Colloquia #22: Electronic Networks and Democracy

, Nijmegen, Netherlands

Call for papers

Electronic networks are considered potentially important technological tools for involving citizens in the political arena. Many initiatives embracing this objective have been undertaken across Europe and North America; just as many predictions - positive and negative - have been made on the net effect of this labor. Some of these initiatives have been subject to empirical investigation; some have been supported through forms of action and participatory research. Whatever the source of data, evidence is accumulating, and a tentative assessment of the value of electronic networks for democratic life is now possible.

Two Euricom Colloquia have been held on electronic networks. In September 2001, Euricom hosted the first event. The central objective was to provide opportunity for theoretically grounded empirical studies to be presented by academics active in this area. Contributions examined aspects of community networks, digital cities, and other virtual arenas employed for supporting politically-based information, debate and action. Two theme issues of scholarly journals have been published with a selection of the papers from this Colloquium. The abstracts of these articles can be found elsewhere on this site.

The second Euricom Colloquium on this topic is planned for 9-12 October 2002 in Nijmegen. The programme for this event is elsewhere on this web site. A preliminary workshop is also planned in Amsterdam.

Future plans include a series of journal publications and an edited anthology. Several international cooperative research initiatives are also being considered by participants at the Colloquium in Nijmegen.