September 10-12, 2009
Potsdam, Germany, Internet&Politics Section
At the Potsdam ECPR General Conference, 2009, the section 18, convened by Aina Gallego and Clelia Colombo, was devoted to Internet and Politics.
Contemporary media societies pose a number of challenges for a traditional understanding of citizen politics. New media technologies are said to offering the prospect of reshaping political activity. The Internet and other communication technologies have altered the cost-structure of participation and increased the spectrum of possible political engagement. They are modifying the way traditional political associations or institutions communicate with the public, and are expanding their opportunities for issue framing and political mobilisation. In parallel, new technologies are giving prominence to non-organised individuals or social movements and other non-conventional organizations. In short, new technologies are transforming many of the elements political scientists have been analysing for decades on citizen and group politics, ranging from its forms to its causal explanations. The section proposed, which is supported by the ECPR Standing Group on Forms of Participation, seeks to reach a broader understanding of the major changes affecting political participation in the digital era. It will consist of a number of panels about the relation between the Internet and different aspects of politics. The panels will focus on such issues as the impact of Internet use on political attitudes, the use of the Internet by political parties, social movements and individual citizens, or new online political activities. So far debates on the impact of new technologies for participation and politics have been controversial. The section will provide an opportunity to bring together scholars working on different issues related to internet use and contrast the similarities and differences in their findings. Thus the section will provide the opportunity to critically assess the results of research in that relatively recent field of political science and to contrast those results cross-nationally.
Nine panels were organized. Click on the panel title to get a presentation of each panel and the list of papers presented.
Click here to find a number of the Potsdam papers on this website.