This workshop is organised by the Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association, in cooperation with the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster.
Anxieties about the susceptibility of ordinary people to appeals to emotion and misinformation have been central to critiques of democracy, from Plato to Walter Lippmann to the present day. Democratic theorists have long harboured anxieties about the dangers of behaviourist and instrumental approaches to politics, in which professional techniques of opinion management and the incentive structures of commercial media would narrow the space for meaningful public deliberation (Habermas, 1962).
Yet today such fears and anxieties seem heightened and bound up with digital technologies. While resisting the technological hype and moral panic about 'post-truth' politics, this workshop aims to identify points of genuine novelty and concern and frame a set of substantive research questions, including:
- What is old and what is new in 'post-truth' politics?
- What does it change (if anything) about the way we study politics?
- And what can be done about it?
The workshop will involve a series of presentations of short, 5-10 page discussion papers addressing these questions, followed by open discussion with all participants.
We invite contributions from scholars and practitioners from a range of disciplines and encourage participation by early career scholars in our own specialist groups.
This is a public event and open to all.
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