This seminar will focus on the role of the internet in political communication. Internet has developed into an important medium for citizens, politicians, political parties, social movements, and authorities to communicate. Especially new media and social network applications, generally referred to as Web 2.0, seem to reinforce the scope and speed with which these different actors interact with each other.
The seminar will start with an introduction to different definitions and theoretical approaches to new media and politics. Special attention will be paid to the linkages between new media theories and democracy. After the introduction, the seminar will focus on the question whether the internet changes political communication, and if it does, how this process works: does the internet change the way citizens collect political information, the way politicians communicate with the electorate and the way social movements attract new members and influence policy agenda’s?
Next to the theoretical part this seminar will give ample attention to practical implications of social media in different spheres of life. Therefore several guest speakers "from the field" will join this seminar to share their real-life experiences.