‘Can the Internet provide a deliberative space for our new politics?’

That’s the rather wordy title of a seminar I’m running tomorrow night at the Institute of Irish Studies at Queens, along with my colleague (and distinguished blogger) Ciarán O’Kelly from the School of Law.
Some of things I hope to cover:

– can online communication ever be more than a news/gossip space?

– the difference between the ‘social networking’ approach and the ‘hyper democracy’ of online petitions

– the centrality of democratic institutions, and whether online media underwrites or detracts from their legitimacy?

– to what extent can online technologies allow public representatives engage with journalists; policy makers; party activists; and the general voting public?

Also given that in tiny polity like Northern Ireland there are highly limited resources available to develop initiatives that can work cogently on both cross border and cross channel bases, I’ll also be asking (if we get time) whether Internet based technologies can be used to develop effective local policies?

If that hasn’t put you off and you’d to come along, we’ll be at the Institute of Irish Studies, Seminar Room 1, First Floor, 53-67 University Road. Kick off is at 4.00pm.