ECREA Communication & Democracy Conference
Political Agency in the Digital Age. Media, Participation and Democracy
Research on media and politics has traditionally tended towards separating the sphere of politics from political processes in other societal spheres, focusing on parliamentarian politics and formal, institutionalised interest group politics (e.g. unions). At the same time, there has been a tendency to focus on elites, whether political, corporate, media or cultural. With the emergence of digital media, the research agenda within the field of media and politics research is shifting towards exploring interrelations between institutionalised politics and political processes in other societal spheres, and moving beyond elites to also include “ordinary” people. The personalization of digital media and the rise of user-generated content have led to an increased interest in personal self-expression of citizens at an individual level as a political act. While this represents an important development, it also warrants fundamental questions about what counts as politics and who count as political actors. At the same time euphoric accounts of the potential of digital media for political agency are questioned critically both in terms of actual potential and the wider structures in which they are embedded.
Nick Couldry, London School of Economics and Political Science
Anastasia Kavada, University of Westminster
Guobin Yang, Annenberg School for Communication
Registration (early bird deadline 1 July)