CfP: Digital Citizenship and Activism

Interesting CfP for a Special Issue of the eJournal of eDemocracy and Open Government (JeDEM) Vol. 4 (1) – Digital Citizenship and Activism. From the announcement: „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.“

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