The Internet and Democracy

Helen Margetts

in The Oxford Handbook of Internet Studies

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199589074
Published online March 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

The Internet and Democracy

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This chapter deals directly and broadly with the Internet and democracy, specifically republicanism, pluralism, and cosmopolitanism, and also covers the connection between the Internet and democratic institutions such as elections, political parties, legislatures, and interest groups. Next, it investigates how the Internet has been associated with individual political behaviour and what effect this relationship might have on democratic citizenship. The Internet improves the capability of citizens to convey and receive information to and from governments. The Fifth Estate allows networked individuals to use the Internet to increase the accountability of the more traditional Estates. It is noted that as the Internet becomes increasingly intertwined with democratic life, it necessarily means that democratic citizenship relies upon digital citizenship. But as democratic life moves online, political scientists in general may find an increasing need to incorporate such methods and tools into their own research.

Keywords: democracy; Internet; republicanism; pluralism; cosmopolitanism; elections; political parties; legislatures; interest groups; democratic citizenship

Article.  8194 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Knowledge Management ; Business Ethics

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