Digital Democracy: Governance and Resistance in a Digital Era
Dr James Muldoon (Exeter), Dr Rahel Süß (Humboldt), Roberta Fischli (St Gallen)
Democratic politics increasingly takes place in digital environments and is mediated by digital technologies. This workshop explores the possibilities and pitfalls of democratic politics by drawing on political theory to understand and critique emerging patterns at the intersection of democracy and technology. We need a better understanding of how pressing political issues – climate change, global inequalities, and new forms of oppression – are entangled with the use of digital technologies which reshape our ideas of freedom, equality, power, and democracy.
To do so this workshop will explore the following questions (1) how should we understand the transformation of democratic politics in a digital era in which many democratic processes are now digitally mediated? (2) what normative conceptions of democracy and digital technology will assist us in confronting recent challenges posed by these transformations? (3) what new forms of governance and resistance have emerged in this digital era and how should we respond?
The role of digital technology in democratic politics is yet to be sufficiently explored within political theory. Although political theory has come late to the question, it is well situated to help us interrogate both the conceptual and normative problems raised by these new forms of politics. Theorists have a wide variety of resources within the tradition of political theory including in the history of political thought, contemporary analytic political philosophy and critical theory for understanding the structure, role and purpose of technology. These tools allow theorists to analyse the extent to which connection and access should be considered as empowering forces, or whether they open a new digital divide between democratic subjects.
The workshop aims to attract critical scholars at the intersection of political science, sociology, philosophy and media studies who are working on empirical and normative questions related to digital technology and democratic politics. We are particularly interested in topics around platform governance, digital political parties, social movements, politics of AI, civic tech, the digital public sphere, digital sovereignty, regulating tech platforms, data commons, surveillance technology, questions concerning racism and (in)justice, data colonialism, climate tech, the role of tech in finance, policing powers, online communities and the digital architecture of online spaces. Scholars could address these questions from a range of perspectives including anti-racism and anti-colonialism, feminism, Marxism, critical theory, and so on.
If you want to apply, please submit an approx. 400-words abstract of your paper by 13th June 2022. All abstracts and enquiries about the workshop should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. We aim to allow for 25 minute presentations and 20-25 minutes for Q&A for each paper.
+44 (0) 161 306 6000