Call for Papers: Digital Citizenship and Activism

Call for Papers: Special Issue: Vol. 4 (1)

Digital Citizenship and Activism: Questions of Power and Participation Online

Guest Editors

  • Dr. Maria Bakardjieva (University of Calgary, Canada)
  • Dr. Jakob Svensson (Karlstad University, Sweden)
  • Dr. Marko M. Skoric (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

Nowadays, when citizens, activists and participants in social movements want to voice their opinions and negotiate their political identities they increasingly do so in hybrid media environments that are particularly suitable for mobilisation, organisation and discussion. With a massive increase in online social networking, digital infrastructures are lowering the threshold for political involvement. This, in turn, is considerably shifting the power dynamics of participation. Digital storytelling, for example, has become part of the strategies used by contemporary political activists. While strategies in the past revolved mainly around the attempts to influence the mass media and gatekeepers, today more and more citizens are becoming reporters and commentators themselves, often providing first-hand, real-time coverage of offline political activities.

However, some have questioned the notion of social networking platforms as tools for social change and/or horizontal power structures, in particular in relation to issues of surveillance and data privacy. These sorts of critical views have been voiced in public debates on the implications of corporate ownership of social networks. Another question that has been raised is whether “clicktivism” is eroding the physical or embodied participation constituting traditional offline activism. It must be also taken into account that very few movements have succeed through mediated activism alone.

Hence, on the one hand we are witnessing how increasing access to the internet has resulted in an array of new strategies and success stories for contemporary activism, in particular with regards to mobilisation. On the other hand, we are still groping in the dark when it comes to understanding the place of digital participatory activities in the shifting landscapes of power in late modernity. For this special issue of JeDEM, we invite scholarly research to shed light on the issues of power and participation online.

Topics can include, but are not limited to:

  • Digital divides, hierarchy and marginalisation in political collectives, citizen networks and social movements
  • Identity negotiation in digital activism and online collective action
  • The intersections of individual, collective and connective identities in political movements online
  • Socio-psychological aspects of political communication online
  • Slacktivism, clicktivism, micro-activism and socio-political change
  • Empirical accounts of shifting power relations and citizen/community empowerment in contemporary political participatory initiatives
  • Mappings of power relations in online political networks
  • Online platforms for mediated sociability and social capital creation and their role in civic mobilization
  • The politics of privacy and surveillance in a networked world
  • New governmental policies and networks
  • Examples of new media strategies, real-time coverage and networked organisation in social and ad-hoc movements
  • Implications and criticism of corporate ownership of social networks
  • Social media activism in emerging and transitional democracies
  • Multimedia configurations and citizens’ involvement in the public sphere

Relevant articles from different national and disciplinary perspectives are welcome. We also encourage authors to submit policy papers and case studies, as well as critical essays analyzing existing methods and approaches.

Submission Guidelines

Articles submitted for consideration must be written in English.
Length of paper: 7,500-12,000 words, including footnotes.
Template and guidelines are available at http://www.jedem.org/about/submissions#authorGuidelines

Important Dates

Call for papers 01.03.2012
Submission deadline 11.06.2012
Editor decision 16.07.2012
Camera ready paper 06.08.2012

Contact

Judith Schossböck, Managing Editor
Centre for E-Government, Danube University Krems
Email: judith.schossboeck@donau-uni.ac.at
Phone: +43 (0)2732 893-2309

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