- freely available
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9010003
2. Citizenship Studies and Ecological Citizenship
2.1. A Brief History of Citizenship (and the Study of It)
2.2. Green Citizenships: Environmental or Ecological?
3. Information Infrastructures and the Formation of Knowledge
- Embeddedness. Infrastructure is ‘sunk’ into, inside of, other structures, social arrangements and technologies.
- Transparency. Infrastructure is transparent to use, in the sense that it does not have to be reinvented each time or assembled for each task, but invisibly supports those tasks.
- Reach or scope. This may be either spatial or temporal—infrastructure has reach beyond a single event or one-site practice.
- Learned as part of membership. The taken-for-grantedness of artifacts and organizational arrangements is a sine qua non of membership in a community of practice… Strangers and outsiders encounter infrastructure as a target object to be learned about. New participants acquire a naturalized familiarity with its objects as they become members.
- Links with conventions of practice. Infrastructure both shapes and is shaped by the conventions of a community of practice, e.g., the ways that cycles of day-night work are affected by and affect electrical power rates and needs.
- Embodiment of standards. Modified by scope and often by conflicting conventions, infrastructure takes on transparency by plugging into other infrastructures and tools in a standardized fashion.
- Built on an installed base. Infrastructure… wrestles with the “inertia of the installed base” and inherits strengths and limitations from that base.
- Becomes visible upon breakdown. The normally invisible quality of working infrastructure becomes visible when it breaks; the server is down, the bridge washes out, there is a power blackout. Even when there are back-up mechanisms or procedures, their existence further highlights the now-visible infrastructure.
- How are knowledge infrastructures changing?
- How do knowledge infrastructures reinforce or redistribute authority, influence, and power?
- How can we best study, know, and imagine today’s (and tomorrow’s) knowledge infrastructures?
4.1. Looking at Ecological Citizenship from an Information Infrastructure Perspective
- Embeddedness. Information infrastructures that are embedded in various artifacts, social agreements, and tools determine the forms of, and negotiations about, citizenship. Thus, typical historical accounts of citizenship (Isin and Turner 2007) may be analyzed from an information infrastructure perspective. Such an analysis would, for instance, show the effect of Enlightenment thought on the idea of citizenship (Curtin 2003) with a particular focus on knowledge production through an interplay between church, state, and universities.
- Transparency. Information infrastructures are transparent to use and invisibly support individual enjoyment of citizenship rights and fulfillment of duties. Star et al. (1997) argued that transparency goes hand in hand with membership. This means that citizenship information must be equally accessible to everybody as members of a political community. Focusing on what remains transparent is, therefore, important for developing a comprehensive approach to citizenship. The question of transparency also enables us to further problematize the notion of inclusion: who “deserves” to be a citizen and who does not.
- Reach and scope. Information infrastructures perform beyond “single event or local practice” (Star and Ruhleder 1996, p. 113) and this general characteristic is compatible with the state-level implementation of citizenship acts. Moreover, globalization has dramatically influenced the reach and scope of information infrastructures in the sense that different forms of citizenship interact with each other all around the world.
- Learned as a part of membership. Information infrastructures are learned, or instead taught, within a communal context. This is also the way one learns about citizenship through information infrastructures. For example, local libraries provide intersubjective spaces that enable new immigrants to perform citizenship.
- Links with the conventions of practice. Information infrastructures both affect and are affected by citizenship practices. The mutual development of the Internet and new acts of citizenship, such as feminist protests, may be a good example of these links. The active, developing, open, and innovative features of grassroots citizenship may be seen, in this respect, as potential factors shaping the future of citizenship. However, information infrastructures are still designed from a human-centric perspective and posthuman voices are not yet strong enough to transform these infrastructures. For example, animal rights advocacy has been largely marginalized in public discussions around citizenship issues.
- Embodiment of standards. Invisible infrastructures become transparent in their interactions with each other. Individuals’ experience of the standards that emerge when the information infrastructure becomes transparent will determine the quality of their citizenship experience. This maybe constitutes the most crucial dimension of an information infrastructure in its relationship with citizenship because “one person’s well-fitting standard may be another’s impossible nightmare” (Star and Lampland 2009, p. 5). The literature on citizenship and the environment shows how standardization excludes various ecological communities at different scales.
- Built on an installed base. Any infrastructure is dependent on its installed base, and for information infrastructure, this also includes the knowledge base. In this sense, citizenship cannot perform appropriately on information infrastructures that are based on incorrect knowledge bases. Minority movements, for example, can be also understood as infrastructural movements since they aim to struggle against the installed knowledge base that is established through modern nation-state experience. In a similar vein, traditional understandings of citizenship cannot efficiently respond to socio-ecological problems that exceed national borders.
- Becomes visible upon breakdown. Information infrastructures supporting the practices of citizenship become visible when they do not function well. Examples include e-government applications or the protests targeting the (neo)liberalization of higher education systems.
4.2. The Anthropocene, Neoliberal Information Infrastructuring and the Future of Ecological Citizenship
Conflicts of Interest
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They include but are not limited to liberal citizenship, republican citizenship, economic citizenship, ethnic citizenship, inclusive citizenship, differentiated citizenship, biometric citizenship, educated citizenship, gay citizenship, green citizenship, global citizenship, non-citizenship, cultural citizenship, silent citizenship, digital citizenship, post-citizenship, stakeholder citizenship, sexual citizenship, multi-layered citizenship, mobilizational citizenship, extraterritorial citizenship, affective citizenship, ecomodernist citizenship, effective citizenship, care-tizenship, quasi-citizenship, social citizenship, local citizenship, imperial citizenship, urban citizenship, active citizenship, rhetorical citizenship, entrepreneurial citizenship, fragmented citizenship, aesthetic citizenship, deliberative citizenship, neoliberal authoritarian citizenship, dual citizenship, sustainable citizenship, and cosmopolitan citizenship.
For a detailed discussion on the role of libraries as social actors in the development of national information infrastructures in four countries of Central and Eastern Europe, please see (Caidi 2001a).
Today’s ‘men of letters’ are, for instance, Twitter users that can disseminate (mis)information very quickly and result in potential knowledge formations for other users.
As it is mentioned in the workshop report, the participants decided to avoid a discussion on terminology. But one of the participants has made a definition elsewhere (Edwards 2010, p. 17). According to this definition, the term of knowledge infrastructure focuses on the dimensions of people, artifacts, and institutions in respect to the production, sharing, and maintenance of knowledge. Therefore, the main difference between knowledge infrastructure and information infrastructure appears to stem from the varying ideas about information and knowledge. Yet, no consensus has been achieved on the terminology.
In this debate, “Haussmannization” of Paris in the mid-19th century deserves more attention. One of the main purposes of the urban renewal program initiated by the urban planner Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann was to create a city that makes things difficult for revolutionary acts similar to those of previous decades.
Blok et al. (2016) edited a special issue of Science as Culture on infrastructures and the environment in which they made a shift from environmental infrastructures to “Infrastructuring Environments”, following the advice of the Editor. We agree with this shift as infrastructuring meets, in a better way, the dynamic nature of human activities.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
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