Based on an extended empirical research project, this book advances the theoretical, normative and practical understanding of civil society under the conditions of digital mediatization and in relation to a set of particular historical and geopolitical circumstances.
Digital Media and the Dynamics of Civil Society adds to existing knowledge of the democratizing role of digital media in communication studies by carefully tracing the trajectory of the emergent communicative and representational practices of civil society in a pair of new European democracies – Estonia and Bulgaria – facing distinctive socio-cultural and political challenges. The book combines macro and micro perspectives to illuminate the activities of civic activist and civil society organizations in the new media environment taking into account the social and cultural developments characteristic of each country. Have digital media contributed to the constitution of a new public space fostering the vitality and democratic potency of civil society in countries where it has suffered historical obstacles?
The book addresses this question by traversing the whole range between personal, group and societal beliefs, lived experiences and actions unfolding in a concrete region at a time when civic activists around the world are grappling to understand and harness the powers of digital communication.
Maria Bakardjieva is Professor and Chair in Communication and Media Studies at the University of Calgary, Canada.
Stina Bengtsson is Professor of Media and Communication Studies at Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden.
Göran Bolin is Professor of Media and Communication Studies at Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden.
Kjell Engelbrekt is Professor of Political Science at the Swedish Defence University and Visiting Professor at Stockholm University.
Chapter 1. Why Civil Society Again: The Return of an Intellectual Jedi
Chapter 2. Media Landscapes, Digital Infrastructure and Social Imaginary
Chapter 3. Digital Media and the Variable Modes of Participation
Chapter 4. Digital Media and the Variable Modes of Civic Engagement
Chapter 5. Digital Media and the Meanings of Activism
Chapter 6. Facing the Institutions: The Challenges of Transactional Activism