Preprint Article Version 1 NOT YET PEER-REVIEWED

Piracy and the Politics of Social Media

  1. Department for Culture Studies, Linköping University, 581 83 Linköping, Sweden
Version 1 : Received: 3 August 2016 / Approved: 3 August 2016 / Online: 3 August 2016 (16:36:14 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Almqvist, M.F. Piracy and the Politics of Social Media. Soc. Sci. 2016, 5, 41. Almqvist, M.F. Piracy and the Politics of Social Media. Soc. Sci. 2016, 5, 41.

Journal reference: Soc. Sci. 2016, 5, 41
DOI: 10.3390/socsci5030041

Abstract

Since the 1990s, the understanding of how and where politics is made has changed radically. Scholars such as Ulrich Beck and Maria Bakardjieva have discussed how political agency is enacted outside of conventional party organizations, and political struggles increasingly focus on single issues. Over the past two decades, this transformation of politics has become common knowledge, not only in academic research but also in the general political discourse. Recently, the proliferation of digital activism and the political use of social media is often understood to enforce these tendencies. This article analyzes the Pirate Party in relation to these theories, relying on almost 30 interviews with active Pirate Party members in Sweden, the UK, Germany, the USA, and Australia. The Pirate Party was initially formed in 2006, focusing on copyright, piracy, and digital privacy. Over the years, it has developed into a more general democracy movement, with an interest in a wider range of issues. This article analyses how the party’s initial focus on information politics and social media connects to a wider range of political issues and to other social movements, such as Arab Spring protests and Occupy Wall Street. Finally, it discusses how this challenges the understanding of information politics as a single issue agenda.

Subject Areas

piracy; pirate party; political mobilization; political parties; information politics; social media; activism

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