The Network Society: rights, policies and the exercise of democracy

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #92, May 2011


On 31 May 2011 I am presenting at the I Encuentro CIDER (I Conference on Digital Citizenship and Human Rights). My speech, The Network Society: rights, policies and the exercise of democracy has three parts:

  1. First of all, it goes back to the neolithic revolution and then to the industrial revolution to reflect on how things used to be before the digital revolution. Then, it briefly aims at showing how the exercise of democracy has been (potentially) turned upside down as democratic institutions see their roles totally transformed. This is essentially the same discourse (though adapted to governments and democracies) I explained in From teaching institutions to learning people, the reason being that I believe there is a common approach when dealing about education, governments or even businesses (e.g. the recording industry) that focus on institutions, their role, their added value, and how digital technologies help citizens to circumvent them.
  2. After the potential benefits of “democracy 2.0″, the second part focuses on the barriers and, even more important, the threats, especially those related with (ironically) forgetting about “democracy 1.0″. In this sense, I will stress the point that democracy is time-consuming activity and that those with time and training (and technological mastership) can benefit and even corrupt democratic institutions (even unwillinglly). This is the point I brought in The disempowering Goverati: e-Aristocrats or the Delusion of e-Democracy.
  3. Last, I am using the “power = governance + empowerment” model also developed in the previous article to analyse the Egypt and Spanish revolts during the spring of 2011.

Please see below my presentation. You can also visit my bibliographic file for La Sociedad Red: derechos, políticas y ejercicio de la democracia (the original title) for downloads both in English and Spanish.

[click here to enlarge]

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2011) “The Network Society: rights, policies and the exercise of democracy” In ICTlogy, #92, May 2011. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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ICTlogy Review

  • ISSN 1886-5208