Electronic Democracy (eDemocracy) and to identify theoretical and methodological challenges for the future research agenda by combining a top-down and a bottom-up approach. Top-down means providing general inputs from a theoretical or methodological point of view; bottom-up means to assess and reflect actual research in different subfields in the area of eDemocracy.
General inputs on the state-of-the-art will reflect research over the last thirty years, and look at the basic challenges to democracy in an extended Europe as well as in the face of new upcoming technologies. They will be provided by internationally well known invited speakers such as William Dutton, Brian Loader, Philippe Schmitter and Jean Claude Burgelmann.
Within the bottom-up approach the state of the art of research in the following six subfields of eDemocracy will be discussed:
- eInformation (freedom of information, access to public information);
- eConsultation and eDeliberation;
- eCommunities and eMovements;
- eCampaigning and eActivism;
Each working group will be chaired by international experts. There will be three to five presentations per group, followed by intense discussion on the achievements and challenges of this research area. Some presentations will be invited. Additional presentations may be proposed by applicants.
Rapporteurs and a few invited speakers will put together assessments of the subfields in three panels. One panel will deal with the practical challenges for proceeding with eDemocracy in a more and more multi-cultural Europe. A second panel will discuss the theoretical challenges identified in the working group, while the third panel will concentrate on methodological challenges, in particular those concerning the assessment of the impact of eDemocracy activities.
It is a particular objective of the conference to have an exchange between about 20 invited experienced senior researchers and the same number of students, working in this field and shaping research in the future. An application procedure has been set up and some travel grants are available.