Computers, Information Technology, the Internet, Ethics, Society and Human Values

Philip Pecorino, Ph.D.

Queensborough Community College,  CUNY

Chapter 12 Political Change


As computer technologies and the internet have had an impact on all social institutions they have impacted upon forms of government.  In particular the technologies appear to enable democratic processes.  It is not that computer technologies are supportive of democracy without exception.  There is the threat to privacy and with that the threat to the freedom of communication needed for free associations to form and flourish and present critiques of government.  Never the less there is quite a bit about the technologies that may be termed "democratic" in their implications and adaptations.


The Information Revolution and Human Values  by Terrell Ward Bynum  Abstract - Full Paper  The ETHICOMP Journal Vol. 1 No. 1, published: 2004-02-02

One of the core values in most contemporary societies is democracy, and central to democracy is the idea of "fair elections". If elections are unfair, then there is no real democracy. Americans have a good idea of what a fair election is, but in 1980 something happened in the US presidential election that caused one to rethink the very concept of "a fair election" (Moor 1985). By 1980, information technology in America had reached a point where one could rapidly collect nationwide information from "exit polls", that is information from voters who had just voted and were leaving the polling places. Such voters were asked whether they voted for Ronald Reagan or for Jimmy Carter and why. The results were put into a computer and processed by an algorithm. By late afternoon on election day, it was already clear from this process that Ronald Reagan would win and Jimmy Carter would lose. Before many polling places had closed across America, national news networks announced that Reagan had won the election. Consequently, a number of people who had planned to vote decided not to do so. They said to themselves, "Ronald Reagan has already won. Why should I vote?" But while such people did not vote for president, they also did not vote for Senator, they did not vote for congressman, they did not vote for governor or mayor or the school board, they did not vote for anyone. As a result a number of elections were changed because many people who would have gone to the polls did not go. Was that a fair election? Most people thought that it wasn't, and the national news media soon adopted a new policy to avoid naming a winner until after all relevant voting places were closed. The notion of a "fair election" came into question because of the impact of information technology.

Another central concept in modern democracies is that of "representative democracy" where voters elect representatives to vote on their behalf, rather than having to vote on every issue themselves. Legislators are elected to represent their constituents, and only the legislators themselves vote on all issues from day to day. In England in 1996 there were experiments with information technology which called into question the very idea of representative democracy. Certain members of Parliament were "wired" to their constituents so that any time there was a public issue voters could instantly send e-mail. The Parliament member could simply go to his or her computer and find out what the constituents thought. But in a representative democracy, one elects a legislator for a certain amount of time, and one expects the legislator to take responsibility and make reasoned judgments. At times the legislator's judgment may go against what the people think. In such a circumstance, it takes leadership and political courage to make an unpopular decision. But because of information technology, it may now be possible to have a "pure democracy" in the sense that anytime there is an issue all the voters can tell the representative what to do. Is this a good idea? Here again, the very idea of democracy must be rethought because of information technology.

In the The Virtual Community   by  Howard Rheingold READ  Chapter Ten: Disinformocracy the section titled  The Selling of Democracy: Commodification and the Public Sphere

There is an intimate connection between informal conversations, the kind that take place in communities and virtual communities, in the coffee shops and computer conferences, and the ability of large social groups to govern themselves without monarchs or dictators. This social-political connection shares a metaphor with the idea of cyberspace, for it takes place in a kind of virtual space that has come to be known by specialists as the public sphere.

Here is what the preeminent contemporary writer about the public sphere, social critic and philosopher Jurgen Habermas, had to say about the meaning of this abstraction:

By "public sphere," we mean first of all a domain of our social life in which such a thing as public opinion can be formed. Access to the public sphere is open in principle to all citizens. A portion of the public sphere is constituted in every conversation in which private persons come together to form a public. They are then acting neither as business or professional people conducting their private affairs, nor as legal consociates subject to the legal regulations of a state bureaucracy and obligated to obedience. Citizens act as a public when they deal with matters of general interest without being subject to coercion; thus with the guarantee that they may assemble and unite freely, and express and publicize their opinions freely.

In this definition, Habermas formalized what people in free societies mean when we say "The public wouldn't stand for that" or "It depends on public opinion." And he drew attention to the intimate connection between this web of free, informal, personal communications and the foundations of democratic society. People can govern themselves only if they communicate widely, freely, and in groups--publicly. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights protects citizens from government interference in their communications--the rights of speech, press, and assembly are communication rights. Without those rights, there is no public sphere. Ask any citizen of Prague, Budapest, or Moscow.

