E-Democracy: On-Line Civic Space and the Renewal of Democracy?
Posted: 12 Apr 2004
E-government is a fast-developing phenomenon in many countries world-wide. Information and communication technology (ICT) has the potential to transform government generally and re-invigorate democracy in particular. This article considers the role of ICT in increasing democratic engagement both in relation to traditional aggregative forms of democracy and as regards more radical, participatory democracy. Within traditional democracy the potential of ICT moves beyond simply e-voting and has particular application in the various consultations processes that are increasingly of significance within ideas of "modernised government". The particular value that ICT can bring is of importance for more participatory versions of democracy too. A model of consultation, drawn from mediation, is outlined and the application of ICT to such methods of decision-making is considered. Finally, a range of best practice examples is given to illustrate how a technology of democracy requires putting information technology in service of democracy rather than the other way around.
Keywords: Social democracy, e-government, technology
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