Call for papers for a session on “Online Political and Governance Networks”

XXXIII Sunbelt Conference, Hamburg 21-26 May 2013

Prof. Noshir Contractor (Northwestern University) and Dr. Elena Pavan from the University of Trento are organizing a session on “Online Political and Governance Networks”.

The pervasiveness of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), their extensive use and the density of Internet-enabled global communication flows are pushing forward relevant transformations in all domains of human action. In particular, the interconnectedness of projects, agendas, priorities, visions, hopes, needs and claims that is enhanced by ICTs and mobile technologies has inevitable consequences on the way politics are conducted at all levels, from the local to the global, and within more or less institutional venues, from supranational summits to the streets and the squares. Not only political dynamics are played out within network structures and according to network logics. More importantly, political action is undergoing an inevitable process of hybridization, as it results from the intertwinement of interactions established amongst committed organizers, participants and contestants both online and offline. Despite an increased interest in the last years, empirical studies addressing political dynamics enabled and sustained by Internet use (websites, social media, e-mails, forums etc.) are still lacking while relevant methodological questions on how to study online networks and their intertwinement with offline dynamics remain wide open.

The “Online Political and Governance Networks” session at the XXXIII Sunbelt Conference (Hamburg, May 21-26, 2013) aims at improving the current state of the art in this area and invites research efforts combining an empirical network approach with specific concerns for contemporary political dynamics deploying on the space of relations created by the Internet.

The session will host empirical analyses of online networks sustaining, amongst other, political dynamics such as:
Collective action, citizen’s political participation, social movements;
Political Communication, electoral campaigning;
Multistakeholder diplomacy and policy-making.

Abstract should be submitted before Dec.31st 2012 via the conference submission system ( and should be limited to 250 words. Please indicate in the field for additional notes “Session Organized by Noshir Contractor and Elena Pavan”.