Through Biella Coleman - POSA v2:
The Social Science Research Council invites you to collaborate on a real-time history of the politics of open source software adoption. We are pleased to offer a first version of this accountPOSA 1.0 (500KB .pdf)--in both .pdf and wiki versions, here POSA 1.0 includes contributions from Gabriella Coleman, Kenneth Cukier, Shay David, Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, Eugene Kim, Volker Grassmuck, Bildad Kagai, Nicolas Kimolo, and Jennifer Urban, and is edited by Joe Karaganis (SSRC) and Robert Latham (SSRC).
Our project begins with the observation that accounts of the Free and/or Open Source Software (FOSS) movement, to date, have been oriented mostly by the improbable fact of FOSSs existence. At this stage of FOSS development and advocacy, we want to ask a different set of questionsnot how open source works as a social and technical project, or whether open source provides benefits in terms of cost, security, etc., but rather how open source is becoming embedded in political arenas and policy debates. For our purposes, understanding the politics of adoption means stepping back from the task of explaining or justifying FOSS in order to ask how increasingly canonical explanations and justifications are mobilized in different political contexts. POSA 1.0 maps many of the different kinds of political and institutional venues in which FOSS adoption is at stake. It tries to understand important institutional actors within those venues, and the ways in which arguments for and against FOSS are framed and advanced. It seeks to clarify the different opportunities and constraints facing FOSS adoption in different sectors and parts of the world. It is an inevitably partial account that--we hope--can be extended and deepened by other participants in these processes. We invite your help in preparing POSA 2.0. To sweeten the pot, two prizes of $250 will be awarded to the best contributions to POSA 2.0