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Title: New technologies of democracy : how the information and communication technologies are shaping new cultures of radical democratic politics
Author: Stacey, Paul Michael
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2005
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What characterises contemporary democratic political struggles? According to the post-Marxist theory of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, it is their sheer unknowability, the fact that there can be no certainties, no fixed grounding. Drawing a distinction between the 'certainties' of classical Marxism (i. e. base/superstructure) and the more 'diffuse' nature of modem democratic demands (such as sexual and gender equality, environmentalism and the peace movements), the emergence of a post-Marxist perspective has endeavoured to engage the widening imaginaries of present-day democratic politics. In this thesis the central post-Marxist category of radical democracy, defined literally as the 'multiplication of public spaces of antagonism, is interrogated in relation to new modes and ideas of contemporary political struggle, particularly those associated with the expansion of the ICTs and networks. Arguing for the need to consider politics beyond the somewhat outmoded and uninspiring description of the 'new social movements', this thesis critically investigates the emerging practices of politics and activism enabled by the technologies like the Internet, using the ideas of post-Marxism as a basis for generating new theories of radical democracy. Looking in particular at the practices of Tactical Media and Culture Jamming, together with new methods of interaction and consumption, such as peer-to-peer file sharing and open publishing on the Internet, this study demonstrates how radical democracy contains as yet unthoughtout critical potentials through which to examine the ICTs in relation to these nascent cultures of politics. These emerging political cultures, this thesis suggests, entail the articulation of other ways of conceiving democracy, the political and politics more appropriate to the increasingly networked nature of contemporary society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available