WikiLeaks Affects: Ideology, Conflict and the Revolutionary Virtual

  • Athina Karatzogianni


This chapter focuses on the public feelings over WikiLeaks,1 and demonstrates how affect and emotion, in conjunction with digital culture and social media, enabled shifts in the political. I am using the WikiLeaks controversy, and the storm of public feelings it generated, in order to demonstrate how affective flows can snowball into a revolutionary shift in reality. The order of theoretical sampling and analysis begins with a philosophical discussion of the role of affective structures in mediating the actual and the digital virtual. It then moves on to the interface between ideology and organization in WikiLeaks, as an example of ideological tensions producing affect in relation to that organization. Further, I discuss the interface between hierarchy and networks, such as activist networks against states and global institutions, in order to examine the interfaces between emotion and affect, as the expressive2 (Shaviro, 2010: 2) catalysts for revolts and uprisings.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Althusser, L. (1970), ‘Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses’ in Lenin and Philosophy and other Essays (1971), translated by Ben Brewster.Google Scholar
  2. Al-Zubaidi, L., Khoury, D., Abu-Ayyash, A. and Paul, J. (2 May 2011) People’s Power: The Arab World in Revolt, Special Issue, Perspectives: Political analysis and commentary from the Middle East, Heinrich Böll Stiftung. Online. Available at
  3. Barabási, A-L. and Albert, R. (1999) ‘Emergence of Scaling in Random Networks, Science 286: 509–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baudrillard, J. (1994) Simulacra and Simulation, trans., S. Glaser. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan. Originally published in French by Editions Galilee, 1981.Google Scholar
  5. Benkler, Y. (2006) The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom, New Haven and London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Castells, M. (2000) The Rise of Network Society, The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, vol. 1, 2nd edn, Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  7. Clough, P. (2000) Autoaffection: Unconscious Thought in the Age of Teletechnology, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  8. Clough, P. with Halley, J. (eds) (2007) The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social, Durham and London: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Coleman, G. (forthcoming 2012) Coding Freedom: Hacker Pleasure and the Ethics of Free and Open Source Software, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.Google Scholar
  10. Dafermos, G. (29 March 2009) ‘Division of Labour In Free & Open Source Software Development: The FreeBSD Project’, powerpoint slides.
  11. Dahlberg, L. and Siapera, E. (2007) (eds), Radical Democracy and the Internet, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  12. Dean, J., Anderson, J. and Lovink, G. (eds) (2006) Reformatting Politics: Information Technology and Global Civil Society, London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Deleuze, G. (1986) Foucault, Paris: Editions de Minuit.Google Scholar
  14. Deleuze G. (1994) Difference and Repetition, trans. Paul Patton, New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Deleuze, G. (2006) Nietzsche and Philosophy, Trans. Janis Tomlison, New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (1987) A Thousand Plateaus, trans. Brian Massumi London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  17. Dyer-Witheford, N. (1999) Cyber-Marx: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in High-Technology Capitalism, Chicago: University of Duke university press.Google Scholar
  18. Greenberg, A. (29 November 2010) ‘An Interview with WikiLeaks’Julian Assange’, Forbes. Online available at
  19. Gregg, M. and Seigworth, G. J. (eds) (2010) The Affect Theory Reader, Durham and London: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  20. (The) Guardian (30 November 2010) ‘Cablegate Roulette: Diplomatic Dispatches like you’ve Never Seen Them’. Online available at
  21. (The) Guardian (1 December 2010) ‘Bradley Manning, in his own words: This belongs in the public domain’. Online. Available at
  22. Haraway, D. (1995) Preface. The Cyborg Handbook. C. Grey (ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  23. Karatzogianni, A. (2006) The Politics of Cyberconflict, Routledge Research on Internet and Society, London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. — (ed.) (2009) Cyber Conflict and Global Politics, Routledge Contemporary Security Studies, London: New York Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. — (10 March 2010) ‘The Thorny Triangle: Cyber Conflict, Business and the Sino-American Relationship in the Global System’, E-International Relations. [Online]. Retrieved June 15, 2010, from
  26. — (2010) ‘Blame it on the Russians: Tracking the Portrayal of Russians During Cyber conflict Incidents’, Digital Icons: Studies in Russian, Eurasian and Central European New Media, November, Issue 4: War, Conflict and Commemoration in the Age of Digital Reproduction. Online. Available at
