Book Review – Coding Democracy

My book review for Maureen Webb’s Coding Democracy: How Hackers Are Disrupting Power, Surveillance, and Authoritarianism just went up on the New Media & Society website! I encourage you to read the entire review, but here’s a short excerpt that sums up my thoughts on the title.

Coding Democracy does not attempt to end the debate of what constitutes a hacker, but rather constructs hacking as an overarching philosophy that is bound together, rather than fragmented, by the diverse practices that fall under its umbrella. Webb’s primary concern is democratic principles and processes, and she frames the hacker ethic as something that may be co-opted by ordinary citizens in order to pursue new forms of distributed democracy in an increasingly digital world. For scholars who have invested a great deal of time reading up on hacking communities, Webb’s work may overlap with other studies enough to render portions of the book eminently skimmable. Regardless, Coding Democracy still proves to be a valuable resource as a foray into the field with an explicit focus on civic action.”

I completed the review as part of Alessandra Renzi‘s Alternative Media class back in 2020, and I am very appreciative for her feedback and support in writing it.

a cropped cover image for the book "coding demoracy"

Citation: Iantorno, Michael. “Book Review of Coding Democracy: How Hackers Are Disrupting Power, Surveillance, and Authoritarianism.” New Media & Society, March 2021. DOI:

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By Michael