Digital Democracy

For some time now I have been interested in how technology can be used to help in the growth of the global justice movement. Recently Jim Moore posted a thought provoking paper The Second Superpower. Joi Ito also posted another interesting article Emergent Democracy.

Both of these articles got me thinking, but I kept struggling with a couple of issues:

  • How many people, outside of technologists, are likely to partake in a tech-based democracy?
  • How many people, outside of activists, are likely to want to become more heavily involved in the political process?
  • How many people, outside of the affluent “Northern” states (or even the more affluent within them), are able to participate in a tech-based democracy?

For my Communications and Information Environments class at UTS, I have taken on the topic of Information Inequality, interested particularly in the third point above. As part of our readings for that topic in the subject I read the first chapter of Digital Divide?: Civic Engagement, Information Poverty & the Internet in Democratic Societies by Pippa Norris.

It examines many of the issues that this discussion has raised for me, and it seems the book goes into greater depth on all of the topics. Looks like a must read.