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Minority activism on the web: between deliberation and multiculturalism

By E. Siapera

Abstract

Focusing on refugee support groups set up and operated by minority groups themselves, this paper asks how minority groups in Britain use the Internet in their interventions in the politics of asylum/immigration. How do minority groups online attempt to contribute to this politics, and what conclusions can we draw for the relationship(s) between the Internet and (multicultural) democracy? Theoretically, this paper discusses deliberative democracy as the model underlying accounts of the relationship between the Internet on the one side, and politics and multiculturalism on the other. Despite their affinities, these perspectives cannot be easily combined due to the universalising claims of politics and political theory, and the emphasis on identity/difference in multiculturalism. These tensions are also encountered empirically, in the online political conduct of the groups under study: despite a pluralisation of the forms of political conduct, which stretch beyond the public justification of claims, and the stating of reasons associated with deliberative democracy, any political gains will remain ambiguous insofar as they rest on one-sided publicity, which does not offer the possibility for public contestation or negotiation of claims made online

Year: 2005
DOI identifier: 10.1080/13691830500058786
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/1432
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