The Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship and Constitutionalism (DCC) will hold its Opening Event on September 8th, 2015, featuring Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard University Cass Sunstein.
This event will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the National Constitution Center. It will kick of the the 2015-16 annual theme, “Digital Media and the Future(s) of Democracy.”
The long-term impacts of disruptive new technologies are always difficult to predict. This is particularly true for the emergence, spread and evolution of digital media over the last several decades. Do web-based, mobile, and social media provide unprecedented opportunities to democratize the production of news and public information, or do they only weaken the authority and legitimacy of professional journalists? Do they improve the efficiency and accountability of governments and businesses, or do they provide new tools for government and corporate surveillance? Do they enable democratic movements against repressive regimes, or do they provide these regimes greater means of repression? Do they facilitate and even redefine the nature of civic and political engagement, or do they divert attention from public life and issues? Do they contribute to new forms of citizenship and identity that cross national and social boundaries, or do they harden national, ethnic, religious and social divides? Do they serve as public spaces for deliberation and rational discourse, or do they amplify extreme voices that contribute to the fracturing of societies along ideological lines? As it devotes its 2015-16 year to the theme, “Digital Media and the Future of Democracy,” Penn DCC seeks to assess the complex impact of the radically evolving media landscape on democratic politics, as well as on the closely related issues of citizenship and constitutional government, both in the United States and around the globe. In our faculty workshops and annual conference, we will enlist the help of an interdisciplinary group of scholars to shed light on these issues, in the hope of providing a clearer vision of future promise and peril.
For more information about the Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship and Constitutionalism (DCC), as well as a list of upcoming events, see here.