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The governance of digital commons: Wikimedia Governance Case Study

From Wikimania

The governance of digital commons: Wikimedia Governance Case Study

Presenter Mayo Fuster Morell (European University Institute)
Themes Communities
About the presenter
Since 2006 Mayo Fuster Morell is conducting a Phd research at the Social and Political Science Department at the European University Institute (Florence). Her thesis is on The Governance of the digital commons. Wikimedia is one of her case studies. In her doctoral research she explores models of governance of common-base peer production and how governance relates to community grown. She takes particular attention to the role of the providers of the platforms that host the interaction and the distribution of functions between the providers and the community of participants in co-governing the process. She was visiting the School of information – UC Berkeley until December 2008 sponsored by Coye Cheshire and Howard Rheingold. Her academic formation is based on a Degree in Economics (Univ. of Valencia); Degree in Anthropology (Univ. Rovira i Virgili); Master in Politics of Cooperation and Development (Univ. Complutense of Madrid); Master in Urban Studies (Univ. Rovira i Virgili); Member of the social movements working group Institut de Govern i Poltiques Publiques (Univ. Automona de Barcelona).

In a first part I will explore the democratic quality and the governance models of platforms of participation which goal is the building of digital commons. Then I will focus on the Wikimedia Governance case. In concrete, I will analyze the role of the Wikimedia Foundation; the different approaches to the distribution of functions between the Foundation and the projects communities in “co-governing” the Wikimedia eco-system; and finally how the diverse organizational form at the Foundation and the project communities are combined. My analysis is based on a large-N statistical analysis of cases and a Wikimedia case study supported by 45 interviews, content analysis of the Foundation e-list and participative observation.

Language English
Video (download)