Beyond cyberutopia and digital disenchantment

Pragmatic engagements with and from within the Internet


  • Mareile Kaufmann
  • Anna Leander
  • Nanna Bonde Thylstrup



In this introduction, we describe how this special issue looks at contemporary digital political practices. It highlights the pragmatic engagements employed by political movements and subjects as they negotiate infrastructural entanglements with visions of resistance, subversion, and survival. The contributions to the special issue are characteristic of such engagements that operate beyond the spectacles of cyberutopia and digital disenchantment. They opt instead to embody or subvert digital infrastructures and offer new political imaginaries and realities.

Author Biographies

Mareile Kaufmann

Mareile Kaufmann is a post doc researcher at the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law, University of Oslo. A large part of her work focuses on surveillance practices and technologies, but also how people engage critically with these from within surveillance systems. Mareile uses qualitative research designs that combine theory with innovative angles and strong empirical components.

Anna Leander

Professor of International Relations at the Graduate Institute in Geneva with affiliations at PUC, Rio de Janeiro and the Copenhagen Business School. She is best known for work on practice theoretical approaches and methodologies and for her work on commercial security. Her current research focuses on the politics of digital technologies and their regulation.

Nanna Bonde Thylstrup

Associate Professor of Communication and Digital Media at Copenhagen Business School. She is author of The politics of mass digitization (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2018) and is co-editor of the forthcoming anthology Uncertain archives: Critical keywords for the age of big data (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2020). Her work has appeared in journals such as New Media & Society, Big Data & Society, and First Monday.




How to Cite

Kaufmann, M., Leander, A., & Thylstrup, N. B. (2020). Beyond cyberutopia and digital disenchantment: Pragmatic engagements with and from within the Internet. First Monday, 25(5).