Political Communication in Uncertain Times:
Digital Technologies, Citizen Participation and Open Governance
7th and 8th September 2017
We are pleased to announce the call for papers for the forthcoming International Conference of Political Communication organised jointly by the Research Committees for Political Communication (RC22) and Electronic Democracy (RC10) of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) with the CICOM 33rd, International Communication Conference, a yearly event organized by the School of Communication of the University of Navarra (Spain), under the title of “Political Communication in Uncertain Times: Digital Technologies, Citizen Participation and Open Governance”. The conference will be hosted by the University of Navarra in the city of Pamplona, Spain.
The unexpected British exit from the European Union, the migration crisis, the rise of Isis, conflicts in countries as Syria, the emergence of populism and unpredicted citizens’ reactions (such us the rejection of Colombia Peace Plan or the election of President Trump) are only some of the events that are taking place nowadays; they all have in common the uncertainty that brings with them and that characterize the current era.
The purpose of this conference is to consider the state of media and communications research in a political period marked by a variety of events that take place within an uncertain context. The conference theme focuses on the intersection between the role of political communication and digital technologies, both understood as potential pillars that may enhance democracy in a communication context characterised by continuous crises and their transnational consequences.
Papers should make a contribution to the development of theoretical or empirical studies regarding digital political communication conducted by diverse actors that range from governments, political parties, media organisations, to non-governmental actors, citizens and social movements. Scholars, researchers and professionals are encouraged to submit paper proposals that either broadly or specifically deal with the aforementioned issues, be it by addressing national or comparative studies, theoretical or empirical ones.
We welcome submissions that cover one or more of the following questions:
New challenges for journalism and communication in a digital society: What changes have journalists and the media in general gone through? Do digital technologies change traditional concepts of media power? Do media and communication technologies support the formation of community?
Media coverage and journalist behaviour during moments of political turmoil: What role can media play at times of crisis? Which frames appeared repeatedly while media reported about an event? Is there any danger regarding the empowerment of certain voices while others are ignored?
Digital technology in election campaigns: How have election campaigns changed in styles, strategies, tools and with what impacts on voter engagement? What factors are shaping election outcomes in the digital age, and to what extent?
Relationship between representatives and citizens: How do governments and institutions deal with the opportunity and challenges introduced by digital technologies? Do they help to promote a real conversation between both sides? To what extent do they reduce the gap between them?
New parties in the political scene: Are new technologies promoting the emergence of populist parties? To what extent communication from a new party is different to those from traditional parties? Is there any visible pattern shared by new political actors?
Political actors and new technologies: To what extent are new technologies shaping political parties? Can we distinguish different practices and uses depending on the countries? Are those different practices somehow driven by any ideological perspective?
Digital Technology in public diplomacy: How digital media are shaping international political communication? How should international political actors adapt communication to the new digital audiences? Do digital media allow dialogue and interaction with international publics?
New voices, a multiplicity of agents in the public sphere: Can digital technologies transform the characteristics of the traditional public sphere? Is it possible to have an online public sphere? Will an online public sphere enhance democracy? Do media technologies constitute a new public sphere?
Mobilization and participation: Are digital technologies really able to empower citizens' political participation? Do they empower specific voices in detriment of others? To what extent social media play a relevant role on social movements? Can we talk about social media echo chambers in some results of recent political events?