In this seminar, students gain a brief overview of new literature on different areas in which digitization affects democracy: press freedom, e-participation and surveillance, among others. We look at the scholarship on digital networks and democracy, at concepts of e-participation and delegated voting, and at examples of already existing forms of online participation in elections. The case studies are drawn from Asia, Europe, and the US.
The focus of the seminar is the development of joint or individual student research projects. What is a feasible research question, and what data is needed to answer it? How can this data best be obtained? Students will be expected to design a small research project and to present their research design twice during the semester. Students will receive feedback during the class and during individual consultation. The final exam will consist of a written research design.
Course participants are required to do all of the course readings and to be willing to work independently on their projects. The workload in between sessions is not to be underestimated. Proper preparation for our meetings is essential. This course offers an environment for initial preparations for final theses.
Meetings will be held every other week for four hours.