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Making Our World

The Hacker and Maker Movements in Context

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Edited By Jeremy Hunsinger and Andrew Schrock

Making Our World: The Hacker and Maker Movements in Context describes and situates the political, historical, national, and organizational elements of hacking and making. Hackers and makers are often mythologized, leading to people misunderstanding them as folk heroes for the modern age. In response, this book describes and critiques these movements from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives to help readers appreciate their worldwide scope and highly localized interpretations. Making Our World is essential reading for students and scholars of technology and society, particularly those interested in social movements and DIY cultures.

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6. Policy Hacking: Opening Up the Code of Media and Communications Regulation (Arne Hintz)

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6. Policy Hacking: Opening Up the Code of Media and Communications Regulation

ARNE HINTZ

Cardiff University

Introduction

If a typical goal of hacking is to investigate and open up closed systems, the regulatory and policy environment is a particularly obscure candidate that citizen groups and civil society organisations have long tried to crack, with varying success. From local initiatives to national campaigns and transnational networks, non-state actors have exerted pressure on policy-makers to respect communication rights, curb media concentration, allow citizen and community media to operate, reduce copyright restrictions, maintain an open internet, and implement many other demands and concerns. Scholars have analysed strategies and practices of advocacy, and disciplines such as policy and social movement studies have developed a significant body of theory that can explain motivations, tactics, necessary conditions, successes and failures. They have observed how advocates use information, norms and public pressure to convince policymakers of a certain course of action, or try to alter their interests and align them with reform agendas. Yet the role of advocacy has mostly been to provide input for a policy process that is controlled by established policy forces, typically in government and international institutions, and increasingly complemented by commercial entities.

However some civil society activists have moved beyond normative interventions and the exercise of public pressure and have instead developed regulatory proposals, written legal text, and created platforms that allow for open, collective...

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