How does digital activism call upon citizens to understand their own role within a democratic political system? We explore citizen activists’ use of digital technologies for civic engagement purposes in the case of a particular burgerinitiatief (citizen initiative) in the Netherlands. A grassroots undertaking, Ons Geld (Our Money) sought to spread awareness on the shortcomings of the monetary system. Following years of dormant activity, it gained momentum in early 2015 and submitted a citizen initiative asking for the reform of the monetary system to the Dutch Parliament. Relying upon a website and social networking sites, Ons Geld engaged in a process of spreading awareness of and gathering signatures for its request to reform the monetary system. In this process, the use of digital technologies followed a broadcasting (one-to-many) model, calling upon individuals to understand their civic role as one of lending support for a cause. In this paper, we consider how the Ons Geld activists and the digital platforms they employed to mobilize support discursively construct subject positions for the citizens they seek to mobilize and engage. We propose that these subject positions are shaped not only by citizen activists’ own visions, skills and resources or by technological affordances, but also by the wider political context within which activism comes to take place.

Additional Metadata
Keywords digital activism, subject positions, digital technologies, civic engagement
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/103888
Journal Proceedings of the 7th International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government CeDEM17
Citation
Dumitrica, D, & Achterberg, E. (2017). Digital Activism and the Civic Subject Position: A Study of the Ons Geld (Our Money) Citizen Initiative in the Netherlands. In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government CeDEM17 (pp. 229–242). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/103888