  27. — (2011) Violence and War in Culture and the Media, London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Karatzogianni, A. and Michaelides, G. (2009) ‘Cyberconflict at the Edge of Chaos: Cryptohierarchies and Self-organization in the Open Source’ in P. Moore and A. Karatzogianni and (eds) Parallel Visions of P2P production: Governance, Organization and the New Economies, Special issue, Capital and Class, January.Google Scholar
  29. Karatzogianni, A. and Robinson, A. (2010) Power, Resistance and Conflict in the Contemporary World: Social Movements, Networks and Hierarchies, London: New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Kuntsman, A. (2009) Figurations of Violence and Belonging: Queerness, Migranthood and Nationalism in Cyberspace and Beyond, Oxford: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  31. Lampert, J. (2006) Deleuze and Guattari’s Philosophy of History, New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  32. Leigh, D. and Harding, L. (2011) ‘WikiLeaks: From Wales to a US jail, via Iraq, the story of Bradley Manning’. Online. Available
  33. Leigh, D., Harding, L., Hirsch, A. and MacAskill (30 November 2010) ‘WikiLeaks: Interpol wanted notice for Julian Assange’. The Guardian. Online. Available:
  34. Lévy, P. (2005) ‘Collective Intelligence, a Civilisation: Towards a Method of Positive Interpretation, International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, Vol. 18, No. 3/4, The New Sociological Imagination (Spring–Summer), pp. 189–98.Google Scholar
  35. Lovink, G. (2007) Zero Comments: Blogging and Critical Internet Culture, New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  36. Massumi, B. (2002) Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation, Durham and London: Duke University Press Books.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McCaughey, M. and Ayers, M. (2003) Cyberactvism: Online Activism in Theory and Practice, New York and London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  38. Morozov, E. (2011) The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom, Public Affairs.Google Scholar
  39. Neilson, B. and Rossiter, N. ‘Precarity as a Political Concept, or Fordism as Exception’, Theory, Culture and Society, 2008 (7–8): 51–72.Google Scholar
  40. Prensky, M. (2001) ‘Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants’, available at,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf. Retrieved January 2009.
  41. Rheingold, H. (2002) Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution, New York: Perseus.Google Scholar
  42. Routledge, P. and Simons, J. ‘Embodying Spirits of Resistance’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 1995, 13: 471–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Shah, N. and Abrahan, S. (2009) ‘Digital Natives With a Cause? Engaging with the Physical-Virtual Dialectic’, Hivos Knowledge Programme Report. Online. Available at
  44. Shaviro, S. (2010) Post Cinematic Affect, Hants: Zero Books.Google Scholar
  45. Stallman, Richard M. (2010). Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman, Second Edition, Boston, MA: GNU Press. Online Available at Scholar
  46. Snow, D., Zurcher, L. and Olson, S. (October 1980) ‘Social Networks and Social Movements: A Micro-Structural Approach to Differential Recruitment’, American Sociological Review, 45(5): 787–801.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tapscott, J. (2008) Grown-Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing your World. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  48. Watts, D. J. and Strogatz, S. H. (June 1998). ‘Collective Dynamics of “Small-World” Networks’, Nature 393, 440–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Van de Donk, W., Loader, B., Nixon, P., Rucht, D. (2004) (eds) Cyberprotest: New Media, Citizens and Social Movements, London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  50. Yang, G. (2009) The Power of the Internet in China: Citizen Activism Online, New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Warwick, S. (2000) I, Cyborg, London: University of Reading Press.Google Scholar
  52. Weber, S. (2004) The Success of Open Source, Cambridge, MA and London, England: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  53. Weinberger, D. (2008) Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the Digital Disorder, New York: Times Books.Google Scholar
  54. Williams, S. (2002). Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman’s Crusade for Free Software. Sebastapol: O’Reilly.Google Scholar
  55. Wissinger, E. (2007) ‘Always on Display: Affective Production in the Modeling Industry’ in Patricia Clough with Jean Halley (eds), The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social, Durham and London: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Žižek, S. (2004) Iraq: the Borrowed Kettle, London and New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  57. Žižek, S. (1989) The Sublime Object of Ideology, London and New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  58. Žižek, S. (2005) Interrogating the Real, London and New York: Continuum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Athina Karatzogianni 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Athina Karatzogianni

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations