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Group photo of workshop attendees.

Pre-ISA Workshop on Digital Democracy: How Will Digitization Impact Global Democratic Practices?

Ahead of the 2019 International Studies Association Conference in Toronto, on March 26, a group of 24 international researchers gathered at McMaster University to discuss the transnational, cross-border dimensions of digital democracy.

Apr 03, 2019

Digital technologies are creating challenges and opportunities for traditional and new democracies. These extend across borders, as with the global operations of technology companies such as Facebook or the sharing by authoritarian governments of techniques for manipulating public opinion. These technologies can facilitate elections and democratic decision-making and empower citizens and activists, but also disrupt democracy with fake news, hate speech, election interference or intensified surveillance. Digitization is reshaping the boundary between public and private. The governance of new cyberspaces raises challenging issues relating to privacy, corporate power, electoral integrity, sovereignty, social inclusion, and free speech.

The workshop is unique as it examines the global aspects of these concerns about digitization and democracy, considering both more conventional democratic practices, such as elections, and newer ones, such as digital activism.   

This workshop was co-organized by Dr. Tony Porter and Dr. Netina Tan from the Department of Political Science, who along with Dr. Sara Bannerman head up Digital Democracy Hub at McMaster University. The workshop was made possible by support from the International Studies Association, the Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition and the Faculty of Social Sciences.

For more information on the workshop, visit Pre-ISA Workshop: Global Dimensions of Digital Democracy.