Electronic Participation (ePart) Conference

The joint conference programme of ePart 2012 and EGOV 2012 is available here.


Peter Dahlgren,  Professor of Media and Communication Studies in Lund University, will be a keynote speaker in ePart2012. 

Peter's research focuses on democracy, the evolution of the media, and contemporary socio-cultural processes, including identity formation. In recent years his work has been on the uses of the newer media by young citizens for political participation. He have also been involved in a number of European research networks, and been a visiting scholar at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, Université de Paris 3, Université de Grenoble 3, and Université de Paris 2. He will now be continuing in the department as emeritus, as well as pursuing a few professional activities abroad.

His personal website is here.


Key note speech title: Social Media and Counter-Democracy: The Contingences of Participation


As democracy goes through various crisis and citizens increasingly disengage with traditional party politics, extra-parliamentarian, alternative modes of democratic politics emerge on many fronts; manifesting a development towards what is called counter-democracy. Debates on the role of the internet in democracy have been with us since its inception; today the discussions focus on social media, which have quickly emerged as public sphere sites and tools for democratic participation. My argument rests on the notion of contingency: the factors that make a phenomenon possible but also that delimit it. In this presentation I look at some key contingencies of political economy, technology, and socio-cultural patterns and how they impact on the spaces of online participation and the forms of identity that they foster. In particular I note the emergence of what I call the solo sphere as a mode of participation that has debilitating consequences for alternative politics.