E‐democracy: The history and future of an idea

Stephen Coleman

in The Oxford Handbook of Information and Communication Technologies

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199548798
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

E‐democracy: The history and future of an idea

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  • Business and Management
  • Knowledge Management
  • Business Ethics



The post-Athenian democratic relationship, in which political representatives speak for the absent demos and media gatekeepers translate between the intimate sphere of individualized experience and the impersonal, public sphere in which strangers must live together as citizens, is blighted by inevitable problems of miscommunication. Political representatives are accused of being ‘out of touch’ and not listening to the public. The media are blamed for being simplistic, cynical, and sensationalist. The public are depicted as lacking the attentiveness, political literacy, and moral energy required of active citizens. There is a powerful desire for more effective communicative structures, techniques, and technologies that can facilitate the free spread of information and unrestricted communication between citizens. The purpose of this article is to explore ways in which, theoretically and empirically, new digital media technologies can support the norms and practices of democratic political communication.

Keywords: political literacy; moral energy; e-democracy; digital media; political communication; communicative structures

Article.  9044 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Knowledge Management ; Business Ethics

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