Friday 12 October 2018, 3.00-4.30pm
MECO Seminar Room S226, John Woolley Building A20
As political participation and organisation move online, the nature of the networks that sustain them changes. In this talk I will discuss my research into the Internet-mediated project of the Five Star Movement, an Italian political movement born out of a blog and that today controls the Italian government and more than one-third of Parliament. How could a political movement emerge from the Internet and only with the resources offered by the Internet become the dominant political force in a country?
In providing my answer to this question, I will reflect on the emerging political relevance of what I call the Citizen User: a new political identity defined by a sense of political disempowerment coupled with the intensive use of empowering Internet services. Based on the electoral results from the last two general elections and from the online activity of tens of thousands of users on Facebook and Meetup.com, I will provide insights into the territorial determinants of the electoral success of the Movement and reflect on the changing role of existing social and civil networks in fostering new forms political mobilisation in the age of the computer networks.
Francesco Bailo is Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Media Methods in the Department of Media and Communications (University of Sydney). Francesco obtained his PhD from the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney in 2017. His PhD thesis investigates the impacts of online talk and social-networking sites on political participation and organisations. He is interested in digital methods and particularly in the applications of network analysis and quantitative text analysis.