The “Research Group on New forms of Politics in the networked society” of the University of Bergamo includes:
Anna Carola Freschi is a Ph.D. in Political Sociology at the University of Florence, Faculty of Political Sciences. She is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Economics, University of Bergamo, where she teaches Sociology and Economic Sociology. She holds a Jean Monnet Module on Information Society and Social Change, at the University of Florence. Her work is about e-participation in an extended meaning (ICTs applied to participation in institutional and non institutional contexts). She has written articles, essays and books about local governance transformation and the social implications of networked society for social and political participation in the Italian society. She is the author of the strategic section of the Italian Guidelines on digital citizenship, a central document of the national Government to support local e-democracy initiatives. She is currently coordinating the group, who collects sociological expertises in social inequalities, deliberative democracy and gender issue, studying some Italian local experiences of e-participation in the institutional contexts (urban strategic planning, participatory budgeting, regional law-making, Agenda 21, etc.).
The adopted research approach is characterized by a strategy of empirical research integrating quantitative and qualitative instruments, applied to online and offline participation processes. The theoretical frame is done by contemporary sociological thought about the transformation of social and political participation in the context of globalized, networked and knowledge-economy based societies. The research team is partner of the European Network of Excellence on E-participation, Demo-net, focusing his activities particularly on the problem of e-participation evaluation and on the political contexts of e-democracy. She collaborates with the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Florence (Ph.D. Program in Sociology and Political Sociology) and with CIUSPO (Inter-Universities Center of Political Sociology), where she has just appointed responsible of the Unit on “Forms of politics in the network society”. She is member of the Editorial Board of Sociologica. The Italian review of Sociology on line, (www.sociologica.mulino.it).
Michela Balocchi is a Ph.D. in Sociology and Political Sociology at the University of Florence, Faculty of Political Sciences, with a thesis on “Gender in Politics. Theoretical Reflections and One Case Study”, 2006. She is a Research Fellow at the Faculty of Economics, University of Bergamo, currently working on e-democracy experiences in Italy. She has previously collaborated to some research projects at the University of Florence and Siena, and to some courses of Sociology at the University of Florence and Prato. Her main research fields are: concepts and practices of gender; gender and politics; gender stratification in education and labour market; care work and the capabilities approach; gender and violence; e-democracy and e-participation; e-valuation; digital divide. She has published articles and essays on gender issues and on e-democracy.
Luca Raffini is a PhD in Sociology and Political Sociology at the University of Florence, Faculty of Political Sciences) He is currently Research Fellow at the University of Bergamo on a research about e-democracy and e-participation experiences in Italy. He collaborates with CIUSPO (InterUniversity Center of Political Sociology, based at the University of Florence. His field of research and his publications are focused on theories and practices of deliberative democracy; participative process at local level; e-democracy and e-participation; youth and democracy; European integration and democracy in Europe. He is member of the Editorial Board of Partecipazione e Conflitto (Participation and Conflict).
Giovanna Tizzi is a Ph.d student in Sociology at the University of Florence. She is working on a research project about e-democracy in Italy, supervised by the research team of the University of Bergamo. She has started her research experience in 2003 collaborating on a national project about the state of the art of local e-democracy in Italy funded by the Italian Government and carried out by the University of Florence, and coordinated by Anna Carola Freschi. She has been deeply involved also in two major researches concerning the digital city of Florence and the first Electronic Town meeting held in Tuscany.
Roberto Zarro is a free-lance researcher with a background in Communication sciences. He has written article, essays and reports about digital culture, e-government and e-participation. He teaches in several Italian Master Courses addressed to university students, employees of public sector and professionals. He is currently working on Pep-Net project within the team of University of Bergamo, and for the Regional Government of Emilia-Romagna, collaborating to the activities related to the communication of e-government and e-participation projects, in the framework of the “Piano Telematico dell’Emilia-Romagna”.