Social Media - Threat or Opportunity for Democracy? Undergraduate conference 2017

Open to the Public
Nador u. 9, Monument Building
Wednesday, August 30, 2017 - 9:00am
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017 - 9:00am to Friday, September 1, 2017 - 6:00pm



It is no longer possible to ignore social media that is everywhere and is used almost by everybody. Social media in contemporary times is changing the face of governance and democracy. It appears to be a potential risk to 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 largely contributed to post-truth world yet it also empowered the citizens to question democratic rule as well as to connect, communicate and participate in governance to an extent that was never seen before. Many consider social media is a threat to national security and can be used to cause problems by propagating certain ideologies, mobilizing and organizing people on false information. Others argue it could be a channel of communication which the government and the people can freely and meaningfully use to further accountability, the will or people, or to contribute to the development of the democratic system.

The Political Science Department hosts a 3-day conference 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.

Call for papers

The organizing committee invites proposals on a wide range of topics related to the role of social media in democracy and from disciplines such as political science, sociology, international studies, security studies, geopolitics, social movements, economics, communication studies, and related fields. We especially welcome proposals on social media and security, the rise of the far right, political mobilization, conflict resolution, and political discourse.

Applicants can send only one paper proposal. Individual paper proposals must include four items:

  • Contact information: the name, email, postal address and academic affiliation of the applicant.
  • 300- to 500-word abstract (shorter abstracts will not be considered)
  • 150-word biographical statement, in narrative form (a text with the length of one paragraph).
  • Statement and estimation of financial need for travel to Budapest

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 selected participants must register to attend the conference.

The conference fee is 75 EUR and includes:

  • three nights’ accommodation in single rooms in the CEU Residence Center (optional)
  • breakfast
  • coffee breaks
  • conference social activities
  • free Wi-Fi

Applications deadline: 7 July 2017
Please send applications to