross-national and cross-temporal design traces the composition and development of political information environments with regard to the amount and placement of news and current affairs programs on the largest public and private television channels. It finds that the televisual information environments of Israel and Norway offer the most advantageous opportunity structure for informed citizenship because of their high levels of airtime and a diverse scheduling strategy. The study contributes to political communication research by establishing “political information environments” as a theoretically and empirically grounded concept that informs and supplements the comparison of “media systems.” If developed further, it could provide an information-rich, easy-to-measure macro-unit for future comparative research. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Shaul R. Shenhav, Gideon Rahat, and Tamir Sheafer. 2012. “Testing the language-power assumption of critical discourse analysis: the case of Israel's legislative discourse.” Canadian Journal of Political Science, Pp. 207. Publisher's Version Abstract
The growing interest in the relation between language and politics brings new assumptions and theoretical frameworks to the study of politics. This study presents a simple empirical test of a major assumption of the critical discourse analysis school: that power is a major factor in political discourse. It examines whether the discourse of Israeli members of parliament (Knesset) represents a view of the world through the prism of power or whether parliament members refer to the experience of similar democracies. We demonstrate that power is a strong and significant factor in Israeli legislative discourse through time and across issues while relevance plays no role. L'interet grandissant que suscite le lien entre langage et politique, genere de nouvelles hypotheses et de nouvelles theories de l'etude du politique. Cette etude propose de tester l'une des principales hypotheses de l'analyse critique de discours, a savoir que le pouvoir serait un facteur essentiel du discours politique. 
2011
T. Sheafer, S. R. Shenhav, and K. Goldstein. 2011. “Voting for our story : a narrative model of electoral choice in multiparty systems.” Comparative Political Studies, Pp. 313. Publisher's Version
2010
Meital Balmas and Tamir Sheafer. 2010. “Candidate image in election campaigns: attribute agenda setting, affective priming, and voting intentions.” International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Pp. 204. Publisher's Version
Israeli public diplomacy surrounding the disengagement from Gaza and the general elections in the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 2005 reflects a problematic misconstruction of Israel’s messages in English regarding its relations with the Palestinians. Based on content analysis of official documents, such as official announcements, press releases, and speeches by Israeli government officials (the PM and the foreign ministry), we point to the incompleteness of Israeli public messages aimed at non-Hebrew speakers in terms of major framing functions. Incorporating narrative analysis, we further claim that the problem of missing framing functions is part of a larger problem of misconstruction of the state’s foreign policy narrative. At the core of this problem lies a discontinuity between the definition of the problem faced by Israel, the characterization of those who are responsible for the problem, and the proposed solutions to the problem. While the definition of the problem tends to res
Tamir Sheafer and Shira Dvir-Gvirsman. 2010. “The spoiler effect : framing attitudes and expectations toward peace.” Journal of Peace Research, Pp. 205. Publisher's Version
2009
Meital Balmas and Tamir Sheafer. 2009. “Candidate Image in Election Campaigns: Attribute Agenda Setting, Affective Priming, and Voting Intentions.” Conference Papers – International Communication Association, Pp. 1 - 31. Publisher's Version Abstract
Combining three telephone surveys during the 2006 Israeli elections and a content analysis of leading Israeli newspapers, this study extended the function of attribute agenda-setting and priming. Analysis documented for the first time that, throughout the course of a campaign, public opinion fluctuates in tandem with the saliency of candidate attributes emphasized in the news. We also found an important consequence of attribute agenda setting, affective priming of candidate attributes, by which the prominent tone of the media's candidate attributes functions as a criterion for evaluating a candidate's suitability. Finally, this public evaluative tone was linked with voting intentions for the candidate's political party. ..PAT.-Unpublished Manuscript [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Tamir Sheafer and Itay Gabay. 2009. “Mediated Public Diplomacy: A Strategic Contest over International Agenda Building and Frame Building.” Political Communication, 26, Pp. 447 - 467. Publisher's Version Abstract
A study analyzed the competition between two rival national actors for access to and influence over the international media as part of their ongoing campaigns to sway international policymaking and gain political control. Two strategic acts were selected: Israel's disengagement from Gaza and the general elections in the Palestinian Authority. Data were obtained from analysis of all relevant messages regarding Israel and the Palestinians from four message sources—the Israeli government, the Palestinian Authority, the U.S. government, and the British government—and the national media of the U.S. and Britain from May 2005 through January 2006. Findings revealed that cultural and political congruence between a foreign state and an adversary affords that antagonist an advantage over its rival actor. However, findings indicated that the antagonist actor is nonetheless obliged to compete with the agenda and frames of foreign governments and media outlets. Findings and implications are
Tamir Sheafer and Shaul R. Shenhav. 2009. “Mediated Public Diplomacy in a New Era of Warfare.” Communication Review, 12, Pp. 272. Publisher's Version Abstract
The new era of warfare is characterized by the increased visibility of war. The changing strategic, social and cultural environment has forced governments and armies to modify their strategies. Public diplomacy is one strategic policymaking response to this changing environment. This article reviews current research in this field, focusing on mediated public diplomacy, which is a central part of public diplomacy that has not been greatly researched. We discuss the central role played by cultural resonance in mediated public diplomacy, elaborating on immanent tensions between the centrality of cultural resonance and the needs of public, and mediated public diplomacy. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]