Within the framework of the last ECPR General Conference, the Standing Group “Internet and Politics” has supported the organization of the following section :
Internet and Politics : bridging current research and outlining future directions
Andrea Calderaro, European University Institute
Anastasia Kavada, University of Westminster
In the last two decades, Information and Communication Technologies have generated an extensive debate on whether and how they affect the political sphere. While the field was initially divided into ‘cyber-optimist’ and ‘cyber-pessimist’ accounts, today a growing body of empirical research has moved away from this binary opposition by rendering a more balanced and nuanced account of the link between digital technology and democratic politics. Expanding on some of the themes addressed in the ‘Internet and Politics’ section in Potsdam, the section aimed to enhance cross-fertilization in this fast-moving field of research. The purpose was to establish clear lines of dialogue between diverse theoretical and methodological approaches by bringing together scholars who are studying the role of the internet for different actors (political parties, social movements, non-governmental organizations etc.). This section linked panels that explored how key concepts in political science – such as activism, political participation, public opinion, and campaigning – are affected by the growing integration of Information and Communication Technologies in Politics.