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01 April 2022
Digital media, democracy and civil society in Central and Eastern Europe
The countries in the region of Central and Eastern Europe have been going through tremendous changes and developments over the last forty years. Economic, social and political developments profoundly changed how their societies have been functioning. The processes of transformation and development are well advanced in certain countries (especially those that joined the European Union in its enlargements of 2004 and 2013), but are still not fully achieved in the others. Some societies are still struggling to establish their democracy (Belarus), to resolve their independence or geopolitical situation (Ukraine, Kosovo), others have rediscovered the power of the civic protest (Poland) or witnessed a rise in support for populist politicians (Hungary and Poland).
Central and Eastern Europe witnessed a sharp technological development. Yet, even if access to the Internet is widespread, it is still lower than in the Western parts of Europe (especially broadband access). The digital divide, present particularly between rural and urban areas, brings restrictions in access to information, availability of internet affordances to spread civic knowledge, participation in political discussion or possibility to be active in political discourse.
New media, Internet-based platforms or social media, facilitate citizens’ opportunity to express their opinions, engage in or connect for collective action. Yet, if access to the Internet is not equal, such connections can be limited only to certain groups of privileged citizens, leaving others behind. The digital divide, often a consequence of educational and financial inequalities, may complement incomprehension and polarization within the society.
The proposed Special Issue is dedicated to depicting the relationship between technological developments and the sustainability of democratic regimes and civil society, focusing on Central and Eastern Europe. We are especially encouraging researchers from the Region to submit their research, founded on a sound theoretical background and comprehensive qualitative or quantitative methodological approach.
The Special Issue aims to focus on Central and Eastern European countries. We especially encourage manuscripts focusing on, but not limited to the following topics:
- The role of technological development of the media in the consolidation of the democratic processes
- Political and civic engagement in the light of new media affordances
- Political actors and their employment of new media communication strategies
- The challenges to sustainable democratic institutions from online communication
The special issue will be edited by a group of researchers deeply interested in the social and political affairs within the Central and Eastern European region. Main associated editors would be accompanied by Marko Scoric (City University of Hong Kong, HKG), Damian Guzek (University of Silesia, Poland), Milos Gregor (Masaryk University, CZ), Larrisa Doroshenko (Northeastern University, US), Marton Bene (CSS Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence) and Christian Baden (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, IL). The Editors would support the Authors (invited for submission of full paper) during the process of final manuscript production.
The goal of the Editorial team is to help and promote researchers originating from the Central and Eastern European universities and research centres, however the submissions are not limited to the researchers from the region.
Announcement of the call: February 2021
Submission of the extended abstracts: September 30, 2021 [email protected]
Acceptance of the extended abstracts and invitation to submit full papers: mid-November, 2021
Edited volume ready for online version: October – November 2022
Paper version: Volume 1 2023
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Requirements for the Authors:
Submission of an extended abstract of max. 1000 words to [email protected]
Brief description of the proposed research scope
Description of the main theoretical background
Research questions or Hypothesis
Description of the data (methodological approach, sample, analytical strategy)
First analysis (if available)
Short Bio of the Authors (outside of the word limit)
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