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Jamming the political: beyond counter-hegemonic practices

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While the notion of cultural jamming has been around for several years little or no attention has gone to the appropriation of cultural jamming techniques by political actors in their political communication practices. These ‘political‘ jams are not directed at the corporate world as such, like the cultural jam, but towards society at large or governments, towards changing values or behaviours and even at times against minorities or common enemies. The actors involved are not only radical or grassroots activists, but also professional civil society organisations, political parties and even at times government sponsored agencies. This already indicates that the political jam cannot be coined as a counter-hegemonic practice per se, as is the case with cultural jamming. Reactionary groups and mainstream political parties, as well as corporate actors are increasingly adopting these techniques. This article will address the historical cultural legacy on which cultural and political jamming builds. It will also critically assess the role of the Internet as a distributive means for political jams and its consequences for the notion of the public sphere.

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