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Do Finland’s digitally crowdsourced laws show a way to resolve democracy’s “legitimacy crisis”?

Do Finland’s digitally crowdsourced laws show a way to resolve democracy’s “legitimacy crisis”?

There is much discussion about a perceived “legitimacy crisis” in democracy. In his article The Rise of the Mediating Citizen: Time, Space, and Citizenship in the Crowdsourcing of Finnish Legislation, Taneli Heikka (University of Jyväskylä) discusses the digitally crowdsourced law for same-sex marriage that was passed in Finland in 2014, analysing how the campaign used […]

Political polarization on social media: do birds of a feather flock together on Twitter?

Is social media democratizing and empowering, or simply a new platform for tighter messaging and control? As social media usage widens and deepens across much of the world, its impacts on politics and democracy are becoming incontestable, but whether these impacts ultimately prove positive remains an open question. Anatoliy Gruzd (Ryerson University) and Jeffrey Roy (Dalhousie University) discuss their Policy and internet article: Investigating Political Polarization on Twitter: A Canadian Perspective, which investigates the extent to which Twitter users cluster around shared political interests.

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The Future of Europe is Science — and ethical foresight should be a priority

The EC recently took stock of European achievements in science, engineering, technology and innovation (SETI) during the last 10 years, at the high-level conference “The Future of Europe is Science”. Keynote speaker Luciano Floridi highlights three particularly significant features of the resulting report: that the report treats science and technology as equally important and intertwined; that contrary to our expectations, citizens do not consider the protection of personal data to be a high priority for SET in the next 15 years; and that ethical foresight “should also be a priority”.

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The life and death of political news: using online data to measure the impact of the audience agenda

The political agenda has always been shaped by what the news media decide to publish, and the question of how much influence the audience has in these decisions has always been ambiguous. To assess the possible influence of new audience metrics on decisions made by political news editors, Jonathan Bright and Tom Nicholls undertook a large-scale study of the relationship between readership statistics and article lifetime, described in their article: The Life and Death of Political News: Measuring the Impact of the Audience Agenda Using Online Data.

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Past and Emerging Themes in Policy and Internet Studies

What kind of research does the journal Policy & Internet publish? Editor Vili Lehdonvirta approaches the question from two angles; first, by examining the question empirically, through a brief thematic analysis of the articles published since its launch in 2009; second, by considering what kind of research the journal is likely to publish in the future, both in terms of what kind of trends can be seen emerging in policy and Internet research, as well as in terms of what challenges outlined in the journal’s original vision that continue to be pertinent today. Read the full editorial.

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Presenting the moral imperative: effective storytelling strategies by online campaigning organisations

There has been an international growth in online campaigning organizations that engage in public policy debate and mobilize citizens. Ariadne Vromen (University of Sydney), co-author with William Coleman of the paper Online Campaigning Organizations and Storytelling Strategies: GetUp! in Australia published in Policy and Internet, analyses how these organizations promote an innovative approach to storytelling and discursive politics, and how these stories are used to help citizens and decision makers identify with an issue, build community, and act in recognition of the moral urgency for political change.

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Online collective action and policy change: shifting contentious politics in policy processes

Internet mediated communication facilitates new forms of involvement in policy making processes for social movements, but also generates contentious politics as such. This is the central issue explored in this article by Andrea Calderaro, Guest Editor (with Anastasia Kavada from the University of Westminster) of the Special issue on “Online Collective action and Policy Change”, and researcher at the European University Institute / Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies.

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Online collective action and policy change: new special issue from Policy and Internet

Digital communication technologies are altering the interface between policy makers and social movements. Anastasia Kavada, Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster, and Guest Editor (with Andrea Calderaro from the European University Institute) of the Special issue on “Online Collective action and Policy Change”, provides an introduction to the papers published in this issue, noting that the internet constitutes both a tool and an object of activism and policymaking.

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We are pleased to present the combined third and fourth issue of Volume 4 of Policy and Internet. It contains eleven articles, each of which investigates the relationship between Internet-based applications and data and the policy process. The papers have been grouped into the broad themes of policy, government, representation, and activism. POLICY: In December […]

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