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[liberationtech] Final CfP AAG (Oct 19): The productive power of connectivity and entrepreneurship discourses at economic margins

Nicolas Friederici nfriederici at
Mon Oct 12 14:19:08 PDT 2015

*The productive power of connectivity and entrepreneurship discourses at
economic margins*

AAG Annual Meeting, San Francisco, March 29 – April 2, 2016

Organizers: Nicolas Friederici and Mark Graham, Oxford Internet Institute,
University of Oxford
Sponsors: EGSG

Two forces of change are increasingly promoted as drivers of socio-economic
development at the world’s economic margins: the rise of entrepreneurship
and the diffusion of technologies of connectivity (the Internet, mobile
phones, and Web-enabled devices). Blogs, newspapers, and donor
communication abound with references to sweeping development gains,
speaking of “transformation” (The Economist 2014), “technological
leapfrogging” (Kimenyi 2015), the “data revolution” (Lawrence 2015), or
“acceleration” (Omidyar Network 2013) that are driven by entrepreneurs and
the spread of ICTs.

This session asks what the consequences of connectivity and
entrepreneurship discourse are for economic life at the margins. We invite
a range of disciplinary perspectives, both theoretical and empirical
studies, as well as case studies. We ask submitted abstracts to address
questions such as:
- What key assumptions are embedded into the coming-together of discourses
of connectivity and entrepreneurship?
- Who is driving these discourses? What are the respective roles of the
international development sector, foundations, consultancies, grassroots
actors, local and international media, and others? What are their
- What sorts of economic realities, subjects, and places are produced by
such discourses?
- How do such discourses morph as their focus shifts from economic centers
to economic margins?
- Who benefits from overly optimistic and hyperbolic discourses about the
potentials of connectivity and entrepreneurship for economic development?

To be considered for the session, please send your abstract of 250 words or
fewer, to: nicolas.friederici at and mark.graham at

The deadline for receipt of abstracts is October 19, 2015. Notification of
acceptance will be before October 23. All accepted papers will then need to
register for the AAG conference before Oct 29 at Accepted papers will be
considered for an edited volume edited by the organizers.

Kimenyi, Mwangi S. 2015. “Leapfrogging Traditional Service Delivery
Constraints in Africa through Mobile Technologies.” The Brookings
Institution. March 11.
Lawrence, Neil. 2015. “How Africa Can Benefit from the Data Revolution.”
The Guardian, August 25, sec. Media Network.
Omidyar Network. 2013. Accelerating Entrepreneurship in Africa Report.
The Economist. 2014. “The Rise of Africapitalism,” November 20.

Nicolas Friederici
Oxford Internet Institute

*nicolas.friederici at <nicolas.friederici at>*
@friedema, Skype: Nicolatsch
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