Saturday, September 14 • 10:51am - 11:10am
“Social movements, activism and its impact on deliberative democracy”

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New technologies –Internet, mobile phones, tablets- have the capacity to strengthen civic society and consolidate democracy around the world. Civic engagement and activism have adapted to virtual societies maximizing their organizational linkages and networking skills in an attempt, on the one hand, to consolidate democracy in Western civilization; on the other hand, to promote transition processes in autocratic systems. 

Therefore, one of the most innovative effects of digital, transnational activism has been the revitalization of direct, global democracy and deliberative processes. Definitely, the interactive capacities of new technologies have enhanced citizen participation and deliberation creating a sort of virtual agora or digital public sphere where digital citizens discuss worldwide issues of mutual interest. In this discursive space public opinion is formed and exerts influence on political action. 

All in all, activism is evolving in this millennium towards global action or global activism. We assist to the trans-nationalization of activist networks. Inspired by altruistic solidarity, social movements have promoted cooperation, found supporters and organized demonstrations and protests worldwide. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, thousands of people have gathered against austerity measures and social injustice –from Toronto, New York, Madrid, Athens, Lisbon, London, etc.-. New media and communication technologies have galvanized collective action. The potential of global activism and deliberative processes are to be explored and developed throughout the new millennium. 


Leocadia Díaz Romero

Murcia State University
Universidad de Murcia, Spain

Saturday September 14, 2013 10:51am - 11:10am EDT
ROWE 1009

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