Workshop: Democracy in the digital constellation

Am 5. und 6. September 2022 fand unter dem Titel „Democracy in the Digital Constellation. Interdisciplinary Perspectives“ der internationale Abschlussworkshop unserer seit bald fünf Jahren andauerenden Forschungsarbeit statt. In vier Panels hatten wir uns Expert*innen aus Politikwissenschaft, Soziologie, Kommunikations- und Rechtswissenschaft eingladen, die unsere Arbeit stark geprägt haben und mit denen wir wechselseitig unsere und ihre Forschungsarbeiten diskutieren wollten. Mit dabei als geladene Gäster waren: Vincent August, Robert Seyfert, Hannah Ruschemeier, Giovanni De Gregorio, Annie Waldherr, Jan-Felix Schrape, Paula Diehl und Rahel Süß – hinzu kamen einige unserer langjährigen Begleiter aus dem Berliner Kontext. Thematisch waren die Sektionen gegliedert nach verschiedenen Bereichen demokratischer Rekonfiguration: Democratic Governance, Constitutional and Fundamental Rights, Public Sphere, Participation and Representation.  Das komplette Programm könnt ihr hier einsehen. Es waren zwei fantastische Tage mit langen Diskussionen in einem interdiszplinären Setting, wo jeder sich wirklich für die anderen Perspektiven interessierte – und damit ein perfekter Spiegel für die Jahre der Arbeit in der DigiDem-Gruppe. Danke an alle, die teilgenommen haben!



Workshop: „Democracy in the digital constellation. Interdisciplinary perspectives“

Digitalisation enables political change. It affects how political decisions are made and how policies are implemented; it changes what issues are deemed political, how these issues are communicated, and how we generally organise and live democratic politics. The research group Democracy and Digitalisa-tion at the Weizenbaum Institute of the Networked Society has over the last five years explored the interplay of digitalisation and democratic self-governance. To this end, the concept of the digital constellation functioned as a cornerstone in our theoretical approach. It addresses the conditions under which politics take place in a society that is characterised by the use of digital technologies, distinguishing the levels of properties, affordances, and social configurations. This concept has served us as an epistemological guide to better understand how digital technologies acquire their social and political meaning. Thus, it provided a conceptual tool to analyse the techno-social dy-namics in their diversity as infrastructures, media, protocols, and artefacts.
In pursuing our research and developing the concept, we have been greatly influenced by many scholars working on the intersection of technology, society, law and politics. Now that the work of the group is drawing to an end, we wanted to seize the opportunity and reflect on the conceptual work by wel-coming many of those scholars who inspired much of the research done in the group for a final workshop „Democracy in the digital constellation. Interdisciplinary perspectives“. We invited them to discuss the concept of the digital constellation, its use as a tool for digitalization research, and its substantial implications for how we understand politics, law and societal developments in the digital constellation. The workshop took place on the 5th and 6th of September. You can have a look at our final program here. We once again want to thank all speakers Vincent August, Robert Seyfert, Hannah Ruschemeier, Giovanni De Gregorio, Annie Waldherr, Jan-Felix Schrape, Paula Diehl und Rahel Süß and all our guests for their input and the lively and inspiring discussion.

Vincent August: The Rise of Network Ideas: From Cybernetics to Governance

28. Mai 2019, 14:00 - 16:00 Uhr
Weizenbaum-Institut, Raum A104
Veranstaltungswebsite | Podcast

Why is it that we describe our societies in terms of networks? Academic and popular literature usually suggests that computers and the internet produced the network society. However, there is another story to be told. Vincent August revealed how social and political thought deliberately enforced cybernetic network ideas to re-shape the way we think about society and politics. In a historical perspective, his talk traced concepts of complexity, self-regulation, and network governance from their origins in cybernetics via the “silent revolution” of the 1970s to the present. In a systematic perspective, it examined the demands for diversity and creativity as well as the massive shift in our understanding of subjectivity and power that resulted from the rise of network ideas.