Political Ambitions of European Pirates

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2015-7-72-84

T. Rovinskaya, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (mirtania@gmail.com)

Abstract. The paper thoroughly examines the ideological essence, political goals, structure, electoral achievements and international protest activities of the Pirate Movement, consisting of national Pirate Parties worldwide and the Pirate Parties International. The Pirate ideology arose in mid-2000s in response to information society biases, and is paying special attention to the freedom of non-commercial information exchange in the Internet, individual privacy, transparency of state politics and direct citizens' involvement with flexible Internet-tools (Liquid Democracy concept). This relatively new political force has made a vivid progress in electoral field within a short time (since 2006 till present). The representatives of the most successful Pirate Parties (in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Spain, Croatia and Iceland) hold deputy's seats in municipal, regional, national and supranational state agencies, including the European Parliament. In many other countries of the world the "Pirates" are also registered officially and participate in elections; in some countries the Pirate Parties are active, though not yet registered. Except for electoral activity, the Pirate Parties organize joint protest campaigns against national laws/state programs and international agreements that violate the information freedom and civil rights (i.e. PRISM, ACTA). These campaigns also serve for unification and growth of the international Pirate Movement. The Pirate Parties have quickly transformed from populist groups into a political force aspiring to equitable participation in political process along with traditional political parties, challenging them in a certain way. The Pirate ideology will be in demand as long as it will give a resultative solution for specific problems of a post-industrial society in the context of democracy.

Keywords: Pirate Party, Pirate Movement, Pirate Parties International, Pirates Without Borders, Pirate Party of Europe, Pirate Wheel, copyright, transparency, WikiLeaks, ACTA, AntiPRISM

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For citation:
Rovinskaya T. Political Ambitions of European Pirates. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2015, no. 7, pp. 72-84. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2015-7-72-84

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