Philip Habel

Philip Habel

Professor and Department Chair


B.A. Washington University, 1999

Ph.D. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2006


Dr. Habel came to South via the University of Glasgow in Scotland, where he was Senior Lecturer in Politics. Prior to that, Dr. Habel was a professor at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. He received his PhD from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 

Dr. Habel’s work in political communication examines the dynamics of influential relationships and information flows among politicians, media, and the public. Recent projects apply computational social science and big data analytics to explore topics of conversation on social media, and how these topics evolve over time. Dr. Habel’s research has appeared in both leading social science journals----including Political Communication; Information, Communication & Society; Political Analysis---and in high impact Computer Science conference proceedings. His work has been cited nearly 400 times according to Google Scholar metrics.

Dr. Habel has part of a global project studying Social Media and Political Participation (SMaPP), sponsored by New York University’s Global Institute of Advanced Study, which has funded 6 workshops at NYU campus including New York, NY; Shanghai, China; Florence, Italy; and Abu Dhabi, UAE. His present work in public opinion explores support and opposition toward affirmative action policies in Brazil, with projects funded by the British Academy Newton Fund Advanced Fellowship, the British Council Newton Fund Researcher Links, the FAPDF (Funacao de Apio a Pesquisa do Distrito Federal), and a fellowship in Germany at the EUROLAB at GESIS. His teaching is informed by both U.S. Politics and Comparative Politics, including course offerings in public opinion; mass media, digital media, and social media; political communication; and U.S. politics.

Research & Teaching Interests / Availability for Media Commentary

U.S. Government; Political Communication; Mass Media; Social Media; Public Opinion; Political Behavior; Political Psychology; Campaigns & Elections; European Politics; Latin American Politics; Computational Social Science; Research Methods

Example Publications

Habel, Philip, Ruth Moon, and Anjie Fang. 2018. “News and Information Leadership in the Digital Age.” Information, Communication and Society 21: 1604-1619

Valeriano, Brandon and Philip Habel. 2016. “Who Are the Enemies?: The Visual Framing of Enemies in Digital Games.” International Studies Review 18: 462-486.

Fang, Anjie, Iadh Ounis, Philip Habel, Craig Macdonald, and Nut Limsopatham. 2015. “Topic-centric Classification of Twitter Users’ Political Orientation.” in Proceedings of the 38th Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval.

Habel, Philip. 2012. “Following the Opinion Leaders?: The Dynamics of Influence among Media Opinion, Politicians, and the Public.” Political Communication 29: 257-277.