Digital participatory democracy: A normative framework for the democratic governance of the digital commons

Journal of Social Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Drawing from the traditions of participatory and economic democracy, this paper develops a normative framework to critique the anti-democratic structure of digital capitalist platforms. It does so in two ways. First, it offers an understanding of digital users’ activity as value-producing for digital capitalist firms. Second, it extends arguments in favor of workplace democracy to digital capitalist firms and their users. By building a case for participatory autonomy, this paper suggests that users ought to have democratic control over the conditions of their digital engagement, including democratic control over data and digital platforms themselves. This paper ends by briefly outlining a series of alternatives to our digital capitalist landscape, namely, a vision for a democratic digital commons.



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Alec Stubbs
University of Massachusetts, Boston

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