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[Commlist] IJPP Special Issue call for papers: “Digital Threats to Democracy: Comparative Lessons and Possible Remedies”
Wed Jun 19 12:21:44 GMT 2019
I am writing to share the call for papers for a special issue of /The
International Journal of Press/Politics /on "Digital Threats to
Democracy: Comparative Lessons and Possible Remedies".
This special issue will build on the proceedings of a workshop hosted by
the Social Science Research Council in New York on 13-14 June. The
special issue is open to any contributions focusing on the themes
described in the call for papers—whether they were included in the SSRC
workshop or not.
The call for papers is available at
is pasted below. The deadline for submission of manuscripts is 1
*Call for Papers for a Special Issue of The International Journal of
“Digital Threats to Democracy: Comparative Lessons and Possible Remedies”
Manuscript submission deadline: 1 September 2019*
In recent years, democracies appear to have been caught off guard by
pitfalls associated with the rise of digital media. Issues such as mass
surveillance, disinformation, declining trust in journalism, challenges
to journalistic institutions, electoral interference, partisan
polarization, and increasing toxicity online threaten democratic norms,
institutions, and governance.
While these phenomena have raised widespread concerns in the United
States and have been the subject of vast bodies of US-centric research,
there is much to be learned from addressing these issues in a
comparative perspective—by studying digital media and politics both
inside and outside the US and highlighting generalizable implications.
The media and political systems in the United States function in ways
that are quite different from most Western democracies and most of the
concerns highlighted above have been paramount in the US. However, other
countries have also experienced high levels of polarization, substantial
foreign interference, erosion of democratic norms, and weakening media
institutions. In some cases, these developments occurred and required
political responses well before the same issues came to the forefront in
the United States.
Comparative research, both across time and across space, can shed light
on how countries adapt and respond to digital threats to democracy. How
can democratic competition, representation, and inclusiveness be
safeguarded amidst challenges to their foundations? What lessons can we
learn by comparing how these processes unfold and how institutions
respond across democratic and non-democratic countries?
This special issue of The International Journal of Press/Politics aims
to shed light on three key sets of questions on the evolving
relationship between digital media and politics. First, what insights
can we glean from comparing liberal democracies to each other? How have
democracies approached the frequently competing goals of protecting free
speech, privacy, and anonymity, regulating political speech on digital
media, ensuring fair elections, and promoting competitive digital
markets? Second, what lessons can we learn from the experiences of
countries where liberal and democratic norms cannot be taken for
granted? Finally, how do existing political and media institutions shape
the political impact of, and responses to, digital disruptions and threats?
We invite submissions that make both theoretical and empirical
contributions to existing bodies of knowledge in the comparative study
of political communication, elections, public opinion, digital media,
and democracy. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the
* *Disinformation Campaigns*: How is the propagation of (or accusation
of propagating) disinformation used to damage opponents and mislead
or confuse segments of the public? How are these strategies resisted
* *Surveillance*: What is the relationship between the need for
connectivity and the need for privacy? What are the individual and
systemic consequences of failing constitutional, regulatory, or
normative protections of privacy?
* *Violence and Intimidation*: Do mechanisms that allow citizens to
coordinate collective action also facilitate violence against other
citizens? Are journalists, politicians, and activists more
vulnerable to threats and coercion when professional norms require
they maintain a social media presence that potentially exposes them
to abuse and limits their privacy?
* *Mobile Politics*: What are the implications for political equality
of the global growth in mobile online connectivity, especially among
sectors of the population that do not use computers? How does
easy-to-use, ephemeral, and encrypted mobile communication
contribute to political discourse, mobilization, and engagement?
* *Platform Politics*: How well can US-born or US-centric platforms
respond to democratic challenges in other countries? Should digital
platforms provide bespoke solutions to non-US problems, and how can
they accomplish that?
An international workshop exploring these issues, hosted by the Social
Science Research Council, took place in New York on 13-14 June 2019.
Participants were invited after an open call for proposals. This special
issue is open to any contributions focusing on the themes described
here—whether they were included in the SSRC workshop or not.
*Submission Information *
Manuscript submissions for this special issue are due on 1 September 2019.
Please submit your work through our online submission portal
(https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ijpp) and ensure that the first line
of the cover letter states: “Manuscript to be considered for the special
issue on Digital Threats to Democracy”. Manuscripts should follow the
IJPP submission guidelines
Submissions will be subject to a double-blind peer review process and
must not have been published, accepted for publication, or under
consideration for publication elsewhere.
Authors interested in submitting their work are encouraged to contact
Cristian Vaccari ((c.vaccari /at/ lboro.ac.uk) <mailto:(c.vaccari /at/ lboro.ac.uk)>),
Editor-in-Chief of The International Journal of Press/Politics, with
* Paper submissions: 1 September 2019
* First decision: 1 November 2019
* Paper revisions: 1 January 2020
* Final decision: 1 March 2020
* Online publication: April 2020
* Print publication: July 2020
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