<unlike-us> new article in Digital Government: Can Technology Support Democracy?

Doug Schuler douglas at publicsphereproject.org
Mon Feb 24 22:00:14 CET 2020

Like my friend Todd whose email lists match mine to a large degree, I have
an article in the  new journal on Digital Government:

Can Technology Support Democracy?

From: Digital Government: Research and Practice (DGOV). Volume 1, issue 1.
January 2020

One of my main points is that "The primary aim of technology in the service
of democracy is not merely to make it easier or more convenient but to
improve society's *civic intelligence*, its ability to address the problems
it faces effectively and equitably."

I suggest that technology can play a role but doing so is not trivial.

As with the article that Todd and John Gastil wrote there I provide several
recommendations. In addition to supporting their proposal my article
recommends re-opening an Office of Technology Assessment to advise the U.S.
congress and my idea of a World Citizen Parliament
which is admittedly a utopian idea and somewhat of a thought experiment.

A couple of quotes from my article warns the potential reader where I'm
coming from...

"Weaving technology and democracy together is risky, and technologists who
begin any digital project with the conviction that technology can and will
solve “problems” of democracy are likely to be disappointed. Technology can
be a boon to democracy if it is informed technology. "

"The goal in writing this essay was to encourage people to help develop and
cultivate a rich democratic sphere. Democracy has great potential that it
rarely achieves. It is radical, critical, complex, and fragile. It takes
different forms in different contexts. These forms are complex and the
solutionism promoted by the computer industry and others is not appropriate
in the case of democracies."

Hopefully this is of interest. Please feel free to get back to me on this!


— Doug

Douglas Schuler
douglas at publicsphereproject.org
Twitter: @doug_schuler

Public Sphere Project

Mailing list ~ Collective Intelligence for the Common Good
     * http://lists.scn.org/mailman/listinfo/ci

Creating the World Citizen Parliament


Liberating Voices!  A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution

Liberating Voices!  A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution (book)

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