Protesting from Home: Political Community Across Information Networks

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Paperpeer-review


The internet and Political Science literature have had a somewhat of a funny relationship in the past. Like all mass communicative mediums which have served to shape the very fabric of society before it, the academic community was quick to jump upon the internet as both saviour and destroyer. And nowhere was this contentious relationship more protuberant and antagonistic than in the political participation literature. Here, depending on who one spoke to, the internet herald both the emergence of a participatory revolution, and the erosion of civic sociability and flagship for depoliticization of Western societies. The internet, in its promotion of soft, thin and decentralised organised forms, slowly became synonymous with ‘contemporary’ forms of engagement, while ‘traditional’ notions remained tied fast to the tried and true of the old, strong, and thick. As this division continued, both sides traded blows held aloft by the relatively uncontested notion that online platforms were fundamentally distinct, and, to a degree, removed, from the domain of traditional political avenues. This was not to suggest that there was no cross over between the two, as the internet’s role in the organisation and mobilisation of political conflict was self-evident. Rather, the internet’s promotion of personal-action frames born from neoliberalism and a period of postmodernity was interpreted as inescapably at odds with the need for strong statecraft through representative, deliberative, and participatory collective action.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventAustralian Political Science Studies Association conference - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 28 Sept 20141 Oct 2014


ConferenceAustralian Political Science Studies Association conference


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