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Technopolitics
A Conceptual Scheme for Understanding 
Politics in the Digital Age
H. Can Kurban, The New School University...
Internet and Politics
• ICTs as isolated external variables
• Online vs offline?
• Internet = Democracy?
• ICTs  Governmen...
Technopolitics Outline
• Context
• Actors
• Scale
• Direction
• Synchronization 
• Purpose
Technopolitics Literature
• “constitutional integrity” (Lebkowski, 1997)
• “hybridity” (Hecht, 2001)
• contingency and mul...
Conceptual Focus
The Origins of Antagonism:
• The Organizing Role of Communication (Internet 
Governance)
• The Value of I...
Technopolitics Battles
• Post‐2008 Context and Actors
6
Major Contestations
Context – Contentious Politics
• New Digital Media Environment (Chadwick, 2009)
• Organizational change (Bimber et. al, 20...
Scale
Individual => Organization => Contentious Networks
The connective logic (Bennett and Segerberg, 2013)
– Scale up mor...
Direction
Contentious Politics Moving From Outside to
Inside the Institutional Politics
Cases: Barcelona En Comu, Ahora Ma...
Synchronization
Internal
• New spaces for activism (Barlow, Echeverría, Castels), including no-
places (Augé)
• Spaces tha...
Purpose
• Short term: take back politics
– increasing civic engagement
– taking the influence of big money out of politics...
Discussion
• Synchronize across Europe?
• Full Scalability?
• A New Constitutional Process?
12
Discussion
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What is technopolitics? A conceptual scheme for understanding politics in the digital age

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Communication at Building a European digital space, 12th International Conference on Internet, Law & Politics. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, 7-8 July, 2016.

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What is technopolitics? A conceptual scheme for understanding politics in the digital age

  1. 1. Technopolitics A Conceptual Scheme for Understanding  Politics in the Digital Age H. Can Kurban, The New School University  Maria Haberer & Ismael Peña‐López, UOC
  2. 2. Internet and Politics • ICTs as isolated external variables • Online vs offline? • Internet = Democracy? • ICTs  Government 2.0? • The Question of Power and Legitimacy • Paradigmatic Change in 2008 2 Background of the Topic
  3. 3. Technopolitics Outline • Context • Actors • Scale • Direction • Synchronization  • Purpose
  4. 4. Technopolitics Literature • “constitutional integrity” (Lebkowski, 1997) • “hybridity” (Hecht, 2001) • contingency and multiplicity of actors (Kellner, 2001) • contesting conceptions of citizenship, rights, and the polity (Hughes, 2006) • the closed vs. the open (Rasmussen, 2007) • power and strategy (Toret et al. 2015) 4 Literature Review
  5. 5. Conceptual Focus The Origins of Antagonism: • The Organizing Role of Communication (Internet  Governance) • The Value of Information (Big/Public Data) 5 Two Main Concepts
  6. 6. Technopolitics Battles • Post‐2008 Context and Actors 6 Major Contestations
  7. 7. Context – Contentious Politics • New Digital Media Environment (Chadwick, 2009) • Organizational change (Bimber et. al, 2012) – Resource mobilization – Participation – Collective Action Pattern: networked practices travel from micro level individual behaviours and expectation) to meso level (collective action, campaigning, co-framing) 7 Contentious Politics in post‐2008 context
  8. 8. Scale Individual => Organization => Contentious Networks The connective logic (Bennett and Segerberg, 2013) – Scale up more quickly – Produce large mobilization – Funding – Flexibility in tracking moving political targets, and bridging different issues – Build up adaptive repertoires, share open source software development, and embrace an ethos of inclusiveness. 8 Scaling Up
  9. 9. Direction Contentious Politics Moving From Outside to Inside the Institutional Politics Cases: Barcelona En Comu, Ahora Madrid, The Pirate Party in Iceland 9 Direction
  10. 10. Synchronization Internal • New spaces for activism (Barlow, Echeverría, Castels), including no- places (Augé) • Spaces that are not isolated, but behave as different layers of a same reality (Toret, Monterde) • There are "synchronization" practices across spaces that spread information and enable coordination of action (Corsín & Estalella, Martínez Roldán, Monterde) External • D-Cent Project 10 Synchronization
  11. 11. Purpose • Short term: take back politics – increasing civic engagement – taking the influence of big money out of politics • Long term: hack the political system – Change the existing processes – Expose its shortcomings 11 Purpose
  12. 12. Discussion • Synchronize across Europe? • Full Scalability? • A New Constitutional Process? 12 Discussion

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