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Imagi(ni)ng Democracy: European youth becoming citizens by visual participation

Objective

The current political and institutional crises render the future of European democracy uncertain. To gain deeper insights into what the current discontent may lead to, and how to address it for the good of an equal and inclusive democracy, we have to study future political actors, today’s young citizens, and examine what are the means of political action prevalent to them. The public sphere of today’s youth is increasingly dominated by visual content, and therefore the visual dimension of political participation is to be a key concern in research thereof. The current youth’s understanding of political action – building arguments, mobilizing, and participating – is likely to become firmly anchored in repertoires of visual participation. ImagiDem will explore, analyze, and conceptualize visual participation of young European citizens in order to formulate a model of democratic practices in the 2020s.
ImagiDem addresses visual political participation and democratic practices among young citizens in the European context using a radical triple-strategy: it combines visual ethnography with computational big data minining and analysis, and deploys this combination to a comparative research setting. The project design includes four countries of comparison – Finland, France, Germany, and Portugal – with both an ethnographic and a computational subproject realized in each of them. Both methodological approaches – comparative online ethnography, and computational, machine learning based analysis of large sets of social media image data – are risky and hitherto scarcely explored.
The theoretical challenge ImagiDem takes is to develop pragmatist theorizing of visual justification and engagements on the one hand, and visual cultural toolkits and frames, on the other. With this methodologico-theoretical toolkit, ImagiDem provides overarching analysis of the future of European democracy.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/political science/government systems/democracy
  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/data science/big data
  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/artificial intelligence/machine learning

Call for proposal

ERC-2018-STG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-STG - Starting Grant

Host institution

HELSINGIN YLIOPISTO
Address
Yliopistonkatu 3
00014 Helsingin Yliopisto
Finland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 352 007,75

Beneficiaries (2)

HELSINGIN YLIOPISTO
Finland
EU contribution
€ 1 352 007,75
Address
Yliopistonkatu 3
00014 Helsingin Yliopisto
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
TAMPEREEN KORKEAKOULUSAATIO SR

Participation ended

Finland
EU contribution
€ 122 586,25
Address
Kalevantie 4
33100 Tampere
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments