Research Committee 10 "Electronic Democracy"

Prof. Norbert Kersting (
Dr. Stephanie Wojcik (

To submit an abstract to the RC10 panels (see below the list of RC10 panels):

Anyone can submit an abstract. You do not need to be a member of IPSA until you register for the congress. However, you must be signed up for a free IPSA website account to be able to submit an abstract.

Only the main author should submit the abstract/paper proposal. Co-authors can be added afterwards.

To permit maximize participation in the world congress, it is necessary to limit the number of appearances of any single individual as follows:
No individual may make more than one appearance in the programme in each of the following categories: Chair or co-chair of a session ; Papergiver; Discussant

Proposals must be submitted in English or French.

Abstracts must not exceed 1500 characters (approximately 250 words). Please do not include references, bibliographical notes, or your contact information in the abstract text.

Deadline to submit abstract/paper proposals: October 7, 2013

Submit on the IPSA website :

And send your abstract by e-mail to the chair of the panel that you have chosen.

List of RC10 panels

Virtual inequalities

Chair: Prof. Karen Mossberger (

Digital divide is still an important topic not only a problem on the global South. Large groups are excluded from broadband technology and online services. Digital inclusion is overlapped by economic, social and political exclusion. Papers focus on strategies overcoming that gap. These are not only technological infrastructural strategies but also educational policies.

Digital Campaigning and Political Organizations

Chair: Dr. Fabienne Greffet (

Discussant: Andrew Chadwick, Royal Holloway London (United Kingdom)

This panel invites papers not only on digital campaigning as such, but also on analysis of the consequences digital campaigning development might have on political organizations in a broad sense (political parties, trade-unions, NGOs…). Some scholars argue that organizations may become more and more professionalized and centralized, monitoring citizens through the development of information and targeting techniques (Howard). Others consider that a “citizen-initiated” campaign model may be emerging; this could transform organizations in a more expressive and participative way (Gibson). Forms of “organizational hybridity” may intertwine social movements and parties through their media activities (Chadwick). Are these approaches applicable to different countries and cases, whatever the political context and the institutional rules? And beyond, do digital campaigning and its consequences contribute to a redefinition of electronic democracy? If so, in what sense? These topics would be discussed in this panel at the IPSA conference in Montreal, in a comparative perspective.

Online Citizenship and the Reconfiguration of Democratic Practices. A comparative perspective

Chair: Prof. Thierry Giasson (

Discussant: Dietlind Stolle, Centre for the Study of Democractic Citizenship, McGill University

This panel presents comparative studies dedicated to online democratic citizenship. Presentations will address the these three core questions: How do citizens use online resources and technologies, either through institutional devices or more informal networks and actions to express their citizenship? How are their online practices articulated to other, offline, forms of political expressions and activism? And, finally, does digital citizenship transform the way democracy works? Organizers welcome comparative work investigating these questions, however theoretically and methodologically innovative single case studies could also be presented.

E-participation and democratic innovation

Chair: Prof. Norbert Kersting (

Co-Chair: prof Harald Baldersheim (

Discussant: Harald Baldersheim

'Open Government' programme was initiated under Obama’s presidency in the US. Besides open datra initiatives it reinvigorated new instruments for political participation. This allows individuals and groups to develop, monitor and evaluate particular policies, services, and the performance of government in general. New informations and commnication technologies bring in innovative partcipory instruments in the field of representative, demonstrative, deliberative and direct political particpation. These democratic innovations combine offlibne and online partcipation (blended democarcy) and they change the roles of government, public authorities, business, civil society and citizens.

Social networks and e-deliberation

Chair: Dr. Stéphanie Wojcik (

Co-Chair: Dr. Domagoj Bebić (

Discussant: Domagoj Bebić

Social media changed individual political participation dramatically. Social media seem to be crucial for these new social movements? What is the relationship between socio political pluralism and Internet? What is the reaction of political parties and civil society in democratic regimes. Papers focus on the evaluation of the quality of social networks.
This raises the question about the quality of these networks and the quality of deliberation in the internet. The panel will try to categorize, analyze and evaluate the different tools.

