The Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society is organizing its 2020 annual conference on the subject of “Democracy in Flux – Order, Dynamics and Voices in Digital Public Spheres” and invites interested scholars to submit abstracts and papers for presentation on Thursday, 4 June and Friday, 5 June 2020 at the Urania in Berlin.
The spread of digital technologies has contributed to a multi-faceted change of democratic orders, actors, and practices. At the intersection of long-term evolution of democracies and the emergence of social media, we observe a profound redistribution of communication and political power. Traditional mass media are losing their privileged position as gatekeepers of the public sphere; social media are establishing new norms of social relevance and simultaneously give voice to ideas, opinions, and actors, which used to be marginalized. This development seems full of ambivalences. Thus, the changing conditions of communication have spawned a situation of democracy in a state of permanent flux.
The debate on how digital technologies have changed public spheres and impacted democracy has been scattered across different scientific disciplines, political arenas, and civil society. The 2020 Annual Weizenbaum Conference aims to bring together these various perspectives and seeks to initiate an interdisciplinary exchange on the linkages between digital public spheres and democracy.
c/o Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society:
Hardenbergstraße 32, 10623 Berlin
Tel: +49 (30) 700 141 003
About the Weizenbaum Institute
The Weizenbaum Institute investigates the current changes in all aspects of society occurring in response to digitalisation. Our goals are to develop a comprehensive understanding of these changes based on rigorous academic analysis and to offer informed strategies to address them at a political and economic level.
The Weizenbaum Institute is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The consortium is coordinated by the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) and includes the four Berlin universities – Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, Universität der Künste Berlin – as well as the Universität Potsdam and the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS).
The Berlin-Brandenburg Consortium focuses on the interaction of the social sciences, economics and law with design research and computer science. Interdisciplinary basic research and the exploration of concrete solutions in practice-based labs are combined with knowledge transfer into politics, business, and society. The conceptual design of the Institute aims to achieve scientific excellence with a nationwide and international impact, as well as networking with cooperation partners from civil society, business, politics, and the media.
The institute is named after the computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum, who was born in Berlin in 1923 and passed away in 2008. His entire life’s work was concerned with the socio-critical dialogue between man and machine.
More information: www.weizenbaum-institut.de