1. Kenneth Andrews and Bob Edwards (2004) offer a review of the “disconnected literatures on social movements, interest groups, and nonprofit organizations,” noting that these parallel literatures are “too often fragmented and compartmentalized within disciplinary boundaries.” In a similar vein, I use the terms “interest group,” “political association,” “political organization,” “social movement organization,” and “advocacy group” as interchangeable synonyms. Though each term is based in a divergent literature, their boundary definitions are vague and often indistinguishable. I treat the terms as synonyms both to make the text a bit more readable and to signal agreement with Andrews and Edwards that these intellectual traditions should be brought closer together.
2. Chamberlain 2011.
3. Bowers 2011.
4. Daniel Mintz, panel presentation at “The Wisconsin 14, The Recall, and the Impact of National Organizing in Wisconsin.” Netroots Nation 2011, Minneapolis, MN.
5. Hohman 2011.
6. Gladwell 2010.
7. Earl and Kimport 2011.
8. “Organizing without Organizations” is the subtitle of Clay Shirky’s 2008 book, Here Comes Everybody. “Theory 2.0” is a term coined by Earl and Kimport (2011).
9. See also Lupia and Sin 2003; Bimber, Flanagin, and Stohl 2005; Lev-On and Hardin 2008; and Karpf 2011b. Both are meant as responses to Mancur Olson’s seminal 1965 book, The Logic of Collective Action.
10. Castells 2009, p. 58.
11. For a discussion of repertoires of contention, see McAdam, Tarrow, and Tilly 2001. For a discussion of online protest actions, see McCaughey and Ayers 2003. For a discussion of hybrid political scandals, see Chadwick 2011.
12. Earl and Kimport 2011, p. 32.
13. For a discussion of commons-based peer production, see Benkler 2006. For studies of the political economy of open source software, see Weber 2004, Kelty 2008, and Hindman 2007. For an analysis of Wikipedia, see Lih 2009, Reagle 2010, Karpf 2011b.
14. See Shulman 2009; Gladwell 2010; White 2010; and Morozov 2009, 2011 for illustrative examples of this critique.
15. Shulman 2009, pp. 25–26. See Karpf 2010b for a direct rebuttal.
16. Morozov 2011, p. 190. Morozov’s broader argument concerns the threat that digital tools, poorly deployed, can pose in unstable regimes. On the broader point, I concur, but his writing paints digital engagement tools with a particularly broad brush.