The new assemblages of power: a critical examination of the potential impact of social networking technologies upon the governance of crisis
Branicki, Layla (2010) The new assemblages of power: a critical examination of the potential impact of social networking technologies upon the governance of crisis. In: 2010 Critical Governance Conference, Warwick University, 13th–14th Dec, 2010. Published in: Proceedings of the 2010 Critical Governance ConferenceFull text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/wbs/projects/ort...
As identified by Rod Rhodes governance discourse can encapsulate a wide range of individual and organisational practices from traditional modes of government to self organising networks such as those created by new social networking technologies. Rosabeth Kanter recently wrote on her blog that ‘global leaders are... running to catch up with the change triggered by Twitter, Facebook, and other social media’ (2010). This paper proposes that the advent and uptake of new social networking technologies poses a challenge to traditional modes of government to citizen communication. In particular the case of emergency management will be used as an illustrative example. These technologies create a geographically diffuse self organising network where by individuals can source information for themselves in real time through the use of social networking technologies. For example, Twitter is not only a network but a form of searchable broadcast media. Kanter argues that, ‘America in the 20th century was called a "society of organizations”. ... In the 21st century, America is rapidly becoming a society of networks, even within organizations. Maintenance of organizations as structures is less important than assembling resources to get results, even if the assemblage itself is loose and perishable’ (2009). Social networking technologies present an opportunity for new and more immediate modes of governance such as the crowd sourcing of information (e.g. the capture of damage in 7/7 through citizen images). These forms of self governance whilst arguably more democratic also present challenges for government control and coordination and for equality of access (e.g. technology inequalities). In this paper it will be argued that one useful way of conceptualising this challenge to traditional orthodoxies is the notion of assemblages as proposed by Deleuze and Guattari (1987) and developed by De Landa (2006). Assemblages can be understood as weak networks of contacts and/or ideas which are incredibly resilient in the face of attempts to undermine their structure. In the context of social networking technologies it will be argued that this is due to multiple horizontal interconnections which are not dependent upon individual players but increase the ability of individual nodes within the network to yield influence (e.g. to be able to broadcast their information to a large audience in real time). Assemblages are products of emergent properties and therefore are inherently open to reconfiguration and adaptation making them both particularly useful and dangerous during the multiple phases of a crises event.
|Item Type:||Conference Item (Paper)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Warwick Business School > Marketing & Strategic Management
Faculty of Social Sciences > Warwick Business School
|Journal or Publication Title:||Proceedings of the 2010 Critical Governance Conference|
|Status:||Not Peer Reviewed|
|Conference Paper Type:||Paper|
|Title of Event:||2010 Critical Governance Conference|
|Type of Event:||Conference|
|Location of Event:||Warwick University|
|Date(s) of Event:||13th–14th Dec, 2010|
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