Because the public sphere depends on free communication and discussion of ideas, as soon as your political entity grows larger than the number of citizens you can fit into a modest town hall, this vital marketplace for political ideas can be powerfully influenced by changes in communications technology. According to Habermas,

When the public is large, this kind of communication requires certain means of dissemination and influence; today, newspapers and periodicals, radio and television are the media of the public sphere. . . . The term "public opinion" refers to the functions of criticism and control or organized state authority that the public exercises informally, as well as formally during periodic elections. Regulations concerning the publicness (or publicity [Publizitat] in its original meaning) of state-related activities, as, for instance, the public accessibility required of legal proceedings, are also connected with this function of public opinion. To the public sphere as a sphere mediating between state and society, a sphere in which the public as the vehicle of publicness--the publicness that once had to win out against the secret politics of monarchs and that since then has permitted democratic control of state activity.

Ask anybody in China about the right to talk freely among friends and neighbors, to own a printing press, to call a meeting to protest government policy, or to run a BBS. But brute totalitarian seizure of communications technology is not the only way that political powers can neutralize the ability of citizens to talk freely. It is also possible to alter the nature of discourse by inventing a kind of paid fake discourse. If a few people have control of what goes into the daily reporting of the news, and those people are in the business of selling advertising, all kinds of things become possible for those who can afford to pay.

Habermas had this to say about the corrupting influence of ersatz public opinion:

Whereas at one time publicness was intended to subject persons or things to the public use of reason and to make political decisions subject to revision before the tribunal of public opinion, today it has often enough already been enlisted in the aid of the secret policies of interest groups; in the form of "publicity" it now acquires public prestige for persons or things and renders them capable of acclamation in a climate of nonpublic opinion. The term "public relations" itself indicates how a public sphere that formerly emerged from the structure of society must now be produced circumstantially on a case-by-case basis.

The idea that public opinion can be manufactured and the fact that electronic spectacles can capture the attention of a majority of the citizenry damaged the foundations of democracy. According to Habermas,

It is no accident that these concepts of the public sphere and public opinion were not formed until the eighteenth century. They derive their specific meaning from a concrete historical situation. It was then that one learned to distinguish between opinion and public opinion. . . . Public opinion, in terms of its very idea, can be formed only if a public that engages in rational discussion exists. Public discussions that are institutionally protected and that take, with critical intent, the exercise of political authority as their theme have not existed since time immemorial.

The public sphere and democracy were born at the same time, from the same sources. Now that the public sphere, cut off from its roots, seems to be dying, democracy is in danger, too.

The concept of the public sphere as discussed by Habermas and others includes several requirements for authenticity that people who live in democratic societies would recognize: open access, voluntary participation, participation outside institutional roles, the generation of public opinion through assemblies of citizens who engage in rational argument, the freedom to express opinions, and the freedom to discuss matters of the state and criticize the way state power is organized. Acts of speech and publication that specifically discuss the state are perhaps the most important kind protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and similar civil guarantees elsewhere in the world. Former Soviets and Eastern Europeans who regained it after decades of censorship offer testimony that the most important freedom of speech is the freedom to speak about freedoms.

In eighteenth-century America, the Committees of Correspondence were one of the most important loci of the public sphere in the years of revolution and constitution-building. If you look closely at the roots of the American Revolution, it becomes evident that a text-based, horseback-transported version of networking was an old American tradition. In their book Networking, Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps describe these committees as

a communications forum where homespun political and economic thinkers hammered out their ideological differences, sculpting the form of a separate and independent country in North America. Writing to one another and sharing letters with neighbors, this revolutionary generation nurtured its adolescent ideas into a mature politics. Both men and women participated in the debate over independence from England and the desirable shape of the American future. . . .

During the years in which the American Revolution was percolating, letters, news-sheets, and pamphlets carried from one village to another were the means by which ideas about democracy were refined. Eventually, the correspondents agreed that the next step in their idea exchange was to hold a face-to-face meeting. The ideas of independence and government had been debated, discussed, discarded, and reformulated literally hundreds of times by the time people in the revolutionary network met in Philadelphia.

