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The ways in which we gather information about current events and communicate it with others have been transformed by the rapid rise of digital and social media platforms. The political is no longer confined to the institutional and electoral arenas, and that has profound implications for how we understand citizenship and political participation. With From Voice to Influence, Danielle Allen and Jennifer S. Light have brought together a stellar group of political and social theorists, social scientists, and media analysts to explore this transformation. Treading through the contributions is the notion of egalitarian participatory democracy, and among the topics discussed are immigration rights activism, the participatory potential of hip hop culture, and the porous boundary between public and private space on social media. The opportunities presented for political efficacy through digital media to people who otherwise might not be easily heard also raise a host of questions about how to define "good participation:" Does the ease with which one can now participate in online petitions or conversations about current events seduce some away from serious civic activities into "slacktivism?" Drawing on a diverse body of theory, from Hannah Arendt to Anthony Appiah, From Voice to Influence offers a range of distinctive visions for a political ethics to guide citizens in a digitally connected world.
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About the Author

Danielle Allen is the UPS Foundation Professor in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study and the author or editor of several books, including, most recently, Our Declaration. Jennifer S. Light is professor of science, technology, and society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is the author of From Warfare to Welfare and The Nature of Cities.

Reviews

"For anyone who thinks that the Internet has created a whole new order, From Voice to Influence ought to be essential reading. This is a very important and valuable book, rich with fascinating case studies and pertinent data." (Peter Levine, Tufts University)

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