A new publication about Wikipedia and the concept of open politics by Dr Nathaniel Tkacz, from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, has been chosen as the highly-coveted ‘Book of the Week’ by Times Higher Education (THE). ‘Wikipedia and the Politics of Openness’ is the first comprehensive critique of the role of openness in digital politics and beyond.
It receives a rapturous review in the ‘1 Jan-7 Jan’ edition of THE by Paul Bernal, who describes the book as “a critique not just of Wikipedia but of the whole idea of openness – one of the sacred cows of the internet, something considered almost beyond criticism”.
Dr Tkacz said:
In recent years we’ve seen a general rise of this notion of openness in areas including open government, open data and open access, but the ideas are deeply indebted to software development and later web '2.0' cultures – and nothing represents these more vividly than Wikipedia."
On his first day in office back in 2009 President Obama heralded what he called a “new era of openness”, which shows how the rhetoric of openness goes right to the top of government.But what does this level of openness mean for society? In my book I use Wikipedia, the most prominent product of open organisation, to analyse the theory and politics of openness in practice.
It is a critical analysis which helps bring us closer to understanding what openness does, and does not, have to offer – and I’m delighted that it has already received such positive feedback.”