Building: VMP 8 Floor: Ground Room: 06
The Digital Era not only stipulated new forms of movements and protest but also functioned as a catalyst for new parties like the French En Marche, the German Alternative or the Italian Five Star Movement. Those new parties grew directly with their organizations in digital environments and therefore need no adaptation or transformation processes to digital communication channels like established parties. The new European parties of the 2010s thus where born in a 'digital era' - but are they all 'digital natives'?
The Panel aims at papers concerning the role of digital media practices on political parties, digital innovations within new parties (vs. old parties), with regard to its membership, to decision making processes, internal democracy and campaigning. The panel addresses therefore the following questions (amongst others): Are new parties genuinely different in this respect from older ones? How do they organize (digital) mobilization? How active are they online and how popular are they in comparison to older parties? Does the online world reflect the offline world or does it supply an opportunity for new parties to make a breakthrough? How has the rise of the internet influenced the birth of new (European) parties? Which forms of intra-party participation do they foster compared to classical membership models? Are offline participation and mobilization models travelling into the online world? Those questions shall be discussed within the panel that not only tries to evaluate criteria for emerging new cyber party but also the potential of the digital communication practices for established parties as challenge and chance. The intended outcome of the panel would be the start of a new research group, dealing with the addressed questions about digital (new) parties and how they cope with digitalisation as an external environmental phenomenon that affects their organisation at the core - internal as well as external communication and organisation.
Contributions from all theoretical and empirical perspectives on party political research linked to technological and digital questions at all career levels are welcomed. Especially comparative studies about the practices of old and new parties are wished as part of the panel, but case studies about new digital parties or 'cyber parties' are most welcomed.