Call for application: Social Media – Threat or Opportunity for Democracy in the Post-truth Era? PolSci undergraduate conference 2018

April 16, 2018

Call for Papers

It is no longer possible to ignore social media that is everywhere and is used almost by everybody. The rise of social media in contemporary times is changing the face of governance and democracy, especially in the context of the post-truth era. Social media appears to be a potential risk but also an opportunity for democracy since social media differs from traditional media – it is interactive, users are connected to each other directly without any middle men, and it is basically free to use. Social media (through Facebook, twitter, YouTube, etc.) has empowered the citizens to question democratic rule as well as to connect, communicate and participate in the governance to an extent that was never seen before. At the same time many consider social media as a threat to national security and claim it largely contributed to the post-truth world and can be used to interfere in national elections or cause problems by propagating certain ideologies, mobilizing and organizing people. Others argue it could be a channel of communication which the government and the people can freely and meaningfully use to contribute to the development of the democratic system.

The Political Science Department hosts a conference for undergraduate students to address the challenges and opportunities of social media from both theoretical and practical perspectives. Participants will have a unique opportunity to participate in debates between undergraduate student participants, as well as Political Science doctoral candidates and faculty members.

Central European University, Budapest downtown campus

28-29 June 2018

The organizing committee composed of professors Robert Sata, Inna Melnykovska and Laszlo Bruszt invites proposals on a wide range of topics related to the role of social media in democracy in the post-truth era. We welcome papers from disciplines such as political science, sociology, international studies, security studies, geopolitics, social movements, economics, communication and media studies, and related fields. We especially welcome proposals on social media and security, the rise of the far right, populism, political mobilization, conflict resolution, and political communication in the information age.

Limited amount of financial aid will be available for selected undergraduate students to participate in the event. Please indicate your need for financial aid when applying.

All participants will have to pay an application fee of 75 EUR that will cover accommodation for two days in the CEU Dormitory, all meals and social events during the conference.

Proposals should include:

  • Contact information and academic affiliation
  • A 300 word abstract (shorter abstracts will not be considered)
  • A 150-word biographical statement, in narrative form (one paragraph text).
  • Statement and estimation of financial need for travel to Budapest (if applicable)

Please submit your application online here: