E-government and democratic politics
DOI link for E-government and democratic politics
E-government and democratic politics book
As graphical browsers and the World Wide Web (WWW) popularised the Internet during the mid-1990s, political visionaries joined their economic counterparts in predicting radical changes for governance as well as for commerce. Just as the Internet would provide new opportunities for ‘dot.com’ entrepreneurs to restructure accepted business models, so it would provide new openings for political entrepreneurs to reshape the established political order. Interaction among citizens in cyberspace would enrich public opinion and increase participation in democratic politics. In contrast to the established mass media, computer-mediated information and communication technologies (ICT) would afford ordinary citizens the power to research and disseminate their own ideas about public affairs. Moreover, political activists – ‘netizens’, so to speak – could use e-mail, newsgroups, and websites to form new political groups and build new coalitions. Cyber-democrats like Howard Rheingold, Rhonda and Michael Hauben, and John Perry Barlow heralded the Internet’s promise for realising formerly impossible dreams of informed engagement in political and civic affairs.1 They anticipated that once citizens discovered this potential, the Internet would foster greater individual freedom as well as viable new parties and interest groups that would challenge the dominant political groups.