Thus, a network of correspondence and printed broadsides led to the formation of an organization after the writers met in a series of conferences and worked out a statement of purpose--which they called a "Declaration of Independence." Little did our early networking grandparents realize that the result of their youthful idealism, less than two centuries later, would be a global superpower with an unparalleled ability to influence the survival of life on the planet.

As the United States grew and technology changed, the ways in which these public discussions of "matters of general interest," as Habermas called them--slavery and the rights of the states versus the power of the federal government were two such matters that loomed large--began to change as well. The text-based media that served as the channel for discourse gained more and more power to reshape the nature of that discourse. The communications media of the nineteenth century were the newspapers, the penny press, the first generation of what has come to be known as the mass media. At the same time, the birth of advertising and the beginnings of the public-relations industry began to undermine the public sphere by inventing a kind of buyable and sellable phony discourse that displaced the genuine kind.

The simulation (and therefore destruction) of authentic discourse, first in the United States, and then spreading to the rest of the world, is what Guy Debord would call the first quantum leap into the "society of the spectacle" and what Jean Baudrillard would recognize as a milestone in the world's slide into hyper-reality. Mass media's colonization of civil society turned into a quasi-political campaign promoting technology itself when the image-making technology of television came along. ("Progress is our most important product," said General Electric spokesman Ronald Reagan, in the early years of television.) And in the twentieth century, as the telephone, radio, and television became vehicles for public discourse, the nature of political discussion has mutated into something quite different from anything the framers of the Constitution could have foreseen.

A politician is now a commodity, citizens are consumers, and issues are decided via sound-bites and staged events. The television camera is the only spectator that counts at a political demonstration or convention. According to Habermas and others, the way the new media have been commoditized through this evolutionary process from hand-printed broadside to telegraph to penny press to mass media has led to the radical deterioration of the public sphere. The consumer society has become the accepted model both for individual behavior and political decision making. Discourse degenerated into publicity, and publicity used the increasing power of electronic media to alter perceptions and shape beliefs.

The consumer society, the most powerful vehicle for generating short-term wealth ever invented, ensures economic growth by first promoting the idea that the way to be is to buy. The engines of wealth depend on a fresh stream of tabloids sold at convenience markets and television programs to tell us what we have to buy next in order to justify our existence. What used to be a channel for authentic communication has become a channel for the updating of commercial desire.

Money plus politics plus network television equals an effective system. It works. When the same packaging skills that were honed on automobile tail fins and fast foods are applied to political ideas, the highest bidder can influence public policy to great effect. What dies in the process is the rational discourse at the base of civil society. That death manifests itself in longings that aren't fulfilled by the right kind of shoes in this month's color or the hot new prime-time candidate everybody is talking about. Some media scholars are claiming a direct causal connection between the success of commercial television and the loss of citizen interest in the political process.

Another media critic, Neal Postman, in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death, pointed out that Tom Paine's Common Sense sold three hundred thousand copies in five months in 1776. The most successful democratic revolution in history was made possible by a citizenry that read and debated widely among themselves. Postman pointed out that the mass media, and television in particular, had changed the mode of discourse itself, by substituting fast cuts, special effects, and sound-bites for reasoned discussion or even genuine argument.

The various hypotheses about commodification and mode of discourse focus on an area of apparent agreement among social observers who have a long history of heated disagreements.

When people who have become fascinated by BBSs or networks start spreading the idea that such networks are inherently democratic in some magical way, without specifying the hard work that must be done in real life to harvest the fruits of that democratizing power, they run the danger of becoming unwitting agents of commodification. First, it pays to understand how old the idea really is. Next, it is important to realize that the hopes of technophiles have often been used to sell technology for commercial gain. In this sense, CMC enthusiasts run the risk of becoming unpaid, unwitting advertisers for those who stand to gain financially from adoption of new technology.

The critics of the idea of electronic democracy have unearthed examples from a long tradition of utopian rhetoric that James Carey has called "the rhetoric of the `technological sublime.'" He put it this way:

Despite the manifest failure of technology to resolve pressing social issues over the last century, contemporary intellectuals continue to see revolutionary potential in the latest technological gadgets that are pictured as a force outside history and politics. . . . In modern futurism, it

is the machines that possess teleological insight. Despite the shortcomings of town meetings, newspaper, telegraph, wireless, and television to create the conditions of a new Athens, contemporary advocates of technological liberation regularly describe a new postmodern age of instantaneous daily plebiscitory democracy through a computerized system of electronic voting and opinion polling.

