The critical infrastructure of democracy: lecture series “Making Sense of the Digital Society” continues
Political parties and free media are essential for the proper functioning of representative democracies. For some time now, however, these institutions have been subject to major structural change. As part of the series Making Sense of the Digital Society, Jan-Werner Müller discusses what the changes in this critical infrastructure mean for the effective exercise of fundamental rights as well as for the relationship between citizens and the political system. We invite all interested parties to participate in the online event on Wednesday, 9 March, from 7:00-8:30 p.m., via livestream on hiig.de.
Jan-Werner Müller is Professor for Politics at Princeton University. He is co-founder of the European College of Liberal Arts. His essay “What is populism?” has been translated into numerous languages and is considered a central work for understanding contemporary political developments. Currently, Müller is developing a reassessment of intermediary institutions in democracy and will present this analysis in the lecture on 9 March 2021. In his speech, he will offer an account of the distinctive role of intermediary institutions that goes beyond standard claims of “connecting citizens to the political system”: What normative criteria can be used to adequately assess the functioning of intermediary powers?
The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) and the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb) are therefore continuing the lecture series Making Sense of the Digital Society, which was launched in 2017. Digitalisation raises fundamental questions for the digital society: issues of power and inequality, democracy and the public sphere, infrastructures and platforms. To better understand the current transformation and shape a common future, we need comprehensive explanations. Leading European intellectuals are invited to speak at the event. Previous guests in the series have included Manuel Castells, Shoshana Zuboff, Eva Illouz, Nick Couldry and Iyad Rahwan.