I have a new article out in the Journal of Information Policy on the ACTA debate in Europe analyzing the role of civil society along the dimensions of multi-level politics as well as the need to differentiate between public advocacy (such as protests) and institutional advocacy (engaging with policy making institutions). My findings document that advocacy efforts did defeat ACTA, but it took more than the decentralized protests that are more commonly associated with internet advocacy. Key factors in defeating ACTA were the five-years of network building preceding the protests, the catalyzing role of the defeat of SOPA/PIPA in the United States and early protests in Poland, and the central role played by civil society organizations in bridging horizontal networks of decentralized protests to the institutional body of European Parliament.
These findings demonstrate the value in civil society incorporating strategies of lobbying and policy engagement in addition to organizing campaigns—and avoid oversubscribing the efficacy of purely online advocacy in changing public policy.
A Legitimization Crisis and the Need for Transparency
Internet Rights & Principles Coalition
Geneva Declaration on Internet Freedom
APC Internet Rights Charter
OECD Communique on Principles for Internet Policy-Making
Declaration of Internet Freedom
Web We Want Coalition
James has five years experience in public policy and over 10 years studying the intersection of information, technology and power. He is currently a PhD candidate with the School of International Studies and the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University in Sweden and his dissertation researches how tensions between states and internet companies impacts the free flow of information online and the implications for national sovereignty and citizenship.
Since 2009 James has worked with the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute (OTI), as an analyst and a fellow, researching and writing about a wide variety of information policy issues including freedom of expression, intellectual property, spectrum, open internet regulation, the global free flow of information, and the digital divide.
James holds an Mssc. with a focus on digital media and society from Uppsala University in Sweden and a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on media and power from the University of California at Berkeley. In addition to his work in public policy and academia, James plays drums, banjo, and guitar and is a photographer whose photo credits include ReadWriteWeb and GQ Italia.
- University of California, BerkeleyInterdisciplinary Studies, 2003 - 2007
- Uppsala UniversityDigital Media and Society, 2012 - 2013
- Stockholm UniversityGlobal Media Studies, 2013