Internet & Democracy Case Study Series

Anecdotally, we hear constantly that the Internet changes the nature of civic engagement. However, few studies have examined in detail how the Internet changes the dynamics of how we engage in our communities and our world. A key output of Berkman’s Internet & Democracy project is a series of narrative case studies that take a deep look at much noted political and social change around the world and try to understand the true impact of the Internet on these events.

The first set of I&D case studies will be released in December 2007. Among these will be an investigation into how the citizen journalism site OhmyNews has affected Korean politics. The case looks at how the site acts in the role of the press within a democracy: informing citizens of the actions of their government, representing citizen views, and providing a forum citizen-to-citizen deliberation of public issues. The study also discusses the possibility that citizen journalism sites can become centers for political mobilization, with the 2002 presidential election as a case in point.

Another study examines the role of digital/networked technologies in Ukraine’s Orange Revolution. This case study seeks to understand the influence of Internet-based citizen journalists in an otherwise ‘self-censored’ Ukrainian mainstream media environment. Further, this case investigates how grassroots pro-democracy activists used the the Internet and mobile phones to collect evidence of election fraud, mobilize pro-democracy trainings around the country and bring thousands of people out to protest fraudulent election results.

Stay tuned for more new about I&D’s upcoming projects.

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One Response to “Internet & Democracy Case Study Series”

  1. David Sasaki Says:

    This is exactly what the blogosphere needs more of – really looking forward to the first batch of case studies.