Democracy and the Internet

Periodo di svolgimento
Info sul corso
Ore del corso
Ore dei docenti responsabili
Ore di didattica integrativa

Modalità esame

Relazione di seminario


Hans-Jörg Trenz


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"

Obiettivi formativi

The course will discuss opportunities and challenges to democracy presented by the Internet. The impact the digital revolution had on the current transformations of the public sphere and democracy is widely discussed. Understanding the social and political impact of the internet opens a broad societal debate which does not only involve critical media scholars but also affected publics giving rise to various forms of political mobilisation. Evidently, despite the wealth of research on the democratic prospects of the digital public sphere, results are inconclusive. Cyber-optimists who initially believed in a liberating effect of the Internet and propagated a new democratic utopia for the empowerment of the people  were soon confronted with the evidence of the monopolisation and exclusive ownership of content, the commercialisation of user exchanges, the control of free speech, the blatant violations of the rules of civic debate through cyber-harassing, hate speech, and disinformation and the polarisation and radicalisation of opinion Topics to be discussed will include new forms of online civic engagement and political mobilistion, disinformation, hate speech and polarization and radicalisation of public opinion.