»How is Digitalization Changing Political Communication?«
In recent years, digital political communication has come to be regarded in an increasingly negative light. During the color revolutions of 2003 to 2005 and the Arab Spring in 2010, social networks were viewed as the technical basis for democratic change; however, since the summer of 2015, these networks have been looked upon as channels for the distribution of »fake news« and as echo chambers for anger and hatred toward political and intellectual elites. At the moment, the possibilities of digital communication seem to represent a serious threat to democratic decision-making processes.
(Director of the Forschungskollegs Humanwissenschaften)
(Mayor of Bad Homburg vor der Höhe)
In November 2017, a conference on exactly this topic will launch a series of annual Bad Homburg Konferenzen/Bad Homburg Conferences that will continue over the next five years. The conferences will provide a forum for reflection on issues that will confront our society in the future. At each event, experts from various fields of academia, politics, business and culture will discuss a topic that is the object of public debate. By means of structured exchange among these leaders, the conferences intend to develop multifaceted representations of the topic at hand and to suggest possible ways to shape our future society.
The city of Bad Homburg vor der Höhe and the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften of the Goethe University are organizing the Bad Homburg Conferences and will invite both podium speakers and the public to attend. The meetings will take place at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften. Funding will be provided by the city of Bad Homburg.
To open the series and launch the first conference, Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag until the fall of 2017, will give a lecture on Wednesday evening, November 8th, at the Forschungskolleg. The following day there will be several podium discussions on the opportunities and threats that digitalization poses to political decision-making. To add to the complexity of the issue, the conference will also look at pop culture and history, in which scandals and rumor have always played a role, as we can assume that the mechanisms and effects of digitalization observed in these areas can also contribute to an understanding of populism.
The following people have already accepted an invitation to contribute to the podium discussions: Frank Bösch (history, Potsdam), Indra Spiecker gen. Döhmann (law, Frankfurt am Main), Thorsten Thiel (political science, Frankfurt am Main), Julius van der Laar (strategy and campaign consultant, Berlin), Jochen Venus (media studies, Siegen) and Johannes Völz (American studies, Frankfurt am Main).
Academic directors of this first Bad Homburg Conference will be the Frankfurt University professors and members of the board of directors of the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften Heinz Drügh (literary studies), Andreas Fahrmeir (history) and Matthias Lutz-Bachmann (philosophy).
Contact and information: Iris Helene Koban, managing director of the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften (firstname.lastname@example.org).
(FKH - 04.07.2017)