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The digital rights and access to knowledge movements: the rise of a networked do-ocracy

Abstract : The Access to Knowledge (a2k) advocacy community has been reinforced and its status as influent stakeholder has been confirmed around the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Development Agenda and the Treaty for Visually Impaired Persons voted in June 2013. This community, a coalition constituted by countries of the global South and NGOs developing and promoting a positive political agenda (Kapczynski & Krikorian, 2010), gathers classical NGOs and civil servants with professional recruitment, working with experts, consultants and academics, and informal groups who do not participate to the formal negotiations, but contribute to the elaboration of the political agenda and the mobilization of citizens. This networked form of digital activism is led by a very small number of actors without traditional forms of democratic representativity or accountability, building legitimacy through do-ocracy. Deriving from the Free Software and Open Source Software movement and inspired by the ethics of the hackers and the Do It Yourself movements, do-ocracy is an organizational principle based on decentralisation and action. Actors choose their role and by executing tasks, they are gaining responsibilities and developing expertise and social capital through their work, rather than from elections or from a more traditional socio-professional selection process of the elites. The paper proposes to study the emergence of a socially very diverse and loose advocacy coalition which has been developing collaboratively a policy agenda. Its way of action is grounded on digital participatory tools and culture, such as liquid democracy. I will then question the legitimisation of the do-ocracy, presented as a new form of power developing policies. The methodology associates desk study with participatory observation at WIPO conferences and in more informal settings online and offline.
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Contributor : Melanie Dulong de Rosnay <>
Submitted on : Monday, March 9, 2015 - 2:53:46 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 6:23:18 AM
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  • HAL Id : halshs-01128129, version 1



Melanie Dulong de Rosnay. The digital rights and access to knowledge movements: the rise of a networked do-ocracy. International Political Science Association Conference 2014, International Political Science Association (IPSA), Jul 2014, Montréal, Canada. ⟨halshs-01128129⟩



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