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Virtually a Historian

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.

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Tetsuki Tamura and Yasuko H. Kobayashi

This article attempts to view the idea of a “crisis of democracy” through a lens of individualization of the society. As the consequence of the impact of the individualization on existing liberal democracy, new forms of niggling democracy have been emerging. This article maps varieties of such emerging democracies in contemporary Japanese society.

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Giovanni Navarria

The technological revolution that began with the Arpanet in the late Sixties has changed the world we live in. The Internet and social media have improved our lives considerably, but the changes came in with a high-price tag attached: our freedom. We now live in a world in which technology has exponentially expanded the power of the State to keep tabs on its citizens (within and across borders). If we continue on this path, democracy as we know it is doomed. Yet the future is not as grey as it might look at first sight. The ubiquity of social media and smartphones and the increasing relevance of the Internet in everyday life have also drastically changed the impact-power of citizens in technologically advanced societies. Understanding these changes is to understand which shape democracy will take in the future.

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Conceptual History in the United States

A Missing "National Projec"

Martin J. Burke

The author addresses the question of why there has been no national project on the history of political and social concepts in the United States analogous to those which have appeared in many countries in the wake of the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe, the Handbuch politisch-sozialer Grundbegriffe in Frankreich and, the Historisches Wöterbuch der Philosophie. Nevertheless, by listing and explaining how to use a number of available internet resources, the author suggests ways for scholars to develop histories of central concepts in American public discourse

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Little Phil

Changing the Relationship between Philanthropy and Democracy?

Joshua Murchie and Jean-Paul Gagnon

This Practitioner’s Note considers the disruptive function of Little Phil, a mobile app that seeks to democratize philanthropic giving. Although many of the cultural aspects of philanthropy – such as increased control over donation, tracking the impact of one’s giving, and building interpersonal relationships with receivers – can be opened to any person with an app-hosting device and internet access, it cannot supplant the role of big philanthropy and solve Rob Reich’s problem: how to domesticate private wealth so that it serves democratic purposes? Little Phil’s disruption has in concept gotten us halfway to legitimizing philanthropy. Perhaps the uptake of citizens’ panels by large philanthropic foundations will cover the remaining distance.

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Jeffrey D. Hilmer and Max Halupka

participatory research initiative, it addresses a range of interconnected fields from Education and Youth Work to the Internet and Public Policy. Framed in this way, the book further explores working definitions of participation, and analyzes theoretical

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Ben Berkowitz and Jean-Paul Gagnon

, or social.” He places his faith in the internet’s capacity to combat citizen frustration with the way democracies function. And he has good reason to do so given SeeClickFix’s positive track record. It has, after all, thus far been successful at

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Common Democracy

Political Representation beyond Representative Democracy

Alexandros Kioupkiolis

; Hardt 2010 ). Certain categories of these common-pool resources, such as the “digital commons” of open-source peer production, display structures of self-management akin to those governing Athenian democracy. Wikipedia, the free, internet-based, and

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Marcos S. Scauso, Garrett FitzGerald, Arlene B. Tickner, Navnita Chadha Behera, Chengxin Pan, Chih-yu Shih, and Kosuke Shimizu

and access to internet inequality are correlated to higher risks of infection and lower possibilities of self-isolation ( Chiou and Tucker 2020 ). The story is not much different in India, the world's largest democracy and former British colony, where

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Jodi Dean

livestreams mushroomed on the Internet. Car caravans and carefully orchestrated, physically distanced actions attempted to substitute for the missing crowds. The solution to the problem came from the streets the last week of May. Outrage over the ceaseless