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Empowerment and e-Participation in Civil Society: Local, National and International Implications


Empowerment and e-Participation in Civil Society: Local, National and International Implications

Organized by:
DEMO-net (the European Union’s e-Participation Network of Excellence)
Örebro University, Sweden,
Grythyttan Inn, Örebro, Sweden, May 9-10th 2008


DEMO-net (the European Union’s e-Participation Network of Excellence) is hosting a workshop to discuss to what extent and how the Internet and ICTs are reshaping citizens’ social movements and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) through new forms of media and participation. While there has been extensive investigation of government-initiated (top-down) forms of e-participation, this workshop will provide an opportunity to share knowledge on how civil society actors are using technologies for democratic empowerment (bottom-up). The results of the workshop will be disseminated in a DEMO-net report on civil society and e-participation.

Topics of interest

At this forum we will share both the theoretical and empirical research on eparticipation in civil society actors such as media, communities, social movements and NGOs of many kinds. Important topics include but are not limited to:

• How are civil society actors using the Internet for political communication? What democratic changes, if any, is this leading to?
• Do e-participation developments affect civil society by providing new platforms for debate and engagement? How?
• Will the Internet revitalize or erode offline associations and community life? How are online communities similar or different from offline ones?
• When, where and why is internet activity in civil society having an impact on public policies?
• How do trends at different levels (local, national, European and international) compare? Is civil society’s use of e-participation a homogeneous trend or is it a politically localized phenomenon?
• What new forms of political action are emerging? What old forms are

Paper submission

All are invited to participate in the research workshop on May 9-10th. Travel, lodging and meals during the course of the workshop are fully covered for those presenting short papers. (Those interested in participating, but not interested in submitting papers should contact us to see if arrangements can be made.)

Papers may be of any length, but must submitted to Ovid Boyd ([email protected]) by March 31st. Papers may be in the form of empirical research, theoretical research or discussion of current issues and trends.
Papers will be reviewed primarily for relevance to civil society and e-participation as well as quality. Accepted participants will be notified by April 7th.
After the workshop, the highest quality papers will be invited to be developed into articles suitable for publication in a journal special issue.

Contact organizers

The workshop is organized by DEMO-net and Örebro University. It will be held in cooperation with the Civil Society and New Forms of Governance in Europe (CINEFOGO) conference “Normative Implications of New Forms of Participation for Democratic Policy Processes.” For any questions, please contact:

• Ovid Boyd, Workshop organizer eGovernment, Örebro University
([email protected])
• Dr. Joachim Åström, Workshop chair
Political Science, Örebro University
([email protected])
• Monika Geisor, Travel and accommodation
Research administration, Örebro University
([email protected])
• Prof. Dr. Peter Mambrey, Workshop chair
Fraunhofer Institute for Applied IT
([email protected])


CINEFOGO - Network of Excellence

The CINEFOGO Network of Excellence (Civil Society and New forms of Governance) has been running from September 2005 to December 2009 based on a EU-FP6 Grant and generous support from the involved institutions. In its present format the CINEFOGO Network of Excellence has been finalised. Both the...

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