The section “Internet and the Quality of Democracy” has been accepted for the 2021 ECPR General Conference (at the University of Innsbruck or online) with eight panels (https://ecpr.eu/Events/Event/SectionDetails/1130 ). See below our section description.
The call for panels (with 4-5 papers) and papers is open until Wednesday 10 February 2021, midnight GMT. Please submit your abstracts for panels and/or papers via the ECPR website. If possible, let us know, as Section Chairs, that you are planning to submit a paper or panel (or both!) to facilitate the overall coordination.
Panels with Papers can be submitted here: https://ecpr.eu/MyEcpr/Forms/PanelProposalForm.aspx?EventID=151
Individual Papers can be submitted here: https://ecpr.eu/MyEcpr/Forms/PaperProposalForm.aspx?EventID=15
Our section proposal:
Title: Internet and the Quality of Democracy
Régis Dandoy, Université Libre de Bruxelles
Giulia Sandri, Université catholique de Lille – ESPOL
Two main strands of empirical and theoretical literature in political science have made significant advances in the last five years. On the one hand, specific literature on the evolution of the quality of democratic regimes across the world, and particularly on democratic regression and autocratization patterns, has emerged. On the other hand, a burgeoning literature on digital politics and on the interaction between ICTs and political processes is rapidly evolving. The aim of this section is to further empirical and theoretical research in these crucial topics by exploring their current mutual effects. The section aims at bridging the above-mentioned strands of research by focusing on the relation between digital/internet politics and the quality of democracy. We will assess the role of internet and new technologies in accompanying current debates around different types of democracies: representative democracy, direct democracy, and deliberative / participatory democracy. In particular, this section will focus on the following two research axes:
- Empirical and theoretical explorations of the role of internet and new technologies in creating or managing tensions between democratization and autocratization processes. For instance, this axis will include research on how digital technologies are used to legitimize and reinforce autocratic regimes and democratic backsliding, or to help sustaining and organizing local enclaves of resistance against autocratic regimes.
- Empirical and theoretical explorations of the role of internet and new technologies in transforming traditional forms of political participation or in promoting new forms of political participation. For instance, this axis will include research on how electoral processes have been affected by the emergence of new technologies (e-voting or internet voting), new communications tools (eg. social media) and new actors (eg. digitally native civil society or political organizations), or on how ICTs, digital platforms and social media help state institutions to re-connect with citizens beyond traditional intermediaries.
The section on Internet and the Quality of Democracy will be composed of eight panels: six pre-accepted panels and two fully open panels.
Panel #1. Digitalization and party organizational change in the aftermath of the Great Recession and the COVID Era
Panel #2. Polarized discourses in the digital era
Panel #3. Electronic and internet voting: Electoral behavior
Panel #4. Electronic and internet voting: Legal aspects and regulation
Panel #5. The Data of Democracy
Panel #6. Internet and autocracy
Panel #7. Open
Panel #8. Open