The Pirate Party: Tinkering with the Infrastructure of Transparency


  • Alina Marktanner



Transparency in all political processes is one of the core values and core demands of the Pirate Party. Born in 2006 as one of the numerous offsets of the Swedish mother party founded the same year the organization reacts to what it perceives as dangerous disregard established politics shows towards the emerging features of the so-called information society. In contrast, the Pirates identified the internet as the means to achieve their political vision: creating transparency in decision-making processes on all administrative levels, enabling as broad a participation in the political discourse as possible, and engaging in collaborative political action. The underlying rationale for demanding transparency in political processes and for using tools to support this demand is the ideal of a democratic system in which every individual is enabled to impact political processes as widely as possible. A full elucidation of the concept of transparency within the Pirate Party has not been undertaken, though. The need for conceptual clarity becomes apparent now that the party operates in state politics and therefore in a system whose hierarchical structures and conventions of secrecy it seeks to change. Furthermore, the emergence of the so-called “internet-party” raises the fundamental question if information technology yields the potential to alter political processes towards more citizen participation - or, in other words, if the internet can “create” democracy.


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