[Air-l] CFP Special Issue of the Information Society on Open Source and Public Sector

Anna Maria Szczepanska anmar at ituniv.se
Tue Jul 10 03:37:05 PDT 2007


Special Issue of The Information Society
on Open Source and Public Sector: Discourse, Politics and Practice

Guest Editors: Jan Ljungberg, Magnus Bergquist and Anna Maria Szczepanska

In the last ten years the Open Source (OS) and Free Software (FS) 
movement has come to challenge the norms and ideals, products and 
procedures of the dominant proprietary software industry. OS/FS 
represents a radically different logic within the field of software 
development. This logic is based on ideas that celebrate the rights of 
the user and informational freedoms and resist strong intellectual 
property laws and regulations. In addition to gaining ground in the 
commercial software market, the OS/FS-movement is also establishing 
itself as an interesting alternative for the public sector. Currently, 
discussions regarding OS/FS procurement and policy-making are taking 
place within governments and public sector organizations all over the 
world. The OS/FS-technologies advocates have promoted them on the basis 
of their potential cost-benefits, their value as “a public good,” their 
egalitarian and digital divide-bridging qualities and so forth. But the 
public sector initiatives still seem somewhat hesitant. The OS/FS in 
public sector discussions and policy-making processes represent a 
discourse still very much in the making.

This special issue will provide an opportunity for researchers to 
present valuable insights at an early stage about a relevant topic that 
crosscuts the information technology and policy processes and OS/FS 
movement’s institutionalization processes. We hope to bring together 
insights from multiple areas, such as political science, sociology, 
economics, IS-research, media studies, policy studies and cultural 
studies. Discourse analysis and case studies would both be welcome 
analytical strategies to provide breadth to the special issue.

Contributions could include the following:

- Papers identifying and discussing how underlying norms, values and 
practices inscribed in OS/FS and proprietary software are understood and 
dealt with in public sector discourse.

- Case studies on evolving policies and laws related to Open Source / 
Free Software in the public sector.

- Papers analyzing the rhetoric on the pros and cons of OS/FS in the 
public sector.

- Papers identifying and analyzing the way actors (e.g. the media, 
business groups, academia, consumers, NGO’s, SMO’s, transnational 
advocacy networks) are organizing in order to influence, support or 
criticize policy processes and other activities relating to the 
dispersal of OS/FS products and ideas in public sector.

The guest editors invite abstracts by September 1, 2007, which should be 
sent to anmar at ituniv.se. Authors with the most to offer to the dialogue 
will be invited to contribute full papers, which will go through the 
normal review process of the journal. For more information on TIS 
guidelines, please refer to:


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