Christoph Neuberger: Democracy and public sphere in the digital society
What happens with our central democratic values like freedom, equality and truth in the digital society? Are we living in times that strengthen democracy by expanding participation and interaction or do we rather witness democracy’s downfall through fragmentation and acceleration? Are citizens empowered by more inclusive participatory means or are they just a pawn in the hands of the new digital forces? How does the public sphere fulfill its function of forming a societal self-understanding in times of hate speech and fake news? Who is responsible for realizing what society expects both of and in the internet? Is facebook just a media company – and how does traditional media need to develop itself?
Christoph Neuberger analyses the transformation of societal communication conceptually and empirically since more than 20 years. In his lecture he recapitulated general and immediate developments. He showed that we are indeed in the midst of a fundamental change – but at the same time not everything is completely novel.
Christoph Neuberger is Professor of Communication Studies at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich since 2011. Before he was a professor at the University of Münster. He was awarded with several prizes, e.g. the Schelling Prize of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities for outstanding scientific achievements. His fields of research include the Internet public sphere, online journalism, activities of the press and broadcasting media on the Internet, search engines, social media, media quality, and media regulation.
Making sense of the digital society
The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) and the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb) are organising an academic lecture series on Making sense of the digital society. The high-profile series thrives to develop a European perspective on the processes of transformation that our societies are currently undergoing. It started with an inaugural lecture by Manuel Castells about power and counter-power in the digital society on December 12, 2017, and will continue throughout 2018. Further confirmed speakers are Marion Fourcade, professor of sociology at the UC Berkeley, and José van Dijck, author of the forthcoming book The Platform Society and president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.