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:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

The Fifth Estate: A New Governance Challenge

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Politics
  • Public Policy
  • Comparative Politics



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

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »