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[Commlist] Call for Paper International Workshop - Transformations in the digital age #1: Transformation of the public sphere
Tue Jan 29 13:13:31 GMT 2019
*Call for papers *
*International Workshop *
*Transformations in the digital age #1: Transformation of the public
*Hildesheim University, 25/26 April 2019 *
Conveners: Emiliana De Blasio and Michele Sorice (both: LUISS Rome),
Marianne Kneuer and Wolf J. Schünemann (both: University of Hildesheim)
One of the main assumptions about the impact of Internet and social
media points to a (more or less significant) transformation of the
public sphere. The literature however provides us with competing views
on the direction and the quality of this transformation: Against the
backdrop of decreasing trust in the institutions and processes of modern
democracies, digital technologies have repeatedly been loaded with hopes
for increas-ing citizen engagement and participation through a broad
range of democratic innova-tions. In this vein, social media would have
a mobilizing and empowering impact ena-bling citizens to interact with
each other or with politicians circumventing other institu-tionalized
channels of communication including journalists as gate-keepers. In the
best form, this could lead to broad and inclusive deliberation. On the
other hand, such opti-mistic scenarios have been countered by more
pessimistic outlooks like the fragmen-tation and atomization of the
public sphere and the creation of filter bubbles and echo chambers. This
perspective would include the discourse hegemony of some few as well as
the potential of manipulation. Besides this normatively loaded debate,
other open questions refer to aspects like the possibility of a
transnational public sphere based on online-connectivity, the quality of
public deliberation and new forms of net-worked publics.
Authors are invited to present theoretical and conceptual papers as well
as empirical studies (a comparative perspective is welcome). Exemplary
questions that could be addressed are the following:
Is there an increase of deliberation through digital media? What are
the findings on quantity and quality of online political deliberation?
Public sphere is a concept related to rational argumentation. What
does the increasing emotionalization of communication in social media
mean for this ap-proach?
Which consequences will the increasing blurring of public sphere and
privacy have for politics and society? To which new forms of interaction
and communi-cation does this lead?
Which transformative effects can be observed on media systems,
political news provision and consumption?
Is there an increased fragmentation of the public sphere observable
(filter bub-bles, echo chambers)? And what are the mechanisms of these
filter bubbles and echo chambers?
Which role has the demand of a high degree of transparency for the
transfor-mation of the public sphere?
Is there increasing transnational communication activity which might
lead to the emergence of transnational (mini-)publics?
Which effect do surveillance, security risks and manipulation do have
on dem-ocratic publics in Europe?
The workshop shall be the start of a series of events on
“transformations in the digital age”, organized by an international
network of academic institutions, including LUISS University in Rome,
Scienes Po in Paris, Hildesheim University, University of Perugia, USI
in Lugano, the University of Urbino and the University of Prague. The
first work-shop will take place at the Center for Digital Change at
Hildesheim University on 25 and 26 April 2019. The workshop is supported
by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) within the program
framework “University dialogue with Southern Eu-rope”. Due to this
support, all travel and accommodation expenses of active partici-pants
from the following five countries will be covered: Cyprus, Greece,
Italy, Spain and Portugal. For all other participants, accommodation
expenses will be covered as well.
The deadline for proposals (including name, affiliation, email address
and an abstract of max. 300 words) is 31 January 2019. Please send your
proposals by email to the local organizers (see below).
The conveners plan to organize a publication (special issue). Therefore,
we ask for full papers (no more than 50,000 characters), submitted by 12
April 2019. The papers for the publication will be selected by the
Marianne Kneuer – (kneuer /at/ uni-hildesheim.de)
Wolf J. Schünemann – (wolf.schuenemann /at/ uni-hildesheim.de)
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