World 2.0: Political Theory in Network Society
Political theory asks the question how do we create the good life? How good are historical and contemporary forms of governance and what can we do in order to improve governance for our contemporary and future societies? How do we understand membership (identity) and who should decide, what, when, where, and how (authority)?
If we drill down to the unquestionable, why do we actually participate?, we find metaphors mapping the logic of one domain onto another: our society on a body, where everybody has their role; our society onto an original contract; or our society described as a network of inclusive, some-how like-minded, outcome-oriented, collaborators, guided by rough consensus and running code.
Pingback: Shaping Network Society » Blog Archive » Structuring Deliberation 2.0
A recent article which could be useful:
Y. Rumpala, “Knowledge and praxis of networks as a political project”, published in: Twenty-First Century Society, Volume 4, Issue 3, November 2009.
Modern-day society is increasingly described as an extensive web of networks, but as such, it is often perceived and experienced as elusive. In light of this paralysing description, this paper aims to highlight the potentially political dimension of network analysis, namely as defined in the social sciences, and of the notion of networks itself. It will be shown that a political project could, in this case, be built on the desire to know this reticular world better, but also to be able to act appropriately towards it. Three steps are proposed to specify how such a political project could be built. The first step aims at deploying knowledge of networks and emphasises the usefulness of a procedure to trace them. The second step shows the possibilities that this knowledge offers, particularly in allowing one to find one’s bearings in a world which is frequently described as veering towards an increasing complexity, and by helping to rebuild the selection criteria for connections in this world, thanks to an additional degree of reflexivity. The third step draws on these points to extend them and bring out potentialities with regards to the intervention capacities in network configurations.