Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Political Science and Sociology"
Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Transnational Governance"
Optional for the 4th and 5th year students of the MA Programme in "Political and Social Sciences"
Digital politics is a highly diversified domain, encompassing both the digitalization of preexisting political activities and the emergence of new forms of political action and participation, which do not have a clear equivalent in the offline world. While the seminar does not neglect the digital (re)mediation of political practices and traditions, it focuses primarily on how the digitalization and dataification of politics affect the power dynamic within institutional and non-institutional contexts. More specifically, the seminar will examine the evolution of the literature from early utopian and optimistic expectations about the democratizing potential of the Internet to an increasingly pessimistic turn in media and communication research. This will be done through the analysis of debates on the contested role of social media as enablers of mass mobilizations, the politics of open source software and hacktivist media practices, the emergence of a networked but highly fragmented public sphere, the rise of a new generation of digital parties, and the impact of mass surveillance on activism and democracy. By the end of the course, students will master an array of conceptual and methodological tools that they should be able to fruitfully apply to their own research.