Internet And Democracy - 10 years later

recorded by: Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
author: Arne Rogg-Pietz, Institut für Sozialwissenschaften im Fachbereich Politikwissenschaft, Christian-Albrechts-University in Kiel
recorded by: Center of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC)
recorded by: Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
published: March 24, 2012,   recorded: February 2012,   views: 3110


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I started thinking and writing about the relationship between the internet and democracy about thirteen years ago. And whenever I met the people I worked with at that time to talk about what would change in our political system, western democracy as we knew it, the answer to that question was easy to give: Everything – with a capital E. And not only would computer-mediated communication change everything, it would change everything for the better. One only has to think of John Perry Barlow's famous 'Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace' (1996) or the 'State of the Nation Address' Andy Müller-Maguhn gave in 2000 when he was elected into the ICANN Board of Directors. But surprisingly or not, this positive view of the situation has only lasted a rather short period. In the following I am going to argue that in only ten to fifteen years, the influence on democracy which is ascribed to the internet has changed from overwhelmingly positive to at least balanced, perhaps it is even dangling a bit to the negative side.

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