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University of Belgrade, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory
Country: Serbia
3 Projects, page 1 of 1
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101095095
    Overall Budget: 2,989,760 EURFunder Contribution: 2,989,760 EUR

    Experts, scholars, and leading political decision-makers warn that Online Social Networks (OSNs) have transformed public debate in harmful ways. Personalization algorithms, it has been argued, create so-called filter bubbles and echo chambers where users’ opinions are reinforced, amplifying processes of opinion polarisation. Despite frequent calls for interventions to minimize such undesired effects, there is no agreed-upon method for estimating the effects of changing the parameters of the design of a social network service. Crucially, the complexity of such systems makes it hard to translate results of isolated experiments into an estimate of the overall effects. The TWON project will develop a novel empirical method for systematically researching the effects of design choices of mechanisms inside OSNs, by creating digital twins of social network sites, called TWONs. The TWON can then be used to study counterfactuals, such as: How would the effects look like, had the OSN been designed differently? In order to achieve that, the TWON project will combine empirical observations of existing OSNs, theory-informed simulations, and specific case studies. These form an iterative process, in which we will build and refine the TWON. If successful, this would be a major leap towards a better understanding of platform mechanics, both for the scientific community and for societal stakeholders. The TWON project will produce evidence-based recommendations for regulatory innovations regarding OSNs and enhance digital citizenship by participatory methods. This can reduce the detrimental effects on democratic debates when platforms are primarily optimized for economic gain. TWON enables OSN research in a controlled but naturalistic environment that would not be possible relying on for-profit OSN operators. The effectiveness of the TWON method will be demonstrated in two case studies on two diametrically controversial ongoing debates: the conflict in Ukraine and COVID-19.

  • Funder: EC Project Code: 870572
    Overall Budget: 2,978,150 EURFunder Contribution: 2,978,150 EUR

    In EnTrust, we will provide novel insights into trust in governance and measures to support sustainable and democratic societies in Europe. Our project has five overarching objectives: a) Develop a multidisciplinary theoretical framework to understand the dynamic relationship between trust and distrust, in order to promote new forms of enlightened trust in democratic governance; b) Provide a comprehensive empirical dataset based on mixed methods and geared to measure how trust and distrust are constructed at individual, meso, and macro levels in relation to governance actors across local, national and European levels; c) Systematically compare and map trust and distrust across European countries to understand context-specific forms of trust and distrust, their conditions and consequences; d) Develop role models and best practices enabling to promote enlightened trust; and e) Engage in active exploitation, dissemination and communication activities to reach the highest possible impact of our findings. EnTrust consists of an interdisciplinary and well-integrated consortium of seven research teams from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland and Serbia with expertise in sociology, psychology, political science, media and communication studies, as well as a civil society practitioner active at the EU level. Our work plan will generate novel theoretical and empirical insights on the basis of interlocked methods, including in-depth interviews and focus groups with citizens and governance actors, analyses of online and social media content, as well as a representative population survey and various experiments. Moreover, it will make use of innovative instruments to secure a high level of dissemination, exploitation and communication. Our goal is to provide tangible and viable recommendations for policymakers, civil society actors and the scientific community to improve trust relations.

  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101112280
    Funder Contribution: 2,998,390 EUR

    Nets4Dem puts forward a Network of Networks approach to establish and develop a European network of practitioners and researchers in the field of democracy, civic deliberation, participation and citizenship education. The Consortium, brings together widely networked organisations with long-term expertise in democratic innovation across a broad range of areas (including digital democracy, rule of law, climate change, also through cultural and creative approach). It is composed of umbrella organisations, that will draw on their already existing networks to contribute to the call outcomes. The unique approach that Nets4Dem puts forward is to ‘weave’ more and better connections between existing actors and networks already active in the wider democracy field, taking advantage of each other’s strengths and reducing duplication. Nets4Dem will focus its efforts on four main objectives: (1) creating, fostering and sustaining stronger Network of policy makers, practitioners and researchers; (2) systematizing and connecting the fragmented knowledge on democratic innovation and governance research; (3) establishing a coordinated European approach to promote systematic accessibility of democratic innovation; (4) raising the ambition of policy making through policy recommendations to strengthen democracy at all levels of governance. We will seek to address the challenges we’ve identified: the need for better collaboration and networking in the democratic field, the need to connect existing knowledge on democracy and governance and make it more accessible, so that policymakers and practitioners are better equipped to the address complex challenges they are facing for inclusive societies and more resilient democracy To address these and potential new challenges, substantial efforts are required from researchers, practitioners, policy makers and citizens. One of the most impactful ways to support this work is by connecting the efforts of all those who are pursuing the same goal

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