Die digitale Konstellation. Eine Positionsbestimmung
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The emergence of the digital society has become one of the most pressing research topics in social science. So far political science has been at the margins of the debate being restricted by a rather narrow focus on networked communications. The paper attempts to change this by presenting a more encompassing way to thematize digitalization from within political science. After briefly having criticized the research development in political science the paper reconstructs at length some of the most popular conceptualizations in neighboring disciplines. While we highlight the commonalities and strengths of those approaches in theorizing digitalization, we criticize their rather derivative understanding of democratic practices and the political as such. We go on to propose a modified understanding—labeled the “digital constellation”—that looks at the changing shape of democracy by developing a much more nuanced understanding of the interplay of societies and technology. Finally, the argument is illustrated by a short exemplary analysis of the changes occurring in political representation in the context of digitalization.