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An Open Source Project for Politics: Visions of Democracy and Citizenship in American Pirate Parties
Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Department of Culture Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3309-3840
2013 (English)In: The Citizen in the 21st Century / [ed] James Arvanitakis & Ingrid Matthews, Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2013, 201-213 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A political battle is being waged over the use and control of culture and information. While media companies and copyright organisations argue for stricter intellectual property laws, a growing body of citizens and netizens challenge the contemporary Intellectual property-regime. Lately this has resulted in what could be described as a political mobilisation of piracy. This is maybe most evident in the formation of pirate parties that see themselves as a digital civil rights movement defending the public domain and the citizen’s right to privacy against copyright expansionism and increased surveillance. Since the first pirate party was formed in Sweden in 2006, similar parties have spread across the world, from USA to Australia.

This presentation draws on a study of the culture and ideology of copyright resistance which involves a series of interviews with representatives of pirate parties in USA and Canada. The study looks into what ideas, ideals and aspirations motivate active pirate party members in North America and how this relates to traditional values of a modern, democratic society such as freedom of speech, respect for private property and the public access to culture and information. This presentation focuses particularly on the role of democracy and citizenship in pirate politics. It discusses how the pirate ideology envisions the relationship between the citizen and society in a time when digital technology rapidly and radically changes the conditions for political and social agency and participation. Does a movement that relies so much on global networking and sees the principles of swarm intelligence and open source collaboration as the future of democracy also convey a relationship between the citizen and the state? How would, in that case, such a pirate citizen be defined and situated, and how does it relate to old conceptions of citizenship and existing political institutions?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2013. 201-213 p.
, Probing the Boundaries
Keyword [en]
Piracy, Pirate Parties, Copyright, Intellectual property, Social movements, Democracy
National Category
Media Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-116631ISBN: 978-1-84888-238-6OAI: diva2:799077

Table of Contents

Introduction The Citizen in the 21st CenturyJames Arvanitakis and Ingrid Matthews

Part 1: Global Citizenship and the Nation State

21st Century Citizen Networks in Complex States: Shall We Dance or Play Tug-of-War?Eugene G. Kowch

Nomos Beyond the Earth Josh Entsminger

Israeli Narratives to the Diaspora and the Construction of an Unequal Diasporic Citizenship Shahar Burla

Arendtian Deliberation on the Decline of Political Public Space: The Case of Postwar Japanese Citizenship Yaya Mori

Multiple Nationality and the (Ab)Use of Citizenship: Identity Opportunity and Risk Anna Tsalapatanis

Part 2: Migrant Citizens and Non-Citizens

Migrating Rights Laurie Berg

Asian Democracy and the Problem of Membership: Rules of Exception and ‘Legitimate’ Discrimination against Migrants in South Korea Sohoon Lee

Expanding the Citizen in Multicultural Policymaking Rimi Khan

Universalising Citizenship as Identity? Identity Liberalism and the Paradox of Universalism Francis Luong

Part 3: Leadership, Membership, Belonging: Young Citizens in the 21st Century

Expanding Citizenship: Expanding Our Understanding Mitra Gusheh and Anna Powell

Teaching and Learning Citizenship: From the Margins to the Centre Ingrid Matthews

‘The Kids Are Alright, It’s Just Youth in Trouble’: Re-Thinking Civic Competence through a Presence Model of Youth Citizenship Identity Jennifer Upchurch

Part 4: Environmental Citizenship

Environment and Citizenship: Rethinking What It Means to Be a Citizen in the 21st Century Benito Cao

Environmental Citizenship: A Case Study of the Global Young Greens Alex Surace and Amy Tyler 

Practicing an Individual Ethics of Sustainability Chris Riedy

Part 5: Empowering the 21st Century Citizen

Engagement and Citizenship: Universities in the Contemporary World James Arvanitakis and Bob Hodge

An Open Source Project for Politics: Visions of Democracy and Citizenship in American Pirate Parties Martin Fredriksson

A 21st Century Citizen in a Brave New Republic Spike Boydell

ConclusionThe 21st Century Citizen and Beyond Ingrid Matthews and James Arvanitakis

Available from: 2015-03-29 Created: 2015-03-29 Last updated: 2015-04-21Bibliographically approved

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