Democracy 2.0: Can social media engage youth and disengaged citizens in the public sphere

School of English, Media Studies and Art History, University of Queensland
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Communication, 2012, 39 (3), pp. 65 - 86
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With the so-called 'Arab Spring' attributed at least in part to social media, communication scholars, sociologists, and political scientists concerned about a democratic deficit in many countries are looking optimistically to social media to reinvigorate the public sphere. However, research indicates that many claims in relation to social media are over-stated. This article reports critical analysis of five case studies of recent attempts by electoral management bodies in Australia and New Zealand to engage citizens in democratic participation that raises fundamental questions about the agonistic practices of social media and their relevance and role in representative and deliberative democracies.
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