One process that characterizes the world today and that, perhaps more than any other, shows its innovation is the extraordinary development of information technologies and global networks which superimpose themselves over traditional forms of social interaction invariably influencing every level of political life. The impact of technologies that are part of the so-called ‘Internet of Things’ affects social habits, everyday practices and the behaviour of individuals in public spaces. For these reasons, much attention has been dedicated recently to the effects of digital globalization on lifestyles at the global and local level as well as to the presence of a line of tension between technological innovations and the practices and values of traditional democratic life. In particular, through the inclusion of an increasing number of individuals into new circles of public discussion, new forms of mobilization and information seem to profoundly alter the behaviour of citizens in the face of politics, the attitude of institutional political actors towards the electorate and, not least of all, the way in which popular movements act.
At the centre of the articles in this issue of “Glocalism” is a new interpretation of these phenomena, which deepens the debate on social, cultural and above all political effects generated by technological innovation in diverse national realities such as India, Iceland, Germany and Iran. A central position is occupied by the influence exerted by new technologies on the relationship between rulers and citizens and by the perception that the various generations of voters place on democratic political engagement. In this regard, the essay describing the influence of social networks on the participation and political activism of millennials in Iceland and Spain is significant with the analysis of two emblematic case studies: Kitchenware Revolution and 15M.