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Regular version of the site

Introduction to Digital Politics: Eurasia in the Global Context

July 10 – 16


Language: English


Approaching the study of government and politics in connection to digital technologies and social media, this course provides a broad introduction to revolutionising concepts of digital politics. 

Course Description

The Internet and politics are interconnected in many ways. Online technologies affect the way we communicate and participate in political life, while governments and non-state actors shape the rules, defining our behavior online.

In this course, we will consider the political implications of the Internet. We will learn the basic models, as well as discuss the key trends in the domain, including fake news, big data, surveillance, privacy, etc. 

All topics are discussed within a global comparative perspective, yet, the special focus is given to Eurasia and Russia, in particular.      

The course is taught by Yury Kabanov, a senior lecturer at the Department of Political Science and International Affairs, as well as the Academic Director of the BA Programme in Political Science and World Politics (HSE – Saint Petersburg). His main research interests include the issues of online politics, e-government and e-participation. Since 2016 he has served as the program coordinator of the international conference “Digital Transformation and Global Society”, as well as participated in several research projects on related issues. Yury Kabanov has more than 20 publications on e-government and e-participation, including the articles published in the Government Information Quarterly and the Media & Communication. He has also developed a course on the Internet in Non-Competitive Politics, currently taught at the MA Programme in Comparative Politics of Eurasia.

In my course students will learn how to look at “trendy” topics through the lenses of comparative politics and public policy studies. As we all live online nowadays, this knowledge has not only theoretical but also practical significance 

Why Choose This Course?

Politics and the Internet are closely intertwined, and our life could be hardly imagined without them both. Having not only theoretical but also practical implications, the course provides students with a comprehensive overview of the Internet as a political domain. Students will also get the necessary political science toolkit to talk about the Internet, as well as learn how politics impacts our everyday activities online.


  • How to Think about Digital Politics: Key Concepts and Models
  • The Internet and Political Regimes: Optimists vs. Pessimists vs. Realists
  • The Internet and Political Participation: Social Media, Polarization and Fake News
  • The Internet and Political Participation: Patterns of the “Connected Action”
  • Big Data, Privacy and Surveillance: Global Dynamics
  • From E-Government to Algorithmic Governance: Public Policy, Democratic Agency and Surveillance
  • E-Participation and E-Voting: Empowerment or Reinforcement?
  • Open Government, Open Data: Transparency for Citizens, Journalists and Researchers
  • Internet Regulation: Internal Policies and Global Governance
  • Summary of the Course

Skills and Competence

By the end of the course students will learn the key models, concepts and theories, related to the Digital Politics, as well as get acquainted with the peculiarities of the Internet development and governance in Russia and Eurasia.


The course may be interesting both for BA and MA students, especially those having research interests in the spheres of the Internet and politics, social media, political communication and e-government. The course has no entry requirements.

Final Assessment

Each class the lecturer evaluates the participation of students in the seminar activities, their contribution to the discussion (based on the required literature) and engagement. The final grade for class participation is an average of all marks received during seminars 1-9. 

The Final exam consists of two parts: 10 multiple choice questions, covering the content of the course, as well as a question requiring open answer (20 points in total). The final grade corresponds to the percentage of the points gained.  

Final Grade Background

Class participation (60 %), Final Exam (40 %)

Recommended Reading List

Gritsenko, D., Wijermars, M., & Kopotev, M. (2021). The Palgrave Handbook of Digital Russia Studies. Springer Nature.

Coleman, S., & Freelon, D. (Eds.). (2015). Handbook of Digital Politics. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Dutton, W. H. (Ed.). (2013). The Oxford Handbook of Internet Studies. OUP Oxford.

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