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INcrease Corporate political responsibility and Accountability (INCA)

Project description

A closer look at how social media impacts democracy

European democracies and institutions are using social media platforms to interact with citizens and sway public opinion. But there's another side to the social media coin. Big tech giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft have stepped into the political spotlight and can be opinion-making. The question now is whether they are powerful enough to change a person’s political view. The EU-funded INCA project will study ways to maintain trust in institutions and new models of governance that can compete with the growth of platforms. INCA will also identify the ways these platforms influence people into believing otherwise and will explore ways to spread fairness and prevent digital disruption.


INCA project investigates the impact that so-called digital platforms have on European democracies and institutions. Indeed, while promoting economic growth and labour transformations, these platforms pose challenges to policymakers and citizens in relation to people’ participation in decision-making processes, wealth inequalities and erosion of trust into public institutions. In particular, so-called GAFAM (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft) are becoming more and more infrastructures for opinion-making, labour organization and political debate. Their increasing power in shaping and influencing such issues through lobbying, industrial relations and cultural impact opened up a wide debate on the way to deal with these transformations. While European societies grew up based on liberal democracies and institutions with their capacity to sustain a coordinated market economy, today their role seems to be reduced because of the difficulties to regulate platforms’ corporate power that spread through politics, economy and culture.
INCA aims to
• define forms to sustain trust in institutions and new models of governance capable to combine the growth of platforms with social inclusion and citizens participation in decision making processes;
• stimulate alternative business models and industrial relations so to make GAFAM and platforms accountable to social fairness while preserving their innovation;
• to clarify the way GAFAM influence European citizens opinion conditioning democratic processes.
Exploring the socio-historical roots behind platforms growth and the erosion of a coordinated market economy, collecting solid data on GAFAM lobbying, industrial relations and opinion-making, and producing participatory actions for the empowerment of democratic processes and citizens’ engagement, INCA contributes to instil greater democratic accountability and inclusion in economic processes prompted by digital transformations.


Net EU contribution
€ 643 777,50
Via zamboni 33
40126 Bologna

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Nord-Est Emilia-Romagna Bologna
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (10)

Partners (1)