Den trådlösa massan - svärmbeteende och kollektiv handling
This essay seeks to analyze the consequences of modern information and communication technology for collective action within the framework of social movements. With references to the protests in Seattle 1999, the essay argues that the emergence of distributed collective action is closely related to the use of technology, for example cell phones and Internet. This distributed collective action can be characterized by its decentralized and self-organizing features, forming a global pattern emerging from local interactions. Whereas contemporary theories of collective action can be ´stretched´ to fit these aspects, they lack analytical tools to describe and analyze such systems. Further, their rejection of classical crowd theory is problematic, since it contains valuable insights. The essay concludes that an interdisciplinary approach inspired by swarm theory with its focus on inter-agent relations, collective processes and the emergence of complex social systems from the bottom up provide practical tools that can contribute to a greater understanding of distributed collective action.