, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 31–37 | Cite as

The Promise of Technological Decentralization. A Brief Reconstruction

  • Jan-Felix SchrapeEmail author
Symposium: Order and Disorder Around the World


Internet and Digitalization have long been associated with the promise of a technology-enabled decentralization of social conditions. Although such expectations have regularly fallen short, this underlying generic vision has proven to be astonishingly stable. This article traces the origin of the notion of decentralizing socio-economic forms of coordination through technological means—from the do-it-yourself scene of the 1960s, the early computer counterculture, and debates on cyberspace and Web 2.0 to present day ideas of decentralized and distributed forms of production and economic systems.


Decentralization Communication Coordination Digitization 



The research for this text was funded by the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Social Sciences, Organizational Sociology and Innovation StudiesUniversität StuttgartStuttgartGermany

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