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Cancan Wang & Jessamy Perriam: Murder Maps, Transport Apps, and Soup: How Expert Enthusiasts Move Open Government Data Initiatives between the UK and China. [Abstract]

This study investigates the dissemination of the open government data concept as processes of change occurring in a globalized world. We use the concept of model travelling from global studies to unfold how open government data as an idea travels across places, especially how the idea in one place is related to changes in other places. We pay attention to the specific ways actors are engaged in the travelling of digital “ideas.” Empirically, we follow the travelling of the open government data concept between the UK and China, since 2009. Our finding provides a different picture on how social changes are ordered around open government data, which is different from the modernist or diffusionist view that believes social changes are concerted efforts driven by rational choice and diffuse from a fixated cultural centre to its peripheries. Rather, social changes around technology movements emerge haphazardly among networks of expert enthusiasts committed to the change process by their attraction to the fun and affective atmospheres around these movements. Their centres and peripheries of changes configure organically as the dynamics in the networks of actors evolve; and the directions of change can be multiple and simultaneous.

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