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Dr. K.P. (Petter) Törnberg

Postdoctoral VENI researcher in Digital Geography
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
GPIO : Urban Geographies

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Postal address
Contact details
  • Profile

    Petter Törnberg is a NWO VENI postdoctoral researcher at University of Amsterdam, and associate professor in complex systems at Chalmers University of Technology. I have a background in computer science and physics, but have worked for the last decade in the social sciences. 

    My research is interdisciplinary, and focuses on how digital technology is reshaping our politics, media and cities. I use computational methods and digital data to examine the consequences of datafication, platformization, and AI, from a critical perspective.

    I have published over 40 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, in journals such as PNAS, New Media & Society, and Big Data & Society.

    Expertise and research fields

    • Social media 
    • Mediatisation
    • (Affective) polarisation
    • Platformisation
    • Political communication
    • Online radicalisation
    • Misinformation
  • Research

    Research methods

    • Social media 
    • Mediatization
    • (Affective) polarization
    • Platformization
    • Political communication
    • Online radicalization
    • Misinformation

    Current research projects

    I am engaged in several current research projects on the relationship between social media and affective polarization, the ongoing shifts in platformisation, and urban mediatisation.

    Research grants & honours

    • 2021 | NWO VENI. “Seeing the city through digital platforms”                                       
    • 2017 | EU Horizon 2020 ODYCCEUS. Political polarization and cultural conflict through digital data 
    • 2017 | Swedish Research Council. Dynamics of racist discourse in online social media
    • 2012 | EU FP7-FET. “Emergence by Design” (MD) The dynamics and sustainability of sociotechnical change and innovation

    Current cooperation with organisations

    • ​​​​​​​Justus Uitermark, Ola Söderström, Sophie Oldfield, Juliana Chueri, Anton Törnberg. Among many others.
  • Publications





    • Törnberg, P., & Chiappini, L. (2020). Selling black places on Airbnb: Colonial discourse and the marketing of black communities in New York City. Environment and Planning A, 52(3), 553-572. [details]
    • Törnberg, P., & Törnberg, A. (2020). Minding the gap between culture and connectivity: Laying the foundations for a relational mixed methods social network analysis. In D. E. Froehlich, M. Rehm, & B. C. Rienties (Eds.), Mixed Methods Social Network Analysis: Theories and Methodologies in Learning and Education (pp. 58-71). Routledge.
    • van Vliet, L., Törnberg, P., & Uitermark, J. (2020). The Twitter parliamentarian database: Analyzing Twitter politics across 26 countries. PLoS ONE, 15(9), [e0237073]. [details]


    • Andersson, C., & Törnberg, P. (2019). Toward a Macroevolutionary Theory of Human Evolution: The Social Protocell. Biological Theory, 14(2), 86-102. [details]
    • Andersson, C., Törnberg, A., & Törnberg, P. (2019). Wicked systems and the friction between “old theory and new data” in biology, social science and archaeology. In A. C. Love, & W. C. Wimsatt (Eds.), Beyond the Meme: Development and Structure in Cultural Evolution (pp. 470-498). (Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science; Vol. 22). University of Minnesota Press.
    • Chiappini, L., & Törnberg, P. (2019). Deus ex machina: makerspaces in Milan and their transformative potential. In J. Kaae Fisker, L. Chiappini, L. Pugalis, & A. Bruzzese (Eds.), The Production of Alternative Urban Spaces: An International Dialogue (pp. 73-92). (Regions and Cities; Vol. 130). Routledge. [details]
    • Giabbanelli, P. J., Castellani, B., Voinov, A. A., & Törnberg, P. (2019). Ideal, best, and emerging practices in creating artificial societies. In 2019 Spring Simulation Conference (SpringSim) IEEE.




    • Andersson, C., & Törnberg, P. (2016). Fidelity and the speed of the treadmill: The combined impact of population size, transmission fidelity, and selection on the accumulation of cultural complexity. American Antiquity, 81(3), 576-590.
    • Törnberg, A., & Törnberg, P. (2016). Combining CDA and topic modeling: Analyzing discursive connections between Islamophobia and anti-feminism on an online forum. Discourse and Society, 27(4), 401-422.
    • Törnberg, A., & Törnberg, P. (2016). Muslims in social media discourse: Combining topic modeling and critical discourse analysis. Discourse, Context and Media, 13, 132-142.



    Prize / grant

    Media appearance

    Talk / presentation

    • Törnberg, K. P. (speaker) (17-9-2017). The Gendered Selfie: Studying Gender on Social Media, Conference on Complex Systems. Cancun, Mexico, Cancun.
    • Törnberg, K. P. (invited speaker) (2017). Complexity and the Social, UvA/Spui 25.
    • Törnberg, A. (invited speaker) & Törnberg, K. P. (invited speaker) (2017). Mixed-methods Digital Research: Complexity and the Digital World, DigSum at Umeå University, Sweden..
    • Törnberg, K. P. (invited speaker) (2017). The Social Complexity of Digital Data, ECCO/GBI. VUB. Brussels.
    • Chiappini, L. (invited speaker) & Törnberg, K. P. (invited speaker) (2017). Gentrification issues between North and South, East and West: Case study on gentrification processes through the lens of digital data, Politecnico di Milano, architectural department.


    • Törnberg, K. P. (organiser) (15-11-2017). “Quantitative Tools for Qualitative Analysis: Computational Social Science meets Discourse Analysis” at “European Symposium Series on Societal Challenges in Computational Social Science”, London (organising a conference, workshop, ...).


    • Keuchenius, A., Törnberg, P. & Uitermark, J. (17-8-2021). Data for ''Why it is important to consider negative ties when studying polarized debates on Twitter: a signed network analysis of a Dutch cultural controversy on Twitter". Universiteit van Amsterdam.


    • Keuchenius, A., Uitermark, J. & Tornberg, P. (25-5-2020). Data for "Adoption and Adaptation: A Computational Case Study of the Spread of Granovetter’s Weak Ties Hypothesis". Universiteit van Amsterdam.
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    No ancillary activities