Localism and the Information Society

A new report in the UK, available for download here.


This new report discusses the relationship between the development of new communication technologies and the local political/social space.”

It “argues that the information society and its tools need not be regarded as purely for global use.

Considering, as it does, the newly developing trend of localism from different angles, this pamphlet demonstrates that there is a coherent and substantial argument for a change in the way we approach the information society. Our existing picture – of a virtual space entirely dislocated from its physical counterpart, where small-interest sites with global reach move like flotsam on a sea of generic domain names and where people mainly interact with others many miles away – is inadequate.

The contributions from Edward Andersson, Gordon Dabinett, Shaun Fensom and Helen Goulden each demonstrate how the tools of the information society that have hitherto been used to address issues on a global level can be manipulated with great effect in the local arena. The range of areas discussed in these papers, from social inclusion to town planning, demonstrates the viability and value of recognising the place of the information society at the local level.

Recognition for the developing trend in localism in relation to the information society is given a more solid foundation in the discussion on City TLDs, in the second section of this publication. The detailed proposals from the Connecting.nyc and dotBERLIN campaigns indicate that there is demand for an alteration in the way we think about the information society and the internet in particular. As Richard points out in his introduction, City TLDs are not the only solution to bringing localism to the internet, and this is made clear in Monika Ermert’s article, in which she highlights many oppositional arguments to this scheme.”

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