Australian Politics in an Age of Social Media
12 June, 2013
Drawing from his recent book, Australian Politics in a Digital Age, Dr Chen’s talk revisits old debates about the internet’s potential for democratisation. The theme is catalysed by the shifting landscape of the Australian media system towards islands of institutional content bridged by social media connections. While the prospects for a radical reconfiguration of democratic practice were largely unfounded in the first two decades of the internet, there is some evidence that elite dominance of new media in Australia is being disrupted by a more anarchic and horizontally-structured pattern of communication. While some herald this “web 2.0” as transformative, this talk pragmatically examines, against a background history of disappointment in this field of study, the prospects for a renewed interest in electronically-facilitated democratic practices.
Peter John Chen is a lecturer in politics and media in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. His research interests focus on the relationship between media and politics, with a special interest in new media's impacts on electoral politics, media regulation, social movements and the politics of animal protection. He is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Information Technology & Politics and the International Journal of Electronic Governance. Peter is currently working on a new book on the politics of animal welfare in Australia.
Location: RC Mills Boardroom 148, Level 1, RC Mills Building, University of Sydney
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