Date: 25 April 2019
Time: 1.30pm to 7.30pm
Location: Centre for the Study of Democracy, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

Democracy, the digital and public sphere workshop


The workshop will encourage a diverse conversation on the impact of an increasingly digitally mediated public sphere on contemporary democracy. To what extent is the digital undermining or enhancing democratic expectations? What interventions could improve the democratic character of the public sphere?

The event will be structured around two panel discussions and a keynote lecture by Archon Fung (Harvard University) on “Democracy, Design, and the Digital Public Sphere”.

We are grateful for the support by the Pushing the Boundaries Scheme of PSA.


Panel 1

1.30–3pm – Cayley room (RS 152)

Alfred Moore (University of York), Political competition and regulation

Jim Killock (Open Rights Group), Free expression and privacy

Katherine Dommett (University of Sheffield), Political parties and micro-targeting

Nicole Curato (University of Canberra), Can we fact check feelings?

3–3.30pm – Tea

Panel 2

3.30–5pm – Cayley room (RS 152)

Anastasia Kavada (University of Westminster), Transparency, knowledge and the commons in social movements

Hans Asenbaum (University of Westminster), Online anonymity and social movements

Michelle Brook (The Democracy Society), Lessons from the field in digital citizen engagement

Rikki Dean (Goethe University Frankfurt), Citizen participation in digital era governance

5–5.30pm Tea


Archon Fung is Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professor of Citizenship and Self-Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. His research explores policies, practices, and institutional designs that deepen the quality of democratic governance, in particular public participation, deliberation, and transparency. He co-directs the Transparency Policy Project and leads democratic governance programs of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Kennedy School. His books include Full Disclosure: The Perils and Promise of Transparency (Cambridge University Press, with Mary Graham and David Weil) and Empowered Participation: Reinventing Urban Democracy(Princeton University Press).

Confirmed speakers: Michelle Brook (The Democracy Society), Jim Killock (Open Rights Group), Nicole Curato (University of Canberra), Alfred Moore (University of York), Katherine Dommett (University of Sheffield), Anastasia Kavada (University of Westminster), Rikki Dean(Goethe University Frankfurt). More to follow. The event is hosted by Graham Smith. It is organized by the Centre of the Study for Democracy together with the PSA Participatory and Deliberative Democracy specialist group.

How to book

Tickets are free but you must register in advance.

To attend the workshop from 1.30pm including the keynote speech, book here via Eventbrite.

To attend the keynote lecture only from 5.30pm, book here via Eventbrite

Centre for the Study of Democracy

This event is a collaboration of the Centre for the Study of Democracy and the Participatory and Deliberative Democracy specialist group with friendly support of the Political Studies Association.

The Centre for the Study of Democracy, based in the School of Social Sciences, has an international reputation for research excellence, with research themes in: critical international theory; democratic theory and practice; gender and sexuality; governance, complexity and resilience; post-colonial politics development and emerging powers; security, violence and justice, and social and cultural lives.