At 13.00, 20 March 2015 at Stockholms University/DSV (Lilla hörsalen, 2nd floor, Borgarfjordsgatan 12, Kista):

Respondent: Karin Hansson, PhD candidate, Department of Computer and System Sciences, DSV, Stockholm University, in collaboration with the Royal Institute of Art

Chair/Main Supervisor: Love Ekenberg, DSV
Opponent: Professor Ina Wagner, University of Oslo
Panel: Associate Professor Teresa Cerrata Pargman, DSV, Associate Professor Ulf Melin, Linköping University, Professor Jens Rydgren, Department of Sociology, Stockholm University Associate Professor Åke Grönlund, Örebro University

Accommodating differences: Power, belonging and representation online
”How can political participatory processes online be understood in the dynamic, conflicted and highly mediated situations of contemporary society? What does democracy mean in a scenario where inequality and difference are the norms, and where people tend to abandon situations in which they and their interests are not recognized? How can we accommodate differences rather than consensus in a scenario where multiple networks of people are the starting point rather than a single community?

In this thesis, these questions are explored through an iterative process in two studies that have used or resulted in three prototypes and one art exhibition. The first study is of communication practices in a global interest community, which resulted in two prototypes: Actory, a groupware that takes differences rather than equality as the starting point for a collaborative tool, and The Affect Machine, a social network where differences are used as a relational capital. The second study is of communication practices in a local commonality where the art exhibition Performing the Common created a public space and involved participants. This resulted in Njaru, a collaborative tool with integrated decision support and visualization of representativeness.

In summary, these works depart from the notion of the importance of belonging for e-participation, where the individual can be seen as a participant in several performative states, more or less interconnected trans-local publics. Here the individuals’ participation in the local public sphere compete with their participation in other communities, and affect the conditions for local democracy. This thesis contributes to a deeper understanding of these processes, and discusses how differences in democratic participation can be managed with the help of ICT.”

The PhD thesis can be downloaded at:

Kl 16.00-19.00 Opening of the exhibition The Affect Machine Historical Archive! More info and registration:

Kl. 19.00-21.00 Book release of "Föreställningar om det gemensamma (Performing the Common)". More info and registration: