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You are all cordially invited to the next session of the UvA Philosophy and Public Affairs colloquium on Wednesday 23 October, 4-6 pm. | Afsoun Afsahi (Department of Political Science, UvA) will give a short introduction followed by comments from Eva Groen-Reijman. | Location: Faculteitskamer/Faculty Room, Oude Turfmarkt 147 (entrance at 141), Department of Philosophy, University of Amsterdam.

Event details of Enclave Deliberations in the Public: Doublespeak and Dog Whistles in the Digital Age
Date 23 October 2019
Time 16:00 -18:00

This paper analyzes digital enclaves and divides them into two categories. Democratic digital counter-publics are spaces of empowerment that reinforce democratic norms by providing epistemic and material resources for more effective participation in the public sphere (e.g. LGBTQ groups and forums). Anti-democratic counter-publics can be further divided into two categories. Inward-looking counter-publics empower their members while discouraging them from conversing with out-group members (e.g. Incel groups and forums). Outward-looking counter-publics equip their members with ingroup references and vocabulary in order to make contributions to the larger public sphere. By deploying doublespeak and dog whistles, they send different messages to different groups in the public (e.g. Alt-right organizations). Building on the core assumptions of deliberative democracy and justificatory politics, I contend that the particular characteristics of the outward-looking anti-democratic digital enclaves present a significant threat to healthy democratic discourse by undermining key precepts of publicity, listening, and justification.

Afsoun Afsahi is Assistant Professor in Political Theory and Gender at the University of Amsterdam. Before that she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at The Center for Advanced Studies Justitia Amplificata, Goethe Universit├Ąt and Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of British Columbia. Her research agenda explores the challenges, opportunities, and best methods of inclusion and representation of marginalized communities in democratic decision-making processes.

Eva Groen Reijman studied philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. In 2018 she got her PhD cum laude for her thesis Deliberative Political Campaigns which was awarded with the Premium Erasmianum this year. The last four years she has worked as a post-doc at the University of Wageningen, where she researched the ethics of nudging and foodchoices. Currently she teaches ethics at the University of Amsterdam. She is also a member of the national board of GroenLinks.