University of Surrey Institute of Advanced Studies

University of Surrey

Young People, New Technologies and Political Engagement

24 July 2007 - 25 July 2007


  • Prof.Lance Bennett (Center for Communication and Civic Engagement, University of Washington) Abstract
  • Prof. Stephen Coleman (Institute of Communication Studies, University of Leeds) Abstract
  • Dr. Anita Harris (Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, University of Queensland) Abstract
  • Against the backdrop of increasing concern about the disengagement of youth from politics and the public sphere, the relationship between new technologies and young people’s political engagement and participation is a cross-disciplinary issue of considerable importance not only to academics but to practitioners and policymakers across the world.

    There is now a large body of literature which has explored the potential of ‘digital democracy’ to revitalise political life and challenge conventional forms of political participation. Separately, youth researchers have provided considerable insights into the way new technologies are influencing – and are themselves influenced by – the lives and identities of young people. Only recently, though, has significant research attention begun to focus upon the particular relationships – potential and actual – between new technologies and political engagement amongst the young.

    This seminar intends to contribute to the development of research and theory in this crucial area by providing a forum for scholars from across the world to share the findings of empirical and theoretical work, discuss the policy implications of their research, and strengthen their international and inter-disciplinary ties. We aim to bring together leading figures in the subject area from across the globe as well as to offer a valuable international forum for emerging projects and individuals.

    Here are the Abstracts for the seminar.