Best Paper Award from our section at the ECPR General Conference 2017

Best Paper Award from our section at the ECPR General Conference 2017

Best Paper Award

Section 63: The Diversity of Democratic Innovations, ECPR General Conference, Oslo 2017

The Standing Group on Democratic Innovations of the ECPR has decided to award Hans Asenbaum from the University of Westminster, UK, for his paper

”Online Anonymity in Deliberative Democracy: Disinhibition and Contestation or Deindividuation and Conformity?”

Exploring the role of online anonymity in relation to deliberative democracy is both topical and relevant to the research field of democratic innovations. Deliberative democratic theory views the diversity of opinions and identities as a necessary precondition for deliberation, while the purpose of anonymity obscures aspects of personal identity. Yet, both deliberation and anonymity share a concern for an inclusive public sphere. Asenbaum’s paper investigates whether online anonymity is conducive to deliberative democracy by drawing on two opposing theses from social psychology – disinhibition vs. deindividuation – including relevant empirical studies. The paper is well written, engages meticulously with different literatures, and successfully combines deliberative theoretical insights with empirical findings from social psychology.

Other honorable mentions among the nominated papers include “Facing disagreement: social media and public deliberation” by Joan Balcells and Albert Padró-Solanet (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) and How participatory is your municipality? Measuring participatory, deliberative and direct democratic possibilities at the sub-national level“ by Maija Jäske (University of Turku)

November 2017

Professor Kimmo Grönlund                                   Professor André Bächtiger
Åbo Akademi University                                          University of Stuttgart
Convenors of the Standing Group

Dr. Staffan Himmelroos                                         Simon Beste
Postdoctoral researcher                                        PhD Candidate
Åbo Akademi University                                        University of Stuttgart
(Section Chairs)


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