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?