New media, democracy, participation and the political | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 5, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1757-2681
  • E-ISSN: 1757-269X



The advent of social media has revived the discussion on media engagement/participation and the role of citizen-user in the democratic innovation, in terms of both building divergent cultures of communality and experimenting, individually and collectively, with new ways of ‘claiming’ and ‘doing’. In this context, the article probes into the interplay between social and technological, public and private, collective and individual, civic and commercial practices at networked platforms, reviewing relevant challenges and questions set for the enhancement of the democratic activity. It draws on the deliberative and the radical democratic approaches, evaluating discursively the dynamics of civic engagement/participation in the realm of mediated and networked communication, in regard to the interactional dimension of the public sphere (and the connections with the private sphere), as well as on the lines of the development of a new sociality (a mixture of both the personal and the political). From this perspective, the article critically reflects on the normative principles of rational deliberation and goal-directed action as exclusive arenas of the constitution of the democratic process, proposing instead a broader and dynamic framework that takes into account the intersection of differing and conflicting forms of engagement, both deliberative/active and monitorial/reactive ones.


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