Carey was prophetic in at least one regard--he wrote this years before Ross Perot and William Clinton both started talking about their versions of electronic democracy during the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign. If the United States is on the road to a version of electronic democracy in which the president will have electronic town hall meetings, including instant voting-by-telephone to "go directly to the people" (and perhaps bypass Congress?) on key issues, it is important for American citizens to understand the potential pitfalls of decision making by plebiscite. Media-manipulated plebiscites as political tools go back to Joseph Goebbels, who used radio so effectively in the Third Reich. Previous experiments in instant home polling and voting had been carried out by Warners, with their Qube service, in the early 1980s. One critic, political scientist Jean Betheke Elshtain, called the television-voting model an

interactive shell game [that] cons us into believing that we are participating when we are really simply performing as the responding "end" of a prefabricated system of external stimuli. . . . In a plebiscitary system, the views of the majority . . . swamp minority or unpopular views. Plebiscitism is compatible with authoritarian politics carried out under the guise of, or with the connivance of, majority views. That opinion can be registered by easily manipulated, ritualistic plebiscites, so there is no need for debate on substantive questions.

What does it mean that the same hopes, described in the same words, for a decentralization of power, a deeper and more widespread citizen involvement in matters of state, a great equalizer for ordinary citizens to counter the forces of central control, have been voiced in the popular press for two centuries in reference to steam, electricity, and television? We've had enough time to live with steam, electricity, and television to recognize that they did indeed change the world, and to recognize that the utopia of technological millenarians has not yet materialized.

An entire worldview and sales job are packed into the word progress, which links the notion of improvement with the notion of innovation, highlights the benefits of innovation while hiding the toxic side-effects of extractive and lucrative technologies, and then sells more of it to people via television as a cure for the stress of living in a technology-dominated world. The hope that the next technology will solve the problems created by the way the last technology was used is a kind of millennial, even messianic, hope, apparently ever-latent in the breasts of the citizenry. The myth of technological progress emerged out of the same Age of Reason that gave us the myth of representative democracy, a new organizing vision that still works pretty well, despite the decline in vigor of the old democratic institutions. It's hard to give up on one Enlightenment ideal while clinging to another.

I believe it is too early to judge which set of claims will prove to be accurate. I also believe that those who would prefer the more democratic vision of the future have an opportunity to influence the outcome, which is precisely why online activists should delve into the criticisms that have been leveled against them. If electronic democracy advocates can address these critiques successfully, their claims might have a chance. If they cannot, perhaps it would be better not to raise people's hopes. Those who are not aware of the history of dead ends are doomed to replay them, hopes high, again and again.

The idea that putting powerful computers in the hands of citizens will shield the citizenry against totalitarian authorities echoes similar, older beliefs about citizen-empowering technology. As Langdon Winner (an author every computer revolutionary ought to read) put it in his essay "Mythinformation,"

Of all the computer enthusiasts' political ideas, there is none more poignant than the faith that the computer is destined to become a potent equalizer in modern society. . . . Presumably, ordinary citizens equipped with microcomputers will be able to counter the influence of large, computer-based organizations.

Notions of this kind echo beliefs of eighteenth-century revolutionaries that placing fire arms in the hands of the people was crucial to overthrowing entrenched authority. In the American Revolution, French Revolution, Paris Commune, and Russian Revolution the role of "the people armed" was central to the revolutionary program. As the military defeat of the Paris Commune made clear, however, the fact that the popular forces have guns may not be decisive. In a contest of force against force, the larger, more sophisticated, more ruthless, better equipped competitor often has the upper hand. Hence, the availability of low-cost computing power may move the baseline that defines electronic dimensions of social influence, but it does not necessarily alter the relative balance of power. Using a personal computer makes one no more powerful vis-…-vis, say, the National Security Agency than flying a hang glider establishes a person as a match for the U.S. Air Force.

The great power of the idea of electronic democracy is that technical trends in communications technologies can help citizens break the monopoly on their attention that has been enjoyed by the powers behind the broadcast paradigm--the owners of television networks, newspaper syndicates, and publishing conglomerates. The great weakness of the idea of electronic democracy is that it can be more easily commodified than explained. The commercialization and commoditization of public discourse is only one of the grave problems posed by the increasing sophistication of communications media. The Net that is a marvelous lateral network can also be used as a kind of invisible yet inescapable cage. The idea of malevolent political leaders with their hands on the controls of a Net raises fear of a more direct assault on liberties.

