Theories of democracy have assigned a crucial role to communication processes. The need of a constant relation between the elected and the citizens, epitomized by the concepts of responsiveness and accountability, stands as one of the pillars of representative democracy, that must rely on efficient communication processes. Likewise, an informed public opinion needs dense communication flows.
In the last decades research and scholarly reflection on the transformation of liberal democracies have highlighted the problematic links between communication and democratic institutions.
On the one hand some studies have shown that the inclusion of large segments of the citizenries in the information and communication eco-systems has changed their political culture and has stimulate their political participation. The traditional media and especially the interactive media have made available to citizens an unprecedented array of information tools and at the same time empowered them to actively intervene in the formation of political decision, well beyond the simple representation.
On the other hand, a number of studies have appraised communication processes that apparently clash with the classic normative theories of informed citizen=active citizen. Mediatization, popularization, spectacularization of politics and of political communication are seen with concern as they might distract and entertain citizens rather than provide them substantive information.
The Annual Conference of the Italian Association of Political Communication (AssoComPol) aims to encourage a scholarly discussion on the theme “Communication as Democratic Resource”. The contributions can be both of qualitative and quantitative nature and focus on general theoretical issues or be in-depth analyses of specific questions.
The main areas – and subjects – of discussion are the following:
the implications of new ‘media diets’ on political outlook and behavior.
voters preferences; the new trends in election campaigning and in consensus building.
more information www.convegnoassocompol2015.it