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Regular version of the site

Digital Politics: Eurasia in the Global Context

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Course type:
Elective course
2 year, 1, 2 module


Course Syllabus


The Internet and politics have a complex interrelationship. The former changes social communication, empowers or reinforces political actors, while political regime and power relations frequently shape the dynamics of the cyberspace. It is especially clear in case of modern non-competitive regimes, as many of them try to utilize Internet to gain legitimacy, competitiveness, and eventually, regime consolidation. The means of the Internet control in non-democracies now go far beyond its blocking and censorship. The course is arranged to provide a wide comparative perspective of the Internet politics and give students hints to explore this area in their research.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To overview the Internet as the political space, globally and in particular regions of interest
  • To familiarize students with the contemporary research on the Internet Studies in relation to politics and governance
  • To overview the current methods, tools and policies of the Internet regulation and control in terms of comparative authoritarianism theories
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Applies the theories of comparative authoritarianism to the analysis of the political and social processes on the Internet
  • Describes the peculiarities of the Internet development and governance in the regions of specialization
  • Enumerates and describes the major tools of the Internet regulation in non-democracies
  • Defines and applies the models of the Internet policy and governance
  • Applies the theories of Political Science to the analysis of the impact of the Internet on Politics
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • 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
  • The Toolkit of the Internet Control
  • Big Data, Privacy and Surveillance: Global Dynamics
  • From E-Government to Algorithmic Governance
  • Consultative Authoritarianism Online
  • Open Government, Open Data: Transparency for Citizens, Journalists and Researchers
  • Internet Regulation: Policies and Global Governance
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Class Activities
    The lecturer evaluates students' participation in seminar discussions, their preparation for the seminars.
  • non-blocking Essay
    The essay is devoted to the analysis of a particular topic, covered in the course, applied to one of the countries of Eurasia. The essay should critically examine the state of the Internet politics in the selected country and area. The essay should be submitted two weeks before the session. The topic of the essay is to be approved by the lecturer no later than one month before the session.
  • non-blocking Exam
    The exam is conducted during the session. The duration of the exam is 60 minutes. The test consists of two parts: A - 10 multiple choice questions (10 points in total), 2 open questions (6 points in total).
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2023/2024 2nd module
    0.25 * Class Activities + 0.25 * Essay + 0.5 * Exam


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Baogang He, & Mark E. Warren. (n.d.). Authoritarian Deliberation: The Deliberative Turn in Chinese Political Development. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.AE4A1F66
  • Christian Katzenbach, & Lena Ulbricht. (2019). Algorithmic governance. Internet Policy Review, ume 8(Issue 4). https://doi.org/10.14763/2019.4.1424
  • Empowering Activists or Autocrats? : The Internet in Authoritarian Regimes. (2015). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.AFDC66B7
  • Gerschewski, J. (2013). The three pillars of stability: legitimation, repression, and co-optation in autocratic regimes. EconStor Open Access Articles, 13. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.zbw.espost.200982
  • John Danaher, Michael J Hogan, Chris Noone, Rónán Kennedy, Anthony Behan, Aisling De Paor, Heike Felzmann, Muki Haklay, Su-Ming Khoo, John Morison, Maria Helen Murphy, Niall O’Brolchain, Burkhard Schafer, & Kalpana Shankar. (2017). Algorithmic governance: Developing a research agenda through the power of collective intelligence. Big Data & Society, 4. https://doi.org/10.1177/2053951717726554
  • NOCETTI, J. (2015). Contest and conquest: Russia and global internet governance. International Affairs, 91(1), 111–130. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2346.12189
  • Peter Lorentzen. (2014). China’s Strategic Censorship. American Journal of Political Science, (2), 402. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12065
  • Sergei Guriev, & Daniel Treisman. (2019). Informational Autocrats. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 4, 100. https://doi.org/10.1257/jep.33.4.100
  • Shoshana Zuboff. (2019). The Age of Surveillance Capitalism : The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power: Vol. First edition. PublicAffairs.
  • The logic of connective action : Digital media and the personalization of contentious politics. (2012). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.EA6634C5
  • Venkataswamy, S. (2013). William H. Dutton (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Internet Studies. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.4DDAED5B

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Bartenberger, M., & Grubmüller-Régent, V. (2014). The Enabling Effects of Open Government Data on Collaborative Governance in Smart City Contexts. EJournal of EDemocracy & Open Government, 6(1), 36–48. https://doi.org/10.29379/jedem.v6i1.289
  • Best, M. L., & Wade, K. W. (2009). The Internet and Democracy: Global Catalyst or Democratic Dud? BULLETIN OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY, (4), 255. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbl&AN=RN254955796
  • Deibert, R. (2013). Black Code : Surveillance, Privacy, and the Dark Side of the Internet. Toronto: Signal. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=743006
  • Hellmeier, S. (2016). The Dictator’s Digital Toolkit: Explaining Variation in Internet Filtering in Authoritarian Regimes. Politics & Policy, 44(6), 1158–1191. https://doi.org/10.1111/polp.12189
  • Negotiating Internet Governance. (2019). Netherlands, Europe: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.A51197D9