Political turbulence and social media

Professor Helen Margetts from Oxford Internet Institute spoke to the OECD this week about her recent research (see her new book.) Looking at political movements around Europe, why is everything kicking off everywhere? Is this due to use of social media? There is little hard evidence, but lots of anecdotes. However, new sources of data…

What is the digital economy?

The OECD Forum in Paris last week brought together a large number of people interested in economic and social questions, many from a digital viewpoint. But I found myself wondering what exactly the ‘digital economy’ is. Luckily, the OECD publishes a biennial OECD Digital Economy Outlook, so I looked through the current (2015) version, to…

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‘Casseurs’ then and now.

Riots and strikes in France this week have been widely publicised. Refineries have been closed, rail travel affected, and according to the BBC, “Riot police battled protesters in Paris and other cities, making 77 arrests, while 15 officers were injured and cars and shops were vandalised.” Much has been made of the activities of ‘casseurs’,…

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British Conceptual Art

There’s an exhibition of British conceptual art, 1964 – 79, at Tate Britain at the moment. The catalogue sees stages in the development of conceptual art: – new frameworks: slightly childish reaction against contemporary Modernist art as described by Clement Greenberg, although many early UK conceptual artists did not knowof US equivalents and worked in…

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Unfortunate Signs 4: Try Praying

Richmond May Fair last weekend. Amidst the crowd, two men sit alone at a stall. Richmond Green was crowded, yet (at that moment) no-one was interested in their stall. The standing man turns his hands outward in a gesture that could be despair or resignation. The seated man smiles as if to reassure him. No-one…

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Cyberparty: Popular Politics in Digital Times

A conference at Kings last Friday had something of the excitement, the sense of destiny, that delegates must have felt at the early socialist meetings (perhaps the Second International meeting in London in 1896, held not so far away from Kings). Here was an international group of people making new things happen in politics, people…