Please join us for a FAD Research Seminar Series hosted by the N&MRC.
Date: Monday 3 May 2021
Location: 1A21 & Zoom (email email@example.com for details)
Presenters: Professor Ariadne Vromen & Professor Darren Halpin
Crowdsourced politics: the rise of online petitions & micro-donations
This seminar will be an overview of our recently completed ARC DP and current book project. We argue that the logic of digital crowdsourced political participation has become normalised and institutionalised into the everyday repertoires of citizens and their organisations. The growth in popularity of creating, signing and sharing online petitions, and making micro-donations, shows the impact that everyday digital communications have had on contemporary citizen participation. Through novel analysis of individual survey, platform, and organisational data, we found that crowdsourced political participation is a unique type of highly mediated citizen engagement. We assess its potential for addressing the well-documented malaise of citizen-politics linkage in contemporary liberal democracies. Yet, while our story is a relatively optimistic one of agile, mass-based citizen engagement, we also reflect on the growing anti-democratic side of citizen mobilisation and information sharing that corporate social media platforms foster, and rarely choose to regulate or dampen.
Ariadne Vromen is Professor of Public Administration at the Australian National University. Until mid-2020 she was Professor of Political Sociology at the University of Sydney. She has long-term research interests in political engagement, including a significant project on how young people use social media for civic engagement in Australia, the UK, and the USA. Her recent book, Digital Citizenship and Political Engagement (Palgrave 2017), charts the rise and influence of digital campaigning organisations. Currently she is collaborating with colleagues on projects as diverse as young women and the future of work, to the datafication of storytelling in policy advocacy campaigns.
Darren Halpin is Professor of Political Science at the Australian National University. He has published widely on the topics of interest groups and organized interests, including recent articles in Governance, British Journal of Political Science, Journal of European Public Policy and Public Administration. His books include Groups, Representation and Democracy: Between Promise and Practice (MUP 2010) and The Organization of Political Interest Groups: Designing Advocacy (Routledge 2014). His new book, with Anthony J. Nownes, The New Entrepreneurial Advocacy: Silicon Valley Elites in American Politics, was published in early 2021 by Oxford University Press. It provides a deep dive into the political engagement of this important slice of corporate America.