Moving beyond the digitalised and natively digital divide. The case of the mapping of climate policy debates in multiple spaces


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Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
Moving beyond the digitalised and natively digital divide. The case of the mapping of climate policy debates in multiple spaces
Title of the conference
3rd International Conference on Public Policy (ICPP3) 2017
Baya Laffite Nicolas
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How can digital data of different origins be articulated to produce mappings of specific spaces, both online and offline where the debate on the policy deploys? Addressing this question implies engaging head on with the origin of the digital character of data as understood by scholars in the Digital Methods. Digital methods have built upon the divide between digitalised and natively digital. In such division, natively digital data and methods are what distinguishes the Digital Methods approach – as a linked to a specific group of scholars developing it – from other approaches and scholars that operate in the realm of digitalised sources and methods, often associated with “digital humanities” and other scholarly labels that have emerged with the computational turn in the social sciences and the humanities. While this foundational distinction is important not only in terms of method and also as marker of epistemic identity for those engaging with the digital in research, this paper proposes to move on toward an integrative approach of “digitalised” and “natively digital” within a spatial approach to the web and the Internet. Such move is an answer to the challenges raised by the use of digital data and computer assisted methods to provide specific insight to the study of the conversations, debates, and struggles that animate technically complex policy processes. To address these questions and illustrate, the paper proposes a comparison of two investigations aimed at mapping the topical trajectories of conversations about climate politics at the occasion of the Conferences of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change. The first investigation focuses on the “inside” of the negotiation. Using a collection of digitalised summaries, it achieves to map the evolution of topics over twenty-two annual conferences. The second one, draws instead on Twitter data, not for mapping negotiation topics or public debate on climate change, but just Twitter interactions around the 21st and 22nd COPs in Paris and Marrakech. In the proposed approach, Twitter is understood as a specific place which is not a world apart, outside the real world, but precisely one place in the world with its own specific grammar. Thereby, this paper contributes the panel’s call for engagements between digital research and policy research by problematizing “digitalised” and “born digital data” as distinct proxies that can be combined to produce distant readings of online and offline conversations taking place in specific places in the same world.
digitalized data, natively digital data, digital methods, text analysis, climate negotiations, climate politics, Earth Negotiations Bulletin, Twitter, online/offline divide, spaces of action
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26/11/2020 17:10
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24/03/2021 7:25
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