ECPR Standing Group on Forms of Participation
Networking Democracy? New media innovations in participatory politics
Democratic politics worldwide are increasingly being conducted and re-configured through the domain of digital communications networks. The socio-technical developments, such as Web 2.0, facilitating these media-saturated public spheres are in little doubt. What is highly contested however is the interpretation of what these profound changes offer for democratic governance in the twenty-first century. At its heart is the recognition that these new media networks are themselves the crucial site for a historical confrontation between opposing political and/or business interests and discourses intent upon forging new forms of social relations.
We will address questions such as:
• What new forms and relations of power are produced in the digital network society?
• Who are the key social actors shaping the new public sphere and what are their respective strategies, framing, and repertoires of action?
• What is the democratic potential of Web 2.0 applications such as social networking, blogging and twittering?
• What empirical evidence do we have to understand and assess these developments?
• How is networked democracy influencing new democratic societies?
• What are its consequences for human rights, social sorting, migration, e-government, community politics, surveillance, protest, participation, culture, identity, mobilization, representation, nationalism, security, citizen journalism, trust, regulation, both exogenous and self-regulation and much more?
• W. Lance Bennett, University of Washington, USA,
• Bruce Bimber, University of California at Santa Barbara, USA
• Donatella Della Porta, European University Institute, Italy
• William H. Dutton, Oxford Internet Institute, UK
• Brian Loader, University of York, UK
• Rodica Mocan, Babes-Bolyai University, Romania
We invite papers from all disciplines which have addressed these topics. Important dates: Submission deadline: 7 December 2009; Notifications of acceptance: 15 January 2010; Symposium: 25-27 June 2010.