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THE POLITICS OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY

Call for Papers: ‘The Politics of Digital Technology’
Panel Proposal for the International Studies Association 57th Annual Conference, Atlanta Georgia, 16-19 March 2016
Convenors: Linda Monsees and David Chandler

The importance of technology, especially digital technologies, for world politics has increasingly caught the attention of IR-scholars. The so-called digital revolution asks us to rethink the role of technology in our current times and to consider how its specific characteristics might challenge traditional political ontologies. It is now widely acknowledged that technology is more than a residual category for theorizing world politics but in the centre of ongoing transformations. These transformations can be observed in real-world political debates and policy-making (Wikileaks and data gathering, the rule of the algorithm, digital humanitarianism, Big Data and the Internet of Things) and also in a growing theoretical interest in science and technology studies (STS) and the ‘material-turn’.

Contributing to this debate, this panel seeks to rethink the possibilities for theorizing the relationship between technology and politics. The current challenge lies in meaningfully conceptualizing technology and its relation to politics in a way that does not reduce technology to just another variable determining the outcome of policies. However, assuming that all technology is always already political might hinder us from understanding the specific linkages between technology and politics or the distinct characteristics enabling technology to be political. Insights from science and technology studies might help to engage with the social role of technology, but the question of how technology is political remains open. Adapting STS to political science might need additional tools for thoroughly engaging with the political aspects of technology. That is why we would like to bring scholars together who work from different theoretical perspectives and use a variety of approaches.

We welcome contributions that ask how we can grasp the distinct characteristics of the relationship between politics and technology. Theoretical and/or empirical contributions that aim at understanding the above outlined questions are welcomed. Possible contributions might ask about the politics of certain technologies, the specificities of digital technologies or how technologies might challenge traditional categories of International Relations.

Please send proposals with a title (limited to 50 words) and an abstract (limited to 200 words), three tags, and at least one author to Linda Monsees (lmonsees@bigsss.uni-bremen.de) and David Chandler (d.chandler@wmin.ac.uk) by 15 May 2015.

Best wishes,
Linda and David

David Chandler, Professor of International Relations, Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London, W1T 3UW. Tel: ++44 (0)776 525 3073.
Journal Editor, Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/resi20
Amazon books page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/David-Chandler/e/B001HCXV7Y/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Personal website: http://www.davidchandler.org/
Twitter: @DavidCh27992090

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Digitisation Perspectives

EPHEMERA – VOLUME 10 NUMBERS 3 – 4

The Digital Labour Group in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario and /ephemera: theory and politics in organization/ are pleased to announce the arrival of Volume 10: 3-4:

*** Digital Labour: Workers, Authors, Citizens ***

Edited by Jonathan Burston, Nick Dyer-Witheford and Alison Hearn

ephemera: http://www.ephemeraweb.org/

Born out of the conference of the same name held in the fall of 2009 at the University of Western Ontario, this special double issue of / ephemera / addresses the implications of digital labour as they are emerging in practice, politics, policy, culture, and theoretical enquiry. As workers, as authors, and as citizens, we are increasingly summoned and disciplined by new digital technologies that define the workplace and produce ever more complex regimes of surveillance and control. At the same time, new possibilities for agency and new spaces for collectivity are borne from these multiplying digital innovations.

This volume explores this social dialectic, with a specific focus on new forms of labour. Papers examine the histories and theories of digital capitalism, foundational assumptions in debates about digital labour, issues of intellectual property and copyright, material changes in the digital workplace, transnational perspectives on digital labour, the issue of free labour and new definitions of work, and struggles and contests on the scene of digital production.

Contributors include Brian Holmes, Andrea Fumagalli and Cristina Morini, David Hesmondhalgh, Ursula Huws, Barry King, Jack Bratich, Enda Brophy and many others.

This issue also contains vital contributions from union and guild activists hailing from the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the American  Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT).

The Digital Labour Group: Jonathan Burston, Edward Comor, James Compton, Nick Dyer-Witheford, Alison Hearn, Ajit Pyati, Sandra Smeltzer, Matt Stahl, Samuel E. Trosow.

 

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