The conference : ’Internet, Politics, Policy 2010 : An Impact Assessment’, was convened by the Oxford Internet Institute (University of Oxford) in partnership with the European Consortium of Political Research (ECPR) ’Internet and Politics’ Section, and the Journal Policy and Internet.
The Internet is now the most important international medium of communication and information exchange, involving citizens, firms, governments, political parties and NGOs, and bringing with it new practices, norms and structures. The societal shift enabled by the Internet is impacting upon public policy in all sectors, requiring rigorous empirical investigation, theoretical development and methodological innovation across academic disciplines.
In short, the Internet drives social change, requiring a policy response – and policy organizations of all kinds use the Internet to formulate and implement that response. Analysis of these two trends requires taking advantage of the new evidence generated by the Internet and the development of methods from a range of disciplinary perspectives.
This is the first academic conference to subject the relationship between the Internet, Politics and Policy to multi-disciplinary scrutiny. The conference was organised in twin tracks :
- Papers in the Politics track considered the use of the Internet by political organizations, examining the impact on policy of (for example) online interest group activity and political mobilization, e-voting, political parties and campaigning and e-government.
- Papers in the Policy track looked at policy responses to Internet-driven social change, including e-health, on-line education, cybercrime, security, privacy and digital inclusion.
These two areas are intertwined, so intersections sessions merged these tracks, investigating the intersection of policy and politics and the Internet.
- Professor Helen Margetts, OII, University of Oxford
- Dr Stephen Ward, University of Salford, co-convenor of the standing group on Internet & Politics
- Dr Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon, OII, University of Oxford
The papers presented at the conference can be found here.