[p2p-research] Computer-network based democracy, related to media ecology platform

Michel Bauwens michelsub2004 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 23 12:49:28 CEST 2009

 Computer-network based democracy*Mon, Jun 10, 2002; by David Stodolsky.*

Computer-network based democracy:
Scientific communication as a basis for governance (Note 1)


There have been many proposals for electronic democracy. These proposals
have merely replaced paper ballots with electronic mail. The ideal, however,
is a discoursive democracy, characterized by direct discussion and
negotiation among equals. We show how electronic conferencing makes this

A democratic system must incorporate both protections for individuals and
mechanisms for coordination. Access to information is crucial for democratic
decision making. If people withhold information, however, then even free
distribution of available information will not ensure democracy. One problem
is that people may be punished if they speak in opposition to power holders.
More often, persons censor themselves because they fear that speaking out
will damage their career possibilities. Finally, people may prefer to avoid
the duplication of effort that occurs when many people write comments
simultaneously in response to an event or statement. These problems of
protection and coordination must be solved before direct democracy is
feasible with large populations.


Stodolsky, D. S. (2002). Computer-network based democracy: Scientific
communication as a basis for governance. Proceedings of the 3rd
International Workshop on Knowledge Management in e-Government, 7, 127-137.

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