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Coding resistance: digital strategies of civil disobedience

Author: Züger, T.
Published in: W. E. Scheuermann (Ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Civil Disobedience (pp. 359-383). Cambridge: University Press.
Year: 2021
Type: Book contributions and chapters
DOI: 10.1017/9781108775748.015

The transformative effects of digitalization have not left civil disobedience untouched. On the contrary, civil disobedience today is increasingly interlinked with digital technologies, though individual examples exhibit different degrees of dependency on technology and are constituted by varying types of interactions between humans and machines. Digital actions have become integrated into daily life; it may soon seem unnecessary or even counterintuitive to label them digital at all. For some members of society, the digital becomes an increasingly empty signifier, as human activity in general becomes dependent on technology in unconscious and invisible ways. Despite the ubiquity of computing and human-machine entanglement, political and public discourses linger uneasily between embracing and resisting digitalization. The digital still functions as a placeholder that signifies a less familiar, valid, or even less real type of action. Nevertheless, the Internet has changed “almost every aspect of politics, and its presence in politics is ubiquitous.” Digital forms of activism and protest have been at the forefront of these changes and have played a vital role in the digital rights movement as a whole.

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