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<nettime> Pirate Assemblages: The Global Politics of Anonymous, the Pira
Snafu on Tue, 10 Jul 2012 18:08:51 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Pirate Assemblages: The Global Politics of Anonymous, the Pirate Parties and Radical P2P Communities

Pirate Assemblages: The Global Politics of Anonymous, the Pirate Parties 
and Radical P2P Communities

A book edited by

Marco Deseriis, Northeastern University
Carolin Wiedemann, University of Hamburg

Proposal Submission Deadline: August 31, 2012

In May 2006, the Swedish police raided and seized The Pirate Bay's 
servers in Stockholm for copyright infringement. As a result, the 
newborn Swedish Pirate Party saw a membership surge, received 7% of the 
vote in the European Parliament election of 2009, and spearheaded the 
Pirate Parties International, a network of political parties that fight 
for copyright reform, open source governance, and the civil right to 
privacy in the information society. Recently, the German Pirate Party 
has dubbed the success of its Swedish counterpart in four different 
German state elections.

In October 2010, the hacktivist network Anonymous launched Operation 
Payback, a series of distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks 
against anti-piracy organizations and government agencies that were held 
responsible for the outage of The Pirate Bay. In an open letter to 
Anonymous, the US and UK Pirate Parties invited the hacktivist movement 
to cease the attacks and "choose a more moderate and legal way" to 
pursue the struggle for copyright reform. Although Anonymous, the Pirate 
Parties, and other social movements for direct democracy may not always 
agree on their tactics they all consider the peer-to-peer exchange of 
information amongst all human beings as fundamental to the communal 
organization of a free and open society.

The struggles against intellectual property and for a democratic access 
to information have thus entered a new phase. In particular, the rise of 
Wikileaks, Anonymous and the Pirate Parties as well as the mobilizations 
against laws such as SOPA, PIPA and ACTA signal that Internet users are 
no longer willing to delegate the representation of their interests to 
third parties. The refusal of representation is also a common feature of 
the recent movements against autocracy in the Middle East and austerity 
measures in Europe and North America. For example, Michel Bawuens has 
compared Occupy to an open API with modules, such as "protest camping"? 
and "general assemblies," which can be used as templates and modified by 
all, without the need of a centralized leadership.

Yet while on a general level the new P2P and pirate movements seem to 
share common ideals and goals significant differences remain on how to 
pursue these objectives. Pirate Assemblages takes this debate as a 
departure point to explore a set of pressing issues on the social 
composition and global politics of the new P2P movements. In particular 
we are interested in articles that pose and try to answer questions such as:

*  The hacker ethos that informs the open source community and the new 
pirate movements assumes that traditional institutions are inherently 
flawed because of their hierarchical and centralized structure. How are 
decisions made within these movements? Is technical knowledge the 
primary way to gain status? What other competences are mobilized? Is 
there a leadership within these movements? If so, how is it selected?

*  It is generally assumed that the core organizers of the IPP, 
Anonymous, and file-sharing networks are predominantly white 
middle-class men. If this is true, what are the consequences of such 
limited composition on the politics of these formations? And what are 
the examples that may challenge this assumption?

*  How do these movements differ from each other due to their regional 
backgrounds? To what extent is the idea of freedom associated with 
digital rights and P2P still linked to the Enlightenment project and 
Western rationality? Are there other notions of freedom that can inspire 
the politics of these movements?

*   The IPP, Anonymous, and Occupy often exhibit the coexistence of a 
liberal or libertarian wing and an anti-capitalist wing. Is the 
dialectic between these components an impediment or a stimulus to the 
growth of these movements? How are conflicts mediated internally? How 
are they represented on the outside?

*   In which way is the autonomous organization of cognitive workers 
that make up the global pirate movement affecting the organizational 
forms of wider social movements such as the Arab Spring, Occupy and the 
Spanish Indignados?

*  What are the mid-term campaigns and objectives that can lead these 
movements to articulate a global politics without denying their regional 
and cultural differences? Are there viable examples that show how this 
process may already be underway?

We are interested in articles that focus on specific case studies as 
well as broader comparative analyses. Submissions about non-European and 
non-U.S. case studies are encouraged. Please send a 300-400 words 
abstract to Carolin Wiedemann <carolin.wiedemann {AT} wiso.uni-hamburg.de>  
and Marco Deseriis <m.deseriis {AT} neu.edu>  no later than August 31, 2012. 
You will receive an answer by September 15, 2012. Complete chapters are 
due on December 5, 2012. The editors aim at publishing the book in 
multiple languages including English and German.


Marco Deseriis, Assistant Professor
Screen and Media Studies
Northeastern University
204 Lake Hall
360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115
Office phone number: +1 617-373-5517
Email:m.deseriis {AT} neu.edu

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