CFP – 2019 (English)

Linked movements: Technopolitical approaches 

Edited by José Candón Mena (Universidad de Sevilla) and Jesús Sabariego (Universidad de Sevilla and Centro de Estudos Sociais / Universidade de Coimbra)

Submission period: 01/01/2019-15/06/2019 (Deadline extended)

The revolution of the communicative technologies has provoked deep changes highlighting their uses by the so-called Recent Global Social Movements (Sabariego, 2017; Della Porta &  Diani, 2006; Castells, 2009; Bennett, 2003; Sampedro, 2005; Candón-Mena, 2011; Calle, 2005; Juris, 2006; Tilly & Wood, 2009; Gerbaudo, 2017).
The neozapatist experience was an initial milestone of the activist use of Internet (Cleaver, 1995 y 1998; Leetoy, Gómez y Vázquez Liñan, 2004), reinforced by the impact of the movement for an alternative globalisation which has consolidated the technopolitical practices (Della Porta, 2005 y 2007; Fleischman, 2004; Feixa, Pereira & Juris, 2009; López Martín, 2007; Haché, 2006).  Considering also the common features shared the brand new movements played by digital natives (Prensky, 2011) as Spanish 15M (Candón-Mena, 2013) or the French Yellow Vests assembled by Internet Social Media (ISM).
After the alterglobalism cycle, the global protests of 2010-2016 (Arab Spring, 15M,  #Yosoy132, Geração à rasca, Occupy…) the institutionalisation of a part of these activists is changing the political system and the traditional parties. The preceding experiences of social mobilisation, the digital natives apparition in the institutional sphere and the emerging new anti-establishment  parties of different political sign as Podemos in Spain or M5S in Italy or the influence in the traditional parties by persons as Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Acasio-Cortez in the Democratic Party of the USA or Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party of the UK is needed to take into account.
At the same time, Big Data has increased substantially its role in the political campaigns in recent years reinforcing the strategic character of the Technopolitics. In this sense, the debates around the incidence of Internet in the citizenry, participation and democracy involved technoutopists (De Sola Pool, Negroponte, Castells, Rheingold…) and technopesimists (Murdock, Thompson, McChesney, Morozov…), drawing a black and white frontline without shades in many occasions. The complex of the technopolitical debates (Manovich, 2005) and its links with traditional media as a re-mediation process (Bolter y Grusin, 2000) and it convergence blur the lines between old and new media.
A technopolitical critical approach requires an interdisciplinary perspective which invite us to a critical scepticism more than a celebration or a deterministic condemnation. The hypotheses must implied cultural, ideological, technological and political factors. The critical judgment must attend to the uses of ISM and ITC for the mobilisation, their means and ends to diverse actors and its inner contradictions.
The accumulated experience suggest that ITC and ISM can be a strong tool for the democratisation of the public debate expanding the voices of the media, but can also impoverish it through manipulation (Sousa Santos, 2016) strengthen authoritarian organisations and increasing the emergence of populism.
We are pleased to invite the academic community to debate around the complexity of Technopolitics, considering the mobilisation phenomena and also the institutional sphere with contributions of various and diverse disciplines of Social Sciences and Humanities including praxis-based case-studies, general and theoretical reflections, suggesting issues as:
  • Tactical uses of ITC and ISM by social movements studying tools and concrete uses of technology  for protest, debate, decision making, organisation and coordination into the social movements. Their influence in the identity, cultural and cognitive framework of the movements, spreading their agenda in the public sphere and its impact in the public awareness.
  • Risks and threats of ITC and ISM for activism through censure, surveillance or manipulation made by Big Data, algorithms and other control technologies.
  • The influence of the social movements in the proper development of ITC and ISM through  Social  innovation and the disruptive uses of technology, the fight for neutrality in the Internet and technological sovereignty. The development of tools by hackers and free software communities.
  • The complex link between old and new media, its convergence in the new media ecosystem and its implications for the debate and the reconfiguration of the public sphere, the risks and opportunities in this new stage for the deliberative democracy and its linked with contemporary and Recent Global Social Movements.
  • The initiatives of digital democracy, open government, cybercampaigns in the elections and other means and uses of ITC and ISM in the institutional politics and their relations with the demands and proposal of the social movements.
  • The link between youngsters and technology and the emergence of digital natives as a political subject with new identities and practices in the movements and their increasing influence in the institutional politics.
  • The cultures in Internet and the symbolic mobilisations of popular culture, digital and mainstream, hackers and hacktivist cultures, cyberfreaks, cyberpunks and cyberfeminisms and the identifications of movements with ITC and ISM.
Beside, we are pleased to invite to contribute with critical and interdisciplinary approaches around social movements, ITC, ISM and their links with traditional and mainstream media, the changes provoked in the international sphere, the debates about the influence of technology and the impact in the democracy of the digital culture.
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