The American Political Science Association is pleased to announce the Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (DDRIG) Awardees for 2020. The APSA DDRIG program provides support to enhance and improve the conduct of doctoral dissertation research in political science. Awards support basic research which is theoretically derived and empirically oriented.
Nejla Asimovic is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics at New York University. She studies group dynamics within areas of deep societal divisions, with a particular focus on the role digital technologies and social media play in negotiating identities and shaping group relations. In her dissertation, Asimovic strives to move away from social media determinism by both identifying the conditions under which exposure to social media reduces or heightens affective polarization between groups in ethnically-divided societies, and developing scalable strategies that would facilitate positive interethnic contact online. By applying insights from political psychology of identity and conflict to the social media sphere, Asimovic also provides an analytical framework for evaluating the potential of online contact to shape interethnic views. Taking place in two empirically understudied contexts (Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus) during periods of varying salience of ethnic identities, e.g. conflict commemoration days, this research is intending to shed light on the key mechanisms and conditions that may allow for digital technologies and social media to bridge rather than widen cleavages even within areas in which divisions reign.
From Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nejla received her undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, where she studied World Politics and Mathematics.