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Leetocracy. Networked Political Activism and the Continuation of Elitism in Competitive Democracy

Gustafsson, Nils LU and Breindl, Yana (2010) In Nexus. New Intersections in Internet Research
Abstract
This chapter critically examines the role of networked advocacy groups in the policy making process of intellectual property rights reform. Through analysing the case of la Quadrature du Net, we question the assumption that political intermediaries or elites are dissappearing, leaving space for a more inclusive, direct democracy in which decision-makers interact more directly with citizens. Next to established political actors such as political parties or trade unions, which are integrating Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) into their working practices, internet-based actors are emerging in a wide range of political areas (Chadwick, 2006).



Such forms of networked political organisations are usually... (More)
This chapter critically examines the role of networked advocacy groups in the policy making process of intellectual property rights reform. Through analysing the case of la Quadrature du Net, we question the assumption that political intermediaries or elites are dissappearing, leaving space for a more inclusive, direct democracy in which decision-makers interact more directly with citizens. Next to established political actors such as political parties or trade unions, which are integrating Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) into their working practices, internet-based actors are emerging in a wide range of political areas (Chadwick, 2006).



Such forms of networked political organisations are usually perceived as less hierarchical than traditional mobilizing groups such as political parties, trade unions and other voluntary organizations (Norris, 2002; Dalton, 2008). This development is often interpreted by techno-optimists as a way out of the iron law of oligarchy in traditional politics, offsetting the professionalization of politics and the transfer of political power to technocrats and anonymous international political actors far away from democratic accountability, thus preparing the ground for a more inclusive grassroots-oriented democracy.



However, we argue that intermediary elites still exist. Our discussion will show that internet-based activism constitutes new types of elites in competitive democracy, whose effective forms are heavily dependent on technical and networking skills. Rather than functioning as the base of more egalitarian politics, the growing importance of networked political activism aided by digital media may, on the contrary, create new elites. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
temporal elites, networked activism, social media, political participation, viral politics, elite theory, transnational advocacy networks
in
Nexus. New Intersections in Internet Research
editor
Araya, Daniel; Breindl, Yana; Houghton, Tessa J,; ; and
publisher
Peter Lang Publishing Group
ISBN
978-1-4331-0970-6
project
Viral politik. Politisk mobilisering i sociala medier
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
20d239cf-d19a-4b3b-98ed-7c6054bdec25 (old id 1745960)
date added to LUP
2010-12-16 08:05:03
date last changed
2016-04-16 07:28:27
@inbook{20d239cf-d19a-4b3b-98ed-7c6054bdec25,
  abstract     = {This chapter critically examines the role of networked advocacy groups in the policy making process of intellectual property rights reform. Through analysing the case of la Quadrature du Net, we question the assumption that political intermediaries or elites are dissappearing, leaving space for a more inclusive, direct democracy in which decision-makers interact more directly with citizens. Next to established political actors such as political parties or trade unions, which are integrating Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) into their working practices, internet-based actors are emerging in a wide range of political areas (Chadwick, 2006).<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Such forms of networked political organisations are usually perceived as less hierarchical than traditional mobilizing groups such as political parties, trade unions and other voluntary organizations (Norris, 2002; Dalton, 2008). This development is often interpreted by techno-optimists as a way out of the iron law of oligarchy in traditional politics, offsetting the professionalization of politics and the transfer of political power to technocrats and anonymous international political actors far away from democratic accountability, thus preparing the ground for a more inclusive grassroots-oriented democracy.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
However, we argue that intermediary elites still exist. Our discussion will show that internet-based activism constitutes new types of elites in competitive democracy, whose effective forms are heavily dependent on technical and networking skills. Rather than functioning as the base of more egalitarian politics, the growing importance of networked political activism aided by digital media may, on the contrary, create new elites.},
  author       = {Gustafsson, Nils and Breindl, Yana},
  editor       = {Araya, Daniel and Breindl, Yana and Houghton, Tessa J,},
  isbn         = {978-1-4331-0970-6},
  keyword      = {temporal elites,networked activism,social media,political participation,viral politics,elite theory,transnational advocacy networks},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Peter Lang Publishing Group},
  series       = {Nexus. New Intersections in Internet Research},
  title        = {Leetocracy. Networked Political Activism and the Continuation of Elitism in Competitive Democracy},
  year         = {2010},
}