E-voting:Internet voting, voting machines

Chair: Dr. Thad Hall (

Co-Chair: Prof. Alexander Trechsel

Discussant: Alexander Trechsel

Electronic voting and internet voting seems to be reinvigorated. This panel is open for discussion on strategies of national and supranational institutions such as Council of Europe regarding Electronic and internet voting. New experiments in Mexico, Argentina, new trends in India etc should be presented. Latest developments and trends in Norway, Denmark, Switzerland in the local election and new experiences in Estonia, Switzerland, USA, Russia will be evaluated.

Data protection and data security

Chair: Dr. Shiru Wang (

Co-Chair: Dr. Masahiro Iwasaki (

Discussant: Shiru Wang

Surveillance, data privacy and regulations are becoming an important issue. This panel issue is concerned with the concrete benefits and the downsides of the various opendata initiatives worldwide. Which public policies and strategies of implementation are known? Are global initiatives adopting such strategies or are there new instruments?
Topics of interest include but are not limited to technological and organizational challenges.

Catalyst or cacophony? The impact of the Internet on political opinion and participation in non-democratic regimes.

Chair: Dr. Jason Abbott (

Co-Chair: Prof. Norbert Kersting

Discussant: Laurence Whitehead

This panel will provide a comparative analysis of the impact and implications of Internet use on political opinion and participation in authoritarian and quasi-authoritarian regimes. It is widely accepted that the Internet provides access to alternative sources of unmediated information, is a tool by which opposition and reformist voices can circumvent conventional forms of censorship and media regulation, and a means by which dissident groups can organize and mobilize. Such conventional wisdom however is drawn from a relatively small number of countries where authoritarian regimes have succumbed to reformist and revolutionary oppositions. To test whether the hypothesis is valid requires a much larger multi-country and multi-regional analysis. It is to this end that this panel will contribute. It is envisaged that the panel will present case studies and data from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Russia, Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia. To this end papers are invited from researchers investigating the impact and role of the Internet in these regions.

Towards transparent societies? International Perspectives on Open Government, Open data & Transparency Research

Chair: Dr. Sarah Labelle (

Co-Chair: Mr. François ALLARD-HUVER

Prof. Yves Jeanneret
Dr. Claire Oger

Inspired by previous research on open government, transparency, public participation and governance practices in both Political Science and Information & Communication Sciences, this panel will discuss the current state of transparency research. From a historical and theoretical point of view to practical research focusing on policy implementations, proposals will explore how transparency redistributes powers and redefines relationships between stakeholders by examining its status as an ideological notion and as a model for action in the public sphere.
The panel will analyze how transparency refers to skills and expertise of public actors, in new frames of policies, especially those including the changing media environment (information society, open government, etc.). We aim to bring together different research traditions and geographic perspectives questioning the notion of transparency and related concepts like openness, accountability or empowerment. Topics of interest can pertain to varying scales and scopes of perspectives including organizations such as States, NGOs, IOs, etc., or themes such as governance, business, trust, etc.
Panel issues are concerned with the social operativity of the notion of transparency and the way it refers to concrete processes and political authority. Moreover, we form the hypothesis that transparency as a model leads to undervalue the role of communication and to occult tools, signs and socio-technical apparatuses.

Voting advice application (Possible joint panel with RC 23 Election)

Chair: Andre Krouwel (Vrije University) (

Discussant: Ali Carkoglu (Koc University)

Vote Advice Applications offer many potential opportunities to study the dynamics of elections over the course of the campaign. This panel brings together papers on VAA, its’ use and impact on the electorate. Using novel technologies, such as eye-tracking, papers will explore what users focus on and how this impacts their use and retention of the data.