Digital Society & Democracy
The main social spheres of contemporary society including politics, the economy, culture, education, and everyday user practices are increasingly shaped by digital technologies. This process reinforces the need for imaginative research that cuts across diverse academic disciplines. The present proposal for a doctoral programme pursues and supports doctoral research focusing on issues of democracy / equality and diversity / participation as well as sustainability in the current and future digital network society from a social scientific perspective, in particular from the sociological, political, and communication angle.
The doctoral program Digital Society & Democracy is an updated and expanded concept in terms of content and organization of the doctoral program “Internet & Democracy” at the University of Salzburg, which has already been running successfully since 2016/2017. The research programme of the proposed Doctoral School is concerned with social, political, cultural, economic, and policy issues arising from the digital communication technology affecting democratic societies. It examines the diffusion and integration of new communication technologies into society and the consequences for democratic legitimacy, responsiveness, (unequal) political participation, representation, organization, and political decision-making. It also examines how political power arrangements, communication, economic equality, and social justice are affected by digital transformation. A particular focus is placed on the interactions between technology (Internet/ICTs/social media), political institutions, social structure, regulation and governance, the communication strategies of organizations and elites, and everyday life and economic markets, as well as their combined transformative power.