Panel: „Digital politics: Collective action born in and from the Internet“ – Section Internet & Politics – ECPR General Conference in Reykjavik in 2011

Deadline first round of call for papers abstracts: 30st August 2010

Send papers proposal to: mayo.fuster(at)eui.eu

Panel abstract: So far, political science research has focused on the use of the Internet by collective political actors that had their main operational base in the offline realm. First studies on the Internet and politics mainly concentrated mostly on well-established and traditional actors such public administration and political parties. Then the cope of research widened to include interest groups, NGOs and social movements looking at the impact of the Internet and the type of Internet use carried out by those groups. In particular, given the growing importance of political campaigns and other forms of collective action that are launched and carried out by networks of political actors, that mainly, if not completely operate and mobilize for their issues online, the debate on the Internet and politics could benefit further from considering actors who mainly operation with an online base. Interestingly, the emergence of collective action in online environments apparently follows new forms of „networked“ forms of action and collaboration that are said to be different from political actors with a mainly offline base. The panel „Digital politics“ aims to iniciate a discussion on the main organizational and democratic logic of the collective action born in and from the Internet addressing questions such as: What are the main characteristics of participation in online base collective action? How are boundaries drawn between the individual and the collective in such forms? How can we deal with the dialectics of individualization on one hand and the effects of de-personalization on the other hand that are inscribed in online spaces? How is the online space governed and how does its architecture structure online interaction? Finally, which methods are best suited to analyze the practices and dynamics of collective action online adequately?

Co-chairs: Mayo Fuster Morell (European University Institute) and Johanna Niesyto (University of Siegen)

Discussant: Sigrid Baringhorst (University of Siegen)

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