Summary of Computer Ethics Third Edition By Deborah G. Johnson                
  Chapter 8: Ethics and the Internet II: Social Implications and Social Values  by     Kimberly Beuther (CUNY 2006)
      Deborah Johnson discusses the idea that the Internet promotes democracy or democratic values. There are some that believe that the Internet is inherently democratic, while others believe that it helps to promote democracy. Democracy she says exists when a government is controlled by its citizens; that the people have a say in their government, and power rests not in a single person, but rather with the citizens. It is also important in a democratic society for the people to have a significant amount of freedom. Many believe that the Internet assists in promoting democracy because of certain attributes of the Internet. Deborah Johnson considers these different attributes of the Internet and considers if they do indeed facilitate democracy.
      First, she discusses the possibility of the Internet to be democratic because it allows for “many to many unmediated communication” (Johnson, 2001). Essentially, the idea behind this is that anyone who has access to the Internet can communicate with anyone else who has access. Unlike any other form of communication, thousands of people can communicate with thousands of others, communication in the past of this magnitude was limited to mass media, such as radio and television. She further explains that what is important is that the communication is direct; people can communicate directly with one another, which is not controlled by established forms of power. The Internet also allows for the propagation of institutionalized information, though many believe that it is still access to much more information than was previously available, one could read news from many other countries. In addition, the communication between the many allows for groups to form under common interests, even without common geography. People who may find themselves in a minority can effectively join together; these groups would not have been possible before the Internet.
       The second argument that Johnson addresses, is that “information is power” (Johnson, 2001). If information is power, and there is a large amount of information on the Internet, then access gives many more power. There is, Johnson says, power given to those who send and receive information though it is not on the scale of mass media. Johnson comments that while there is a large amount of information, there is also a lot of inaccurate information, and in some cases, so much information that it becomes difficult to sort through and find what is relevant. If the idea is that information on the Internet gives power to the many, then it is dependant on whether the information is useful, and correct.
        The final argument is that power is increased to the less powerful, and decreased to the most powerful. This argument encompasses a little of each of the former arguments, in that it indicates that those who were previously a minority could form a group regardless of geography, thus empowering them. Combined with the idea that information is power, these groups that are able to send and receive information are empowered, able to further increase their numbers, and get information about their cause out into the public.  
         Johnson looks at these arguments and indicates that while the Internet can enable the types of activity in these arguments, there is question as to whether these qualities that are present in the Internet are necessarily democratic. First, she indicates that while the prospect of many being able to communicate with many others may seem democratic, without having order, can become chaotic. Furthermore, she says that while the many can have access to much more information, what may determine what information we are drawn to may be the ability of the person sending the information to pay the greatest amount of money for well designed web pages, listings in search engines, and links to ISPs.  While the less powerful are able to send and receive information, the more powerful are also able to do so, further increasing their power. In addition, she says that while the Internet can have the capacity to promote democracy, it can also promote undemocratic values. Two aspects of the Internet that may inhibit democracy are that the Internet allows for an erosion of privacy, and the Internet’s global reach. Businesses, for example have the ability to keep track of people’s spending habits. Johnson believes that this monitoring on the Internet may inhibit what a person may say or do, effecting their freedom. Johnson says that the global reach of the Internet may be undemocratic because it allows for information to cross borders, and jeopardize the sovereignty of nation-states. Globalization may force many to comply with other countries, to attempt to take part in a global economy, whether they agree with their values or not. Johnson says that what is most important to realize, is that the Internet can promote democracy, and democratic values, but without proper structure, it may not necessarily do so.
      The digital divide, which is the gap between those who have access and those who do not, exists not just between rich and poor, but between races, sexes, and countries. The digital divide applies not only to access to the Internet, but to computers and their technologies, as well as the education in the use of these tools. Johnson considers what harms can come from unequal access to computers in reference to education, and job skills. Education, Johnson says, should be equal, because without equal education, there is little possibility for equal employment opportunities. Since computers are considered a tool for education, then poor schools should have the same access to computers that rich schools have, so that there is not an ever widening gap in the quality of education. It is also believed that computers can assist in giving schools access to better materials and teachers from anywhere in the country, thus giving  a more equal education to more students. Johnson also states that in order to effectively apply the benefits of computers to education, it is important to figure out what is needed in education, and then attempt to find out how computers can fill that need. Jobs will, in some form or another, make use of computers and their technologies, so many believe that unequal access to computers in education will lead to unequal access to job opportunities. If computer skills are not part of a student’s education, then they will be much less prepared for future jobs that make use of computers.  
        Johnson also considers the problem of unequal access in regards to individuals being able to form groups, and their ability to send and receive information. If the Internet allows for groups to form thus giving them greater power as a whole than they would have as individuals, it also gives them greater political influence. If the rich or most powerful have the greatest access to the Internet, then they will be able to further increase their power.
        Finally, Johnson discusses the digital divide, and the inequalities that exist between races, sexes, and the disabled. Johnson says that there is some evidence that while there is a disparity in access between both race, and sex, it seems that women and minorities tend to shun computers. This she says may be due to different factors, but it is important that these disparities be resolved. The disabled can invariably be helped by computers but there is a belief that they may not be used to their greatest potential.
          Americans value their freedom of speech and expression, and consider it to be an important aspect of democracy. The CDA, Communications Decency Act, threatened to limit freedom of speech on the Internet, so that children would not be exposed to explicit material. Johnson says that government censorship allows them to manipulate information and keeps them from being accountable. She says that it is difficult to restrict access to minors without infringing on the rights of adults. There is also the problem of the invasion of privacy on the Internet that relates to freedom of speech. Johnson says that people are reluctant to speak freely when they are concerned that they are being monitored.
         Johnson considers what future changes will occur concerning the Internet and she says that the three things to pay attention to are jurisdiction, systems of trust, and insularity. Jurisdiction refers to whose laws will be upheld on the Internet. In the United States different states have different laws. Internationally, whose laws will apply to problems involving intellectual property, or even criminal activities on the Internet? If one person is in a country where something may be legal, but doing business with someone in a different country, where the same activity is illegal, whose country’s laws will apply? She says that there may be future problems for nation states to try to maintain their borders when the Internet will allow for crossing in and out of those borders. Johnson talks about the future need for systems of trust as the Internet becomes more pervasive in everyday life. She believes that many of the systems of trust that we currently use in the physical world will be needed on the Internet, such as the BBB, and licensing bureaus. Johnson also considers the problem of insularity. As many more people have more and more of the Internet tailored to exactly what they want and are interested in, this may in effect narrow the amount of information that one receives, like news. The Internet may also help people to talk with only people with similar thoughts, ideas, and interests, which may keep them from learning about different people.   -Resources-  Johnson, Deborah G. . “Ethics and the Internet II: Social Implications and Social Values” pp 199-230 in Computer Ethics Third Edition. Upper Saddle River NJ; Prentice Hall, 2001 

