Platforms and Public Participation

Platforms and public participation
Danny Butt, Scott McQuire and Nikos Papastergiadis
The concept of the ‘platform’ has recently received extensive analysis in media studies and urban planning. This paper explores the platform’s contemporary emergence as an expression of a new archival logic that questions the possibility of a democratic politics of participation. ‘Public participation’ in the platform invokes the individual in the form of a consumer with a profile rather than as a citizen of a state. This paper returns to Claudio Ciborra’s 1996 work on the ‘platform organization’ to diagnose a ‘re-architecting’
capability which we argue is integral to platform politics. Since this capacity for re-architecting is generally reserved from participants, we highlight the potential of ‘de-participation’ toward the emergence of counter-platforms.

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