Germany's parliamentary democracy appears to be in crisis. The major parties' membership is in decline and barely existing in East Germany, election turnout is decreasing at all levels, and the reputation of politicians has never been worse. At the same time, however, Germans are more interested in politics than in the 1990s, overwhelmingly support democracy, and are keen on participating particularly in local political decision making. Out of this situation emerged www.abgeordnetenwatch.de— a website that aims to re-establish the link between electors and elected by allowing voters and representatives to communicate via a publicly accessible question-andanswer structure. This article addresses the questions of whether such an instrument can revitalize representative democracy and whether it has done so in the context of the 2009 federal elections.
Digital Archives and Memory Production
. While established heritage institutions often carry out online memory production based on historic material, new actors who are not institutionally bound also increasingly enter the field of memory production on the Internet. This raises questions about
Blogs and the Recent History of Dispossessed Academic Labor
Claire Bond Potter
A contemporary history of higher education in the United States is being written on the Internet. Academic bloggers interrupt and circumvent the influence of professional associations over debates about unemployment, contingent labor, publishing, tenure review, and other aspects of creating and maintaining a scholarly career. On the Internet, limited status and prestige, as well as one's invisibility as a colleague, are no barrier to acquiring an audience within the profession or creating a contemporary archive of academic labor struggles. At a moment of financial and political crisis for universities, these virtual historians have increasingly turned their critical faculties to scrutinizing, critiquing, and documenting the neoliberal university. Although blogging has not displaced established sources of intellectual prestige, virtual historians are engaged in the project of constructing their own scholarly identities and expanding what counts as intellectual and political labor for scholars excluded from the world of full-time employment.
Translator : Nathan Bracher
novels, animated films, exhibits, documentaries, and television series, not to mention the tremendous possibilities offered by the internet. The renewal is underway and can also build on the experiments of our predecessors. Here are three examples. In
Events of the distant past can become the subjects of animated online debates, revealing high levels of ethnic tension between ethnic Russians and minorities. This has been the case with disputes about a recent Russian movie on Genghis Khan, for instance, which is nearing completion in Yakutia. The Internet debate forum has revealed several models of the relationship between ethnic Russians and minorities. First, there is the Eurasian model, which implies a "symbiosis" between these two groups with ethnic Russians playing the lead roles. Second, there is the Asiatic version of Eurasianism, where the Asian minorities play the roles of leaders. Third, there is the concept of Russia for Russians.
Katharina Hanel and Stefan Marschall
Facing linkage problems, parties in Germany have started to respond to a changing media environment by reforming their internal structures of opinion forming and decision making, inter alia reacting to the rise of the social web and the successes of the Pirate Party whose party organization is to a large extent “digitalized”. Whether and how established parties implement and adapt Internet tools, i.e., whether these could contribute to more participation of the “party on the ground” or whether they strengthen the “party in central office” is the focus of this article. The case study on the employment of an online platform for drafting a motion for the party convention of the German Social Democrats in December 2011 reveals that the “party in central office” controlled the online procedure as well as the processing of the results to a remarkable extent—thereby constraining the participatory potential of the tool. At the same time, the case study indicates a quality of online collaboration platforms that might limit the instrumentalization of these tools by the party elites in the long run and possibly re-empower the “party on the ground.”
Pegida’s Community Building and Discursive Strategies
strategies on which neoliberalism has built its global success. Discourse analysis uncovers both the disjunction between their method and their message and the internal contradictions in the message itself. Pegida uses social media and the internet with an
Translocal Identities of the Far Right Web
Patricia Anne Simpson
from normalizing and mainstreaming extremist views. Most significantly, the instrumentalization of the internet can create and disseminate a digitally enhanced image of the far right that coopts and mobilizes historical meanings, forges ideological
Laird Boswell and Jonah D. Levy
Laird Boswell Le Communisme: Une passion française by Marc Lazar
Jonah D. Levy Silicon and the State: French Innovation Policy in the Internet Age by Gunnar Trumbull
Cass Sunstein details intrinsic flaws in group discussion, even in ideal deliberation, and draws attention to prediction markets and information-aggregation devices on the internet as supplements to discussion. I respond that the supposed flaws do not affect ideal deliberation, and that the evaluation of group discussion is too pessimistic: there are alternative hypotheses to account for his findings, and there are doubts about their external validity. Also, I contend that his evaluation of prediction markets and internet devices is too optimistic. The markets have failed miserably, and the internet is vulnerable to astroturfing by the powerful and wealthy.