Italian Politics Specialist group is organising a panel entitled ‘MEDIATIZATION OF POLITICS AND (SOCIAL) MEDIA PARTICIPATION’, which will be held at the Annual conference of the UK Political Studies Association, University of Strathclyde, 10-12 April 2017.
If you are interested in contributing to the panel, please send an abstract (max 300 words) by 20 October 2016 to
Papers to be discussed during the panel will deal with the mediatization process of politics in the era of social media. In order to address this issue, an awareness is needed, first of all, about how social media shape the communicative eco-system and social action, and how they are influenced by social practices.
Analysing the cultural dimension of media participation in politics, and the possibility of developing new horizons of meaning depending on a fundamental change, assumes a strong significance in this perspective. What the panel wishes to explore is, in essence, the shift from the central role of the broadcasting media logic towards a grassroots media logic, with regard to various forms of political and civic negotiation and conflict. The growing of viral and reflexive movements, advocacy groups and online campaigns, which are characterised by connective action in their dynamics of deliberation and coordination, is a clear example of this epochal change. More generally, however, we also need to observe that, in contemporary online movements and forms of digital political engagement, common forms of collective self-representation are generated by means of the production, remixing, sharing and appropriation of content to be located in the everyday life of the individual.
Against this background, however, there seem to be some important differences between Southern European countries (such as Italy and other Mediterranean societies), and Northern European and American democracies. Citizens are usually defined as less civic and participative in public issues in the former as compared to the latter. And yet, the mediatization operated by the Internet on society and politics stimulates some critical questions the panel would like to be discussed: i) Has social-media politics had any effect on citizens’ engagement styles and political culture? ii) How are the broadcasting and social media related in the different countries? iii) What kind of organisational framework characterises the various expressions of online civic engagement and political involvement?
The aim of this panel is to shed light on these issues, discussing academic work based on:
a) case studies (drawing either on single countries or comparative analysis) looking at: online campaigns, web-based parties, civil society monitors and government watchdogs;
b) research on social media, adopting a range of research methods and techniques, e.g., big-data analysis, opinion polls among e-citizens, qualitative interviews with e-activists, and social network website content analysis.
To this end, we welcome papers that focus on the relationship between the Internet, political participation and citizens’ involvement, as well as on a multidisciplinary approach.