149 Democracy and the Internet: The European Union in the Avant-garde? DEIRDRE M. CURTIN* 1. Introduction The potential of the Internet for democratic theory and practice is both radical and under-explored to-date. It is however a truism that advanced information technology is changing the nature of the physical world we live in, a physical world in which borders are rapidly becoming irrelevant. Cyberspace has a clear relevance for democratic theory in several respects. Digital networks potentially transform the way we create, exchange and access information as well as the way we interact in private and in public. It is the facilitation of a genuine social dialogue among citizens by the new means of communication which can be of such significance to democratic theory. Digitisation opens up social dialogue to more people by enhancing the accessibility of means of creation and communication. It not only enhances the ability of individuals to access relevant information that may be crucial for will formation purposes but also enables individuals to access the deliberative process as active participators rather than as simply passive receivers of messages and information. 1 Deliberative democracy stresses the formative nature of politics which it understands as an ongoing
International Law FORUM du droit international (continued in International Community Law Review) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2000
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