Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Digital citizenship

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.06.03  Social sciences  Political science  Communication science 

Code Science Field
S265  Social sciences  Press and communication sciences 

Code Science Field
5.06  Social Sciences  Political science 
citizenship, political participation, polity, internet, alternative media
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (12)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  31973  PhD Jernej Amon Prodnik  Political science  Researcher  2013 - 2016  258 
2.  28195  PhD Veronika Bajt  Social sciences  Researcher  2013 - 2016  237 
3.  18890  Judita Goričar    Technical associate  2014 - 2016 
4.  18944  PhD Majda Hrženjak  Anthropology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  350 
5.  32090  PhD Jovana Mihajlović Trbovc  Culturology  Junior researcher  2013 - 2014  146 
6.  16370  PhD Tanja Oblak Črnič  Political science  Researcher  2013 - 2016  396 
7.  21687  PhD Mojca Pajnik  Political science  Head  2013 - 2016  608 
8.  37416  PhD Marko Ribać  Political science  Junior researcher  2015 - 2016  38 
9.  20544  Irena Salmič    Technical associate  2013 - 2016 
10.  28827  PhD Peter Sekloča  Political science  Researcher  2013 - 2016  85 
11.  29686  PhD Iztok Šori  Sociology  Researcher  2015 - 2016  202 
12.  31548  PhD Lana Zdravković  Humanities  Researcher  2015 - 2016  252 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0366  Peace Institute  Ljubljana  5498295000  3,591 
2.  0582  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences  Ljubljana  1626957  40,208 
3.  1510  Science and Research Centre Koper  Koper  7187416000  13,685 
4.  1822  University of Primorska, Faculty of Humanities  Koper  1810014001  9,509 
Starting points To respond appropriately to social changes the social sciences have recognised a growing need for the innovation and reconceptualisation of theories and ideas. The DIG-CIT project addresses political participation which has been changing under the influence of a growing social complexity, the rise of information and communication technologies and media convergence. In our starting thesis, the process of the democratisation of citizenship is seen as requiring a transformation of policies so that they encourage greater citizen participation. The project sees digital citizenship as referring to citizen action in equal relations within the polity, underscoring the study of opportunities and constraints of the online environment, and considering a series of circumstances determining participation in the (European) public sphere. Digital citizenship is addressed through three theoretical approaches: 1. The theory of citizenship; 2. Critical theory of the Internet; and 3. Positionality and intersectionality theory.   Problem identification DIG-CIT focuses on studying participation of the young generation as digitally literate and relatively disinterested in institutional policy, who rarely participate in elections while being the most digitally active. Digital citizenship is introduced as a perspective that links citizens to politics so that they can recognize themselves not only as bearers but also as authors of policies. In analysing the complexity of political action DIG-CIT researches the possibilities of including citizens’ activities in policy-making. The question on one hand is how to make sense of or address the dispersed online voices to increase their impact on the established authorities while, on the other it is, how to sensibilise the authorities to better recognise the relevance of people’s political activity for the democratisation of societies, and to develop mechanisms for horizontal communication.   Aims, relevance and impact DIG-CIT aims to offer an innovative conceptual framework for the study of digital citizenship which will create new knowledge through research and offer proposals for policy-making oriented towards achieving the maximum public potential in political action at the local, national and global levels. Its aims are formed at three levels: 1. At the theoretical level its aim is to conceptualize digital citizenship as a concept understanding politics as a dynamic interaction at the intersection of online and offline environments. 2. At the empirical/methodological level, its aim is to sharpen the empirical approach to research into digital citizenship through policy and concept analysis based on thematic research and the use of a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, and by introducing new methods. 3. At the developmental level, its aim is to encourage deliberative politics created in interaction rather than separation processes involving »strong«, institutional, and »weak«, non-institutional publics, and encouraging political empowerment of individuals and groups.   Research methods and originality In our approach to digital citizenship we use thematic research for studying youth political activity, their relationship towards institutional politics as well as creation of a new politics within civil society initiatives or alternative uses of media. DIG-CIT researches the complexity of political action at three intersections: 1. Institutional and non-institutional; 2. Real and virtual; and 3. Facilitation and obstruction factors. Our approach to »innovating« citizenship addresses the specific practices of groups formed in relation to the established politics and beyond, at the intersection of online and offline environments and in the context of online hierarchies. To achieve its aims the project uses diverse qualitative and quantitative research methods, including interviews and focus groups, textual analysis, online interaction analysis, communication diary and surveys.
Significance for science
The project will help develop research into citizenship and new information and communication technologies, bringing reconceptualisations and new findings relevant to further research as well as policy-making, by: - »innovating« citizenship with the establishment of a research model for studying digital citizenship as a theoretical perspective which broadens the understanding of the concept of politics; not limiting the meaning of politics to the functioning of established authorities as most studies do, but broadening its understanding by including horizontal contexts of online communication in which citizens act politically as the public; - articulating specific theoretical approaches to the study of citizenship which reach beyond its predominant legalist understanding and by considering this concept taking into account the participation of citizens as the creators rather than just addressees or clients of the policies of e-government; - providing an alternative approach to the study of online political participation which rather than being measured only through participation in elections or attitudes to institutional politics, as is the predominant approach, studies diverse practices of citizens’ action including the activities of new social movements that experiment with the Internet and create »new politics«; - providing new approaches to the study of the Internet which rather than studying online activities as isolated from complex offline realities, they consider them at the intersections of the online-offline continuum; - focusing on the study of the political participation of the most digitally literate young generation whose complex relationships in online and offline activities are important for understanding the future vision of societies. While most studies address the problem of the digital gap by seeing young people as »unproblematic« due to their digital literacy, the project studies the dynamics of young population’s political activity in order to think about perspectives of future digital citizenship; - providing a strategy of dissemination of results to address relevant publics (publications, public evens, project website).
Significance for the country
DIG-CIT focuses on the study of citizenship as a developmental perspective which, globally, strives for the intensification of the deliberation processes, for political action through dialogue which is created horizontally in the process of democratic communication between different publics. In the current social, political and economic circumstances in the national and European contexts, with trust in established politics dropping, and electoral participation becoming relatively low, when populism is on the rise along with rising critiques of the power structures, it is important to study alternative policies and generate new ways of understanding politics. These need to be seen in their possibilitiy to articulate institutional renewal and increase the credibility of democratic institutions in order to maintain social cohesion and generate possibilities concerning future thinking on new social structures and arrangements. DIG-CIT examines opportunities for and obstacles to the political participation of young people in order to conceptualise a digital citizenship capable of generating »informed« public policies that will maximise citizen participation along with making it become the result of the citizens’ activity rather than remaining an activity alienated from them. The project studies possibilities of creating »informed« policies created in co-operation with the citizens rather than being separated from them, and which will enjoy citizens’ support instead of provoking their rejection. Opportunities enabling the generation of such politics are expected to increase social cohesion and stability, have positive impact on social atmosphere and enhance economic development. The project contributes to the recognisability of Slovenia in the international research domain researching into citizenship, globalisation, the transnationalisation of societies and media development, media policies and new information and communication technologies. Its relevance stems from its creation of new knowledge in research from an interdisciplinary perspective with the project’s expected broad reception nationally and internationally. The project positively contributed (and will continue to contribute in the future) to further possibilities of inclusion into international research projects and achieve broad reception of its results internationally (publications, participations in conferences and their organisation, lectures). By including junior researchers it is relevant for the training of staff, by including web experts its relevance lies in experimenting with the possibilities of the internet for research work.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
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