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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Technopopulism: The Emergence of a Discursive Formation

Marco Deseriis

This article argues that technopopulism is an emerging discursive formation that arises from the convergence of two preexisting discourses: populism and technolibertarianism. Whereas these discourses are historically distinct the global financial crisis and the 2011 wave of struggles precipitated the political conditions for their intersection and hybridization.

Type: Journal Article
Year: 2017

This article contends that technopopulism is a discursive formation that emerges from the convergence of two preexisting discourses: populism and technolibertarianism.

Whereas these discourses are historically distinct the 2008 financial crisis and the 2011 wave of struggles precipitated the political conditions for their intersection. Such convergence produces both tensions and possibilities. On the one hand, technopopulism engenders a radically participatory model of democracy, which is ultimately anti-institutional as citizens cooperate and engage in sophisticated decision-making without the mediation of professional politicians. On the other hand, the more electorally successful technopopulist parties are led by charismatic leaders who synthesize the positions that emerge from the netroots to mobilize them against the establishment.

These two seemingly contradictory aspects precipitate in two variants of technopopulism: a leaderless-technocratic variant, which is derived from the open source mode of governance and from early experiments of the Global Justice Movement in networked self-government; and a leaderist-populist variant, which is more strictly focused on the electoral competition as an intrinsically hegemonic practice. The article concludes with a reflection on the discursive complementarity of these two variants.

Deseriis, M. (2017) Technopopulism: The Emergence of a Discursive Formation, TripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique 15(2): 441-458.

http://triple-c.at/index.php/tripleC/article/view/770

News

13/12/2017

Call for Paper: Conference “1968-2018, fifty years after: Where is the social movements field going?”

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Taking the 1968 anniversary as a stimulating moment for reflection, this conference seeks to provide space for looking at the implications of that period on social movement research as well as addressing a number of key questions in current social movement research.

04/12/2017

Martin Portos Garcia wins the ISA's Seventh Worldwide Competition for Junior Sociologists

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The International Sociological Association has just announced the list of the winners of the Seventh Worldwide Competition for Junior Sociologists engaged in social research, amongst which Martin Portos Garcia - post-doc fellow at COSMOS

10/11/2017

Call for Application Now Open: Summer School on Youth Political Participation in Times of Inequalities

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We are pleased to announce that the call for applications is now open for the Summer School on Youth Political Participation in Times of Inequalities, sponsored by the Reinventing Democracy in Europe: Youth Doing Politics in Times of Increasing Inequalities project (EURYKA) and the Centre on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS).

Publications

Journal Article - 2017

Repertoires of knowledge practices: Social movements in times of crisis

Donatella della Porta and Elena Pavan
Starting from the assumption that knowledge becomes all the more important for movements in times of crisis, as old structures are challenged and new ones envisaged and proved feasible, the purpose of this paper is to suggest ways to expand the toolkit of social movement studies in order to empirically address knowledge practices as a meaningful part of contemporary progressive activism.

Journal Article - 2017

’Solidarietà sconvenienti’. Reti online di estrema destra contro e per la riforma dell’Europa

Elena Pavan and Manuela Caiani
By focusing on the websites of extreme right organizations in six European countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) and by making a combined use of digital research tools and social network analysis, we explore how extreme right organizations make a strategic use of ICTs to connect in the online space and the arguments they move forward to criticize and reform current projects of European integration. Our results suggest that ICTs sustain the construction of inconvenient solidarities in heterogeneous ways, supporting different modes of online conversations amongst extreme right websites which, in turn, affect their capacity to propose shared critiques and proposals to reform the European Union.