Online networks of civil society actors as an indicator for politicization? A hyperlink analysis of the food safety issue in Germany | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1757-1898
  • E-ISSN: 1757-1901



This article focuses on the constellations of actors engaged in the food safety debate in Germany and the potential of civil society organizations for mobilization and politicization of the issue. In an exploratory case study we assess the structure of communication between these organizations by applying hyperlink analysis. Our study sheds light on the nature of the issue network and in particular on their linkages with media and political actors. We interpret communication network patterns with respect to civil society actors’ opportunities to make food safety salient on the agenda and to mobilize around it and politicize it. In fact, our empirical study shows that the structure of linkages between civil society actors, media organizations and political actors in Germany offers favourable opportunities for making the food safety issue salient and for politicizing it in the offline world.


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