EDem10 – eDemocracy Conference 2010: announcement, CFP and speech

eDem2010, the 4th International Conference on eDemocracy 2010 is taking place on May 6th and 7th, 2010, in Krems, Austria.

I want to warmly thank Noella Edelmann for inviting me to give a keynote speech in this event. For many reasons.

The first one is that the other keynote speakers are people that I am really willing to listen to, and that very rarely get together in this side of the pond (kudos for the organization!):

  • Stevan Harnad, American Scientist Open Access Forum; Universite du Quebec a Montreal, CAN; University of Southampton, UK
  • Jochen Scholl, The Information School, University of Washington, USA
  • Micah L. Sifry, Personal Democracy Forum, TechPresident, New York, USA
  • Andy Williamson, Hansard Society, London, UK

A second reason is that I am an enthusiast about the possibilities of the digital revolution to also revolutionize the concept of citizenship and politics. But I’ve become increasingly upset about the barriers to overcome. Amongst others:

  • ¿what has changed — and what has not — because of the digital revolution?
  • The digital divide because of physical access
  • The digital divide because of skills access and the new digital competences
  • The raise of the Goverati: ¿digital democrats or digital aristocrats?
  • The concentration of media, of digital media, the echo chambers and the daily me, etc.
  • Cons, but also pros of representative democracy
  • Pros, but also costs of deliberative democracy and direct democracy

I already dealt with some of these issues in my seminar Goverati: New competencies for politics, government and participation, but I have been increasingly concerned about that after having been working on a chapter proposal about the case of Spain for a Politics 2.0 book within the Information Technology and Law Series series, edited by Wim Voermans, Simone van der Hof & Marga M. Groothuis (the chapter is provisionally entitled Striving behind the shadow: the dawn of Spanish Politics 2.0 and you can see here the bibliography). So, having the chance to share my thoughts about this to a knowledgeable audience is quite a gift.

Call for Papers

By the way, the call for papers for eDem2010, the 4th International Conference on eDemocracy 2010 is open, the deadline being March, 1st. I copy-and-paste from the official website the subjects of the conference:

The EDem10 focuses on these changes which can be seen occurring in different areas and which are manifest in different way:

  • Transparency & Communication (freedom of information, free information access, openness, information sharing, blogging, micro-blogging, social networks, data visualization, eLearning, empowering, …);
  • Participation & Collaboration (innovation malls, innovation communities, bottom up, top down, social networks, engagement and accountability, collaborative culture, collaboration between C2C, G2C, …);
  • Architecture, Concepts & Effects (access and openness, user generated content, peer production, network effects, power laws, long tail, harnessing the power of the crowd, crowd sourcing, social web, semantic web, …);
  • Different Fields: open government initiatives, eDemocracy, eParticipation, eVoting, eDeliberation;
  • Approaches and Disciplines: law & legal studies, social sciences, computer sciences, political sciences, psychology, sociology, applied computer gaming and simulation, democratic theory, media and communication sciences;
  • Multidisciplinary and Interdisciplinary Approaches;
  • Research Methods.

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2010) “EDem10 – eDemocracy Conference 2010: announcement, CFP and speech” In ICTlogy, #76, January 2010. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=3283

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6 Comments to “EDem10 – eDemocracy Conference 2010: announcement, CFP and speech” »

  1. Hola Ismael,

    I’m glad to see I’m not the only one being very upset by some barriers, and the cultural one is huge.
    Recently I went to a seminar on digital divide in my city in France. I argued digital divide would lead to democratic divide if people can’t access the tool.
    The answer was:
    There is no way edemocracy would ever work. Most people can’t spell correctly so they’ll obviously be ashamed of posting. So there will be no participation, therefore no edemocracy.

    :S

  2. I also think the digital divide can lead to a democratic divide, as the power and concentration of mainstream mass media led too to a lesser quality democracy (Italy being the best example, but definitely not the only one).

    Concerning “There is no way edemocracy would ever work” I can but disagree. It’s absolutely not about “posting”, which is focusing on the tools, but about participation, which is focusing on the goals. There’s many ways – and more there’ll be – to embed ICTs in everyday life, and I think this will be the key. The lion’s share is not on how many people post (though important too) but on how many people participate “without knowing” they are “participating”.

    Do people know they are “creating trends” by doing a simple search on Google? Nope, but they are. Same with e-democracy.

    (I wonder whether I was too cryptic in this comment…)

  3. Pingback: ICTlogy » ICT4D Blog » Will the iPad pave the path towards e-Government? A comment to Andrea DiMaio

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  5. I’m currently doing a masters on the topic of e-democracy, strategies adopted in other countries and how these can be applied to the South African democratic/political environment. Definitely the digital divide becomes a huge obstacle to achieving goals of e-Democracy in a country like South Africa. Any particular case studies that could add value to my research?

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