Political engagement is at the center of political science research, especially concentrating on traditional and non-traditional web based forms of political participation. Debates are emerging surrounding new forms of participation offered by new digital wave era technologies, especially through the participatory opportunities offered by new communication platforms (such as social networks and microblogs).
The aim of the workshop is to cover both aspects of political communication: the supply side - offered by political actors and the demand side – how audiences-citizens are interacting, or indeed want to interact with political actors. The workshop will focus on key questions arising from current studies. How do political actors communicate with their supporters and adversaries within the new communication environment created by platforms allowing for wide dissemination of information? Is there an emergence of new participation patterns among citizens or do digital technologies simply reinforce existing practices? Are traditional forms of political engagement challenged by new online participatory behaviors? Have any new forms of political engagement and participation emerged or are they just replicating longstanding paradigms? If new forms of engagement or participation are emerging, how can they be defined and measured, is the division between traditional and non-traditional, offline and online artificially sustained, or do they now overlap? Alternatively, are the new online engagement possibilities attracting different groups of citizens previously excluded?
The workshop has two proposed outputs. Firstly, and immediately, there is an intention to develop an edited collection, either as a journal special issue, collection for the ECPR/Routledge series or a similar series. Dr Lilleker is series editor of the Political Communication and Campaigning Palgrave series. Secondly, we intend to develop a bid for the Horizon 2020 call to fund a research consortium.