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Bits and AtomsInformation and Communication Technology in Areas of Limited Statehood$
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Steven Livingston and Gregor Walter-Drop

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199941599

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199941599.001.0001

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Natural Disasters and Alternative Modes of Governance: The Role of Social Networks and Crowdsourcing Platforms in Russia

Natural Disasters and Alternative Modes of Governance: The Role of Social Networks and Crowdsourcing Platforms in Russia

Chapter:
(p.98) 7 Natural Disasters and Alternative Modes of Governance: The Role of Social Networks and Crowdsourcing Platforms in Russia
Source:
Bits and Atoms
Author(s):

Gregory Asmolov

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199941599.003.0007

The chapter explores the role of ICT for emergency response in areas of limited statehood. It addresses whether ICT can make the crowd not only a resource for emergency response but also an actor in that response, capable of developing alternative modes of governance. Relying on the analysis of two case studies of natural disasters in Russia, the chapter argues that ICT provides new opportunities for the organization of large-scale collective action, making it possible for volunteers to play a dominant independent role in emergency response. The role of citizen collective action in emergency situations depends on the attitude of the state actors toward horizontal citizen structures. The chapter suggests that if the state is open to the synergy of formal and informal structures, the role of citizens will be embedded within the institutional response; if the state ignores or restricts networked volunteers, alternative modes of governance emerge.

Keywords:   natural disasters, emergency response, crowdsourcing, Russia, collective action

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