Article

The Fifth Estate: A New Governance Challenge

William H. Dutton

in The Oxford Handbook of Governance

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199560530
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199560530.013.0041

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 The Fifth Estate: A New Governance Challenge

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This article analyses the challenge to governance posed by the so-called Fifth Estate. It explains that the Fifth Estate refers to the ways in which the Internet is being used by increasing numbers of people to network with other individuals to support social accountability across many sectors, including business and industry, government, politics, and the media. The article suggests that the Fifth Estate's role in enhancing the communicative power of networked individuals is likely to have profound implications for governance across every sector of society. It also contends that the Fifth Estate's continued vitality depends on preventing excessive regulation or inappropriate regulation of the Internet.

Keywords: Fifth Estate; governance; Internet; social accountability; networked individuals; excessive regulation

Article.  5691 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Public Policy ; Comparative Politics

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