The electronic public sphere of NGOs

»The electronic public sphere of NGOs addressing digital society risks«

This presentation discusses preliminary findings on electronic public sphere of non-governmental organisations in the field of digitalisation of society. Based on comparative empirical study of Slovenian and European NGOs, two distinct types of operational and campaigning digital NGOs are identified when using the Internet for prepolitical and political activities. In relation to the later, the cyber-realist approach is suggested for understanding digital NGOs impact. Interactive dimensions and extent of digital communications among NGOs observed indicate the type of the public sphere of organized presence. The findings presented in this paper support the perception of NGOs as democratic intermediaries within the pluralist model of democracy and contribute to the literature suggesting existence of sub-public spheres. Critical theory views on commodification of the public sphere are not evident in the context of digital NGOs observed in this study.