Matthew Placek

Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of South Carolina-Upstate
Chapter Member: South Carolina SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Matthew

Placek's research generally focuses on democratic transitions and the politics of non-democratic countries. Placek is substantively interested in the effect of the internet and social media on public opinion and behavior in new democracies and non-democratic regimes. Placek's research examines these areas in Central and Eastern Europe and Post-Soviet Eurasia, but Placek has also conducted research in other regions with co-authors.

In the News

Opinion: "Poland’s Digital Divide May Have Helped Secure President Duda’s Reelection," Matthew Placek, Democratization , August 4, 2020.


"Can the Internet Aid Democratic Consolidation? Online News and Legitimacy in Central and Eastern Europe" International Journal of Communication 12 (2018).

Discusses online news consumption leads to more positive evaluations of government and democracy in Central and Eastern Europe.

"Social Media and Regime Support in Russia: Does It Matter Which Website Is Used?" Journal East European Politics (2019).

Elaborates on how Russian social media users have less trust in institutions and political actors, but more satisfaction with the economy and the level of democracy in Russia. Discusses how furtehr Russian Twitter and Facebook users are more critical of key actors and their handling of democracy.

"Learning Democracy Digitally? The Internet and Knowledge of Democracy in Nondemocracies" Democratization (2020).

Discusses how using the internet as an information source leads people in autocratic regimes to understand key characteristics of democracy as essential. Mentions how It also leads people in both hybrid regimes and autocracies to see characteristics of authoritarianism as not aligned with democracy.

"Democracy: Social Media Use and Democratic Legitimacy in Central and Eastern Europe" Democratization 24, no. 4 (2016).

Discusses increased support for democracy in Central and Eastern Europe. Mentions how the general use rather than finding news via social media provides more consistent effects on a person's support for democracy in CEE.