In responding to perceived threats to our democratic system, are we using technology instead of strategy?
This is one of the questions that was addressed at the international conference jointly organised by the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy and the European Commission on 9 December 2019.
Entitled “Building Resilient Democracies? The Global Significance of EU initiatives to safeguard digital citizen engagement and online democratic processes”, the conference explored the variety of initiatives taken by transnational actors to safeguard democracy in a digital context. More specifically, we focussed on whether and how the initiatives taken to ensure and foster digital citizen engagement may contribute to build more “resilient” democracies.
The event was designed and organised by Wainer Lusoli from the European Commission
Directorate-General for Research & Innovation; Anna Leander, Professor of International Relations/Political Science and faculty associate of the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy; Christine Lutringer, Executive Director of the Democracy Centre; and Shalini Randeria, the Centre’s Director.
The collaboration with the European Commission and the DG Research and innovation was developed during Wainer Lusoli’s fellowship at the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy and with subsequent activities involving colleagues from the Commission, including Ana Arana Antelo who was a keynote speaker during the Democracy Week last September.
The EU is one of the key transnational actors that has had a strong role to safeguard democracy in a digital context. Its initiatives therefore represent a very interesting vantage point to look at the governance of digital democracy. At this workshop we discussed them and put them in a broader global/interdisciplinary/policy perspective. The three panels are devoted to: 1) governance 2) governors and 3) the governed.
Speakers came from from many organisations, including the European Commission, the Kofi Annan Foundation, the Geneva Internet Platform, the Internet Society, Unversity of Tilburg, University of Rotterdam, the University of Geneva, as well as several research centres and departments of the Graduate Institute.
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