The goal of this section of the 2019 Central European Conference is to gain a deep understanding how politics and business interests relate each other in a brand-new technological environment. The key question of this conference section is whether money, power and data are convertible. During our summer course participants will discuss this mechanism in a holistic manner as well as getting an insight into the most interesting recent cases of post-modern campaigns.

Section teacher


Péter Csigó

Budapest University of Technology and Economics

Curriculum vitae

Mr. Csigó’s research focus is on mediatized politics,

representative democracy, populism and the new public sphere.

In his latest book, he constructs the theory of speculative contest

in politics to capture a phenomenon similar to the bubbles of financial markets.


Section organizers


Áron Szászi

Central European University
+36 20 498 69 62




Lívia Kósa

Central European University
+36 20 373 0302




Flóra Hevesi

Corvinus Univercity of Budapest

Section topics in details

Day 1-Structural transformations: from party democracy to mediatized populist democracy

  • Social theories of reflexive, second, liquid modernity: the rise of a self-analysing society
  • The market, the people, the network: economic, political and technological attempts to create self-governing collectivities
  • Media structural changes, commercialization, (re)emergence of partisan media, media conglomerates and their role in modern politics
  • The rise of mediatized populist democracy, its reflection in democratic theory

Day 2-Media and politics

  • Mediatized political representation
  • Electoral democracy and political campaigning
  • Lobbying, campaign and party finance, rent-seeking, corruption – corporate influence on politics
  • Civil initiatives to campaign and party reform

Day 3-Technology and politics

  • Social media and democracy. The networked public sphere. Algorithmed news recommendation.
  • Micro-targeting. Personalized political marketing. The role of Big Data in political campaigns
  • Shared class with the Cyber security section: cases of Cambridge Analytica, Russian meddling into democratic elections

Day 4-Overview: The convertibility of money, power and data + presentation of cases and/or research plan

  • Consequences: civil war, polarization, runaway elites and reform paralysis
  • Case study. Modelling a networked European public sphere: finance, data and democracy

Application requirements:

To apply for our section, you shall send us your:

  1. CV 
  2. A max. 300 words long letter of intent

Please also submit either a written essay of 500 words or a 3 minutes video concerning the topic of this section.

We strongly encourage you to write/talk about your research interest, or you can summarize a previously written paper of yours.
During the conference, you will be able to discuss your research ideas with our professors.
If you do not have currently any ideas for the essay, please find our list of suggested topics:

  • Role of social media in political campaigns in your country
  • Comparative overview of two or more countries’ campaign finance regulations
  • Technological advancements: challenge or threat to political responsiveness?
  • Power to the people: are populist claims legitimate?

Register here to the Central European Conference and send the application material to the following e-mail: