Periodo di svolgimento
Info sul corso
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 participation, which do not have a clear counterpart in the offline world. Whereas the seminar does not neglect the digital remediation of political practices and traditions, it adopts a sociotechnical perspective, focusing primarily on the digital mediatiziation of politics and how this affects multiple power dynamics within both institutional and non-institutional contexts. More specifically, the seminar examines the evolution of the scholarship 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 critical review of academic debates about the ambivalent role of digital platforms. These will include, but will not be limited to, the debate on social media as enablers of mass mobilizations on the one hand and as technologies of mass surveillance and data extractivism on the other hand; the debate around the scale of platform capitalism, its environmental and colonial impact, and the actual possibilities of a local democratic control of platforms; the debate on the impact of digital platforms on the internal organization of social movements and political parties; and the debate on the impact of digital platforms on the quality of online discourse, pluralism and polarization. By the end of the course, students will master an array of critical, conceptual and methodological tools that they should be able to fruitfully apply to their own research.
The primary goal of the course is to provide students with an understanding of digital politics as a layered domain, wherein digital technology is understood as a site of political struggle and not merely a tool for amplifying preexisting political practices. Secondarily, the course aims at providing students with high-level concepts and at stimulating a reflection on how such concepts can be fruitfully applied to their own research.