See  David Bollier Reinventing Democratic Culture in an Age of Electronic Networks  the transforming effect of the web.

Internet and Democracy

Does the internet change community perceptions of the state and political processes, in addition to providing new opportunities for communication? There's considerable disagreement.

READ David Bollier Creating a Telecommunications Architecture That Supports Community, Democracy and Culture

Yet there are reasons to be hopeful. Never before have we had a communications medium of such vast democratic potential. Chaordic systems, as suggested above, tend to challenge concentrations of power that are unresponsive. Proponents of citizenship have never enjoyed such a home court advantage! But will the democratic propensities of distributed electronic networks be neutered in significant ways by commercial interests? Conversely, will the nonprofit world be resourceful, farsighted and clever enough to use the technologies and public policy to reinvent democratic culture?

Threats to Democracy

Among the threats to democracy posed by the computer technologies and the internet are those that threaten free forms of association and communication as are made possible by the monitoring of communications through the technologies and the appearance of a PANOPTICON.

On the possible impact of the internet on democratic processes see the Student Study : Impact of Internet and Communication Networks and Technologies on Concepts of and forms of Democratic Government and Rule

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Web Surfer's Caveat: These are class notes, intended to comment on readings and amplify class discussion. They should be read as such. They are not intended for publication or general distribution.                @copyright 2006 Philip A. Pecorino                       

Last updated 8-2006                                                              Return to Table of Contents