Democracy in the Information Age

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Elaine C. Kamarck, Joseph S. Nye
Brookings Institution Press, 2004 M05 26 - 204 pages

Advances in information technology are transforming democratic governance. Power over information has become decentralized, fostering new types of community and different roles for government. This volume—developed by the Visions of Governance in the 21st Century program at the Kennedy School of Government—explores the ways in which the information revolution is changing our institutions of governance. Contributors examine the impact of technology on our basic institutions and processes of governance, including representation, community, politics, bureaucracy, and sovereignty. Their essays illuminate many of the promises and challenges of twenty-first century government. The contributors (all from Harvard unless otherwise indicated) include Joseph S. Nye Jr., Arthur Isak Applbaum, Dennis Thompson, William A. Galston (University of Maryland), L. Jean Camp, Pippa Norris, Anna Greenberg, Elaine Ciulla Kamarck, David C. King, Jane Fountain, Jerry Mechling, and Robert O. Keohane (Duke University).

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Selected pages


Information Technology and Democratic Governance
Failure in the Cybermarketplace of Ideas
James Madison on Cyberdemocracy
The Impact of the Internet on Civic Life An Early Assessment
Revolution What Revolution? The Internet and US Elections 19922000
Political Campaigning on the Internet Business as Usual?
Catching Voters in the Web
Toward a Theory of Federal Bureaucracy for the TwentyFirst Century
Information Age Governance Just the Start of Something Big?
Power and Interdependence in the Information Age

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Page 29 - But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas, that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out.
Page 49 - For this end, we must be knit together in this work as one man. We must entertain each other in brotherly affection; we must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of others' necessities; we must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each other, make others...
Page 37 - The effect of the first difference is, on the one hand, to refine and enlarge the public views by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations.
Page 120 - The principles of office hierarchy and of levels of graded authority mean a firmly ordered system of super- and subordination in which there is a supervision of the lower offices by the higher ones.
Page 120 - V. When the office is fully developed, official activity demands the full working capacity of the official, irrespective of the fact that...
Page 30 - ... free trade in ideas— that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment.
Page 27 - My worthy colleague says his will ought to be subservient to yours. If that