The emergence of digital political citizenship, once heralded as the engine of democratization, has paradoxically precipitated an inward-looking turn in human sociality. Rather than an escape from the Iron Cage, online communications between citizens and civic institutions mediated by new technologies often seem to become all the more dehumanized. How might we rethink the architecture and potentiality of the digital public sphere, beyond existing legal debates about the regulation of free speech? This paper describes one bureaucratic experiment, Meridian 180, “a multilingual platform for policy solutions” as an attempt to infuse an ethnographic sensibility into the character of virtual relationality. I argue for attention to the “platform” as an emerging genre of techno-sociality and consider its implications for legal theory.
Prof. Annelise Riles
Annelise Riles is the Executive Director of the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University, enhancing Northwestern’s reputation for cutting-edge, interdisciplinary programs and research on globally relevant topics. Riles is also the Associate Provost for Global Affairs and a professor of law and anthropology.
Her scholarship spans a wide range of substantive areas including human rights, managing and accommodating cultural differences, and the regulation of the global financial markets.
Key areas in legal studies include comparative law, the conflict of laws, financial regulation, socio-legal studies and international law. In anthropology, her work is known for its methodological contributions as well as for its contributions to the study of international institutions and expertise.