Ben O’Loughlin has agreed to make a formal contribution to the hearing on “Internet and politics: the impact of new information and communication technology on democracy” that will take place at the Council of Europe in Paris on 11 March 2013, from 2 pm to 5.30 pm. Ben will discuss the impact of the Internet on political communication and political mobilization and the challenges of e-democracy. These include:
- Changes in communication patterns provoked by new information technologies, such as the blurred frontier between public and private space and socialization/democratization of information and knowledge.
- Impact on people’s political mobilization, from the “flash mobs” to the Arab Spring.
- Changes in the relationship between political forces and electorates, for instance in the selection of leaders and candidates, in the marketing of party programmes, and the rise of a new kinds of parties such as the Pirates or the Italian Cinque Stelle (five stars).
- New possibilities for citizens to participate in decision making.
The other invited experts are Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz, Director of the Hans-Bredow-Institut für Medienforschung, Hamburg, and Prof. Patrice Flichy, Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée, Director of Réseaux.