This chapter reviews some of the key ways that civic engagement and public participation have become increasingly digitized and data-driven. But rather than engaging in debates over the democratic potential of digital technologies, it’s arguably more productive to look at the range of ways that this emerging ‘digital civics’ is reconfiguring how we conceptualize and practice citizenship in the era of big data. The chapter first turns to discussing how citizenship is increasingly defined in relation to data and data practices, and how these redefinitions have precipitated larger changes in the way citizenship is conceptualized and operationalized. Second, the chapter identifies three ongoing, interrelated changes to the digital civics landscape that are worthy of greater attention moving forward. These include the spatialization of digital civics, the corporatization of digital civics, and the growing prominence of oppositional uses of digital civics that seek to challenge the social and political status quo.

Digital Geographies, pp. 250-259
Taylor Shelton
Assistant Professor of Geography