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NGOs in Digital Society - PhD research

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The role of NGOs in addressing democratic risks of digital society
(PhD research)

1 Research problem

Non-governmental organizations are regarded as a key actor in pluralist model of political democracy representing an intermediated public space between representative government and citizens. Also, they are often regarded as a proponent of ICT mediated communication aiming at empowering bottom up participatory society as suggested by grass-roots digital democracy model. On the other hand, a few empirical studies claim that NGOs are more likely to follow corporate model of an on-line communication instead of strengthen their democratic practices in electronic public sphere. The research aim is to contribute to public sphere theory by collecting an empirical evidence of an electronic public sphere of non-governmental organizations activism targeting digital inequality, internet control, commodification of internet, technocratic e-government and fake e-participation. Global Voices On-line, ACTA protests, AVAAZ petitioning and Wikileaks are presenting examples of such activism suggesting an existence of an issue based electronic public sphere addressing democratic challenges of digital society.

2 Theoretical background

The following theoretical background is used for PhD research:
- Theory of the Public Sphere (Habermas, 1962/1991; Habermas, 1996)
- Critical Theory (Schiller, 1991)
- Theory of the Reflexive Modernisation (Beck, U., A. Giddens and S. Lash, 1994)

3 Research hypothesis and questions

The following hypothesis is encompassing research problem and theoretical background overview: Production of democratic challenges of digital society is creating an electronic public sphere characterized by a new forms of non-governmental organisations participation.

Research hypothesis is combining the following research questions:
Q1: Which areas of public interest within digital society are NGOs addressing (public issues)?
Q2: What kind of activities are NGOs performing on-line (parapolitical / political & facilitative / creative) - Is it possible to identify distinctive types of NGOs (digital NGOs)?
Q3: Are there elements of electronic public sphere within NGOs digital communication?

4 The Methodology

Triangulation: on-line surveys, focused interviews and web sites analysis.

5 Research work in progress

- pdfThe electronic public sphere of non-governmental organizations?84.68 KB (PhD Colloquium paper)
- pdfThe role of NGOs in addressing democratic challenges of digital society938 KB (PhD seminar)
- docElectronic public sphere of Slovene non-governmental organisations addressing digital society risks14 KB (PhD Conference paper abstract)

6 About author

mag. Simon Delakorda
Curriculum Vitae, Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook

Projekti

Smart eDemocracy Against Fake News


Mreza-NVO-VID-tehnologije


Pametni glas NVOPametni glas NVO


European Citizens Crowdsourcing


Dnevi-VID-2015-informacijska-druzba


e-participacija-evropska-unija


Evropska drzavljanska pobuda


puzzled by policy


Ljudski protesti na svetovnem spletu

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Prispevamo k razvoju demokracije in sodelovanju javnosti z družbeno inovativno uporabo interneta. Zavod INePA (Inštitut za elektronsko participacijo) je prva profesionalna nevladna organizacija na področju razvoja demokracije in sodelovanja javnosti s pomočjo novih spletnih tehnologij. Inštitut deluje kot strokovni vir znanja, informacij in izkušenj ter kot priznana referenca za uspešno izvajanje kompleksnih partnerskih projektov na področju e-participacije in e-demokracije.

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