Freedom technologists and the new protest movements: a theory of protest formulas

media/anthropology

The text below is a pre-publication version of the now published article Postill, J. 2014. Freedom technologists and the new protest movements: a theory of protest formulas. Convergence 20 (3), 402-418. [PDF]. See final published version (free until the end of November 2014).

See alsoGlobal directory of freedom technologists: projects, networks, organisations

Abstract

In this article I draw from anthropological fieldwork in Spain and secondary research on Tunisia and Iceland to explore the connection between internet freedom activism and post-2008 protest movements. I introduce two new concepts: ‘freedom technologists’ and ‘protest formulas’. I use the term freedom technologists to refer to those individuals who combine technological and political skills to pursue greater internet and democratic freedoms, which they regard as being inextricably entwined. Far from being techno-utopians or deluded ‘slacktivists’ (Morozov, 2013, Skoric, 2012), I argue that most freedom technologists are in fact techno-pragmatists; that is, people…

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