Feed the Birds; Tuppence a Bag!
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The goal of this thesis is to analyze the mechanisms of crowdfunding platforms in order to evaluate if these are spaces which enable a public sphere and therefore a public opinion. With this I hope to make a contribution to the discourses about the Internet and the public sphere. First I will describe the origins and meaning(s) of the public sphere and opinion. Secondly I will research the ‘democratic’ value of crowdfunding: The possibilities it has to open up a new and maybe even better public sphere and with it a public opinion. I will argue for a non liberal theory of the public sphere, the commons, and how crowdfunding could enable capitalism 2.0, where a balance can exist between the government, corporations and the commons. In this way crowdfunding, when used well, could solve the issues brought up by critics of the public sphere. Whereby Crowdfunding enables a form of economical action which is not only neo-liberal but which also propperly incorporates the commons.