One of the main assumptions about the impact of Internet and social media points to a transformation of the public sphere. Against the backdrop of decreasing trust in the institutions and processes of modern democracies, digital technologies have repeatedly been loaded with hopes for increasing citizen engagement and participation through a broad range of democratic innovations. In contrast, optimistic scenarios have been countered by more pessimistic outlooks like the fragmentation and atomization of the public sphere and the creation of filter bubbles and echo chambers. This perspective would include the discourse hegemony of some few as well as the potential of manipulation. Besides this normatively loaded debate, other open questions refer to aspects like the possibility of a transnational public sphere based on online-connectivity, the quality of public deliberation and new forms of networked publics.
The international workshop on the "Transformation of the public sphere" shall be the start of a series of events on “transformations in the digital age”, organized by an international network of academic institutions, including LUISS University in Rome, Scienes Po in Paris, Hildesheim University, University of Perugia, USI in Lugano, the University of Urbino and the University of Prague.
The first workshop will take place at the Center for Digital Change at Hildesheim University on 25 and 26 April 2019. The workshop is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) within the program framework “University dialogue with Southern Europe”.
- 31st January: deadline for submission of abstracts (max. 300 words)
- 20th February: acceptance notification
- 15th March: deadline for registration
- 12th April: deadline for submission of full papers (max. 50,000 characters incl. blanks)
- 25th and 26th April: workshop at Hildesheim University/CfDC