E-democracy in the EU : the opportunities for digital politics to re-engage voters and the risks of disappointment
Title: E-democracy in the EU : the opportunities for digital politics to re-engage voters and the risks of disappointment
Series/Number: Demos Paper; 2015
External link: http://www.demos.co.uk/
The digital revolution has disrupted politics, but it could enhance democracy. The speed and ease of online business can make political processes look frustratingly slow and inaccessible to many voters. The internet has transformed our social, personal, professional and economic lives, but the processes of politics and government remain remarkably similar to those of the last century. If voters disengage as a result, democracy will lose its life-blood. This short paper explores the implications of the growing chasm between how people live and how politics works, and how far digital technology can improve the experience of democracy for citizens. We present new, illustrative research on how MEPs and voters are using one social media platform, Twitter. We then explore the broader implications of digital technology for parties and political processes. New technology is creating opportunities for new types of democratic engagement, but we also set out some of the challenges and difficulties of realising these opportunities. In conclusion, we identify a number of promising new initiatives for improving the quality of political engagement and how they might be implemented by the European Parliament. This paper is not designed to be comprehensive, but rather as a provocation to stimulate further research and thinking on the subject.
Table of Contents:
-- Introduction -- 1. New challenges for democracy in the digital age -- 2. New research on the practice of digital politics: how Parliamentarians use twitter -- 3. Ways forward: new initiatives in digital democracy -- 4. Pitfalls of technology -- Conclusion -- Notes
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Type of Access: openAccess