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Social Media and Counter-Democracy: The Contingences of Participation

Abstract : 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.
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Peter Dahlgren. Social Media and Counter-Democracy: The Contingences of Participation. 4th International Conference on Electronic Participation (ePart), Sep 2012, Kristiansand, Norway. pp.1-12, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-33250-0_1⟩. ⟨hal-01541472⟩

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