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Udupa, Sahana ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3647-9570 (September 2021): Shadow politics: Front stage and the veneer of volunteerism. In: Communication, Culture & Critique, Vol. 14, No. 3: pp. 491-496 [PDF, 96kB]


This article proposes the metaphor of “shadow” to examine two interrelated aspects of digital politics in India: online surveillance of politically inclined actors and datafied shadow texts aimed at managing front stage politics. The specificity of “shadow politics” emerges from ongoing transformations that are deeply interwoven with the digital, first with the data driven confidence around the “total certainty” of tracking and calibrating voter sentiments, and second, with the ideology of digital participation and related claims that data machines are merely tapping into people’s sovereign expressions online.

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