[SIGCIS-Members] ISO panel members

Jonathan Coopersmith j-coopersmith at tamu.edu
Mon Mar 20 07:44:00 PDT 2017

I am looking for panelists (and a commentator) for a panel on

*“The Changing Realities of Democracy, Politics, and Communication

While media attention in recent years has focused on large-scale
computer-based data analysis and targeted outreach, communication
technologies have long played important roles in domestic and international
politics.  This session takes a “big tent” approach, ranging from the
innovative applications of the hand printing press by Martin Luther in the
16th century and the mechanized printing presses of the 19th century to the
21st century chatbots of Brexit.  Areas of interest include (but are not
limited to) campaigning, governing, lobbying, data management, and
fundraising.  Of especial interest are the political use of
computer-mediated communications such as bulletin boards, listservs, and
other seemingly non-political tools.

At the microlevel, an underlying theme is innovative ideas often find
initial application by outsiders (e.g., Pat Robinson’s use of
videocassettes in the 1988 Iowa primary) and are quickly absorbed by
political parties and governments (e.g., radio broadcasts of speeches,
sending daily emails to supporters) as pragmatic exploitation replaces
near-utopian predictions.

At the macrolevel are broader questions about how democracies have
appropriated and shaped these technologies – and vice-versa.  Significant
literature exists on how totalitarian regimes have used communication
technologies, particularly radio and television for broadcasting.  This
panel is an opportunity to explore some of those themes in a democratic

Jonathan Coopersmith
Department of History
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX  77843-4236
979.862.4314 (fax)

​Latest article:

*FAXED.  The Rise and Fall of the Fax Machine* (Johns Hopkins University
Press) is the co-recipient of the 2016 Business History Conference Hagley
Prize for best book in business history.
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