This winter, we will be talking about digital challenges to institutions. This is the first time, I will be teaching a course specifically on the forms, effects, and contexts of digital challenges to institutions. This course builds on prior work I did with Ralph Schroeder and Sebastian Stier on the support digital media provided for challengers of the political status quo and the digital transformation of the public arena. I am very much looking forward to this course and the opportunity to dive deeper into these issues.
Course description: Digital technology has enabled challenges to various societal institutions. These challenges emerge on the organizational and normative level of institutions. For instance, on the organizational level, we are witnessing challenges to media organizations or established political parties. While on the normative level, we witness challenges to the goals and actual workings of institutions along the lines of social justice and political representation. Some of these challenges promise a reinvigoration and strengthening of democratic participation and representation, while some aim at a restriction of participatory rights and political representation to specific groups. In this course, we investigate various digitally enabled challenges to important societal institutions, such as journalism or political parties.