Tech and Politics

Andreas Jungherr

Challenges reexamined

2022-06-30 18 min Season 1 Episode 17 Andreas Jungherr

Description & Show Notes

In this episode, we will focus on how digitally enabled challenges fail and how to assess their legitimacy and impact on democracy.

We have talked extensively about how digital media enable challenges to institutions. But of course this alone does not guarantee their success. Yes, digital media might help identify and document the weaknesses of institutions, their crises and conflicts. They might help challenges to form, being brought forward, and reach a broad public. But success of challenges is of course not determined by these opportunities alone. Instead, success relies on various context conditions and their specific structural embeddedness. 
The other question, we repeatedly ran into was how to assess challenges. As we have seen, some challenges might be judged as strengthening democracy and empowering people, while others might achieve the opposite. Now, how can we as researchers adress this question? Without of course attributing the challenges we happen to sympathize with strengthening effects and those we dislike detrimental effects. 
We will focus on these two questions in the final part of this episode.


00:00 - Introduction
00:19 - Challenges reexamined
01:25 - How challenges fail
07:00 - How to judge the legitimacy of challenges?
13:09 - Understanding the role of digital media in the challenge to institutions
17:27 - Conclusion