Civil Society in the Digital Age

Roberta G. Lentz

in The Oxford Handbook of Civil Society

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195398571
Published online May 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Civil Society in the Digital Age


This article examines the place of civil society in the digital age and the role of technology in civil society. It explains that research and commentary about the role of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in producing or reflecting social, cultural, economic, and political change has a very long history and discusses the rigidities that prevent ICTs from having any truly transformative effects on civil society or indeed society at large. It emphasizes the extent to which civil society deliberation and action in the twenty-first century both depend on, and are constrained by, electronic communication resources and their governance. The article argues that civil society and ICTs stand in a reciprocal relationship to each other because politics and communication go hand in hand.

Keywords: civil society; digital age; ICTs; transformative effects; electronic communication; politics

Article.  5504 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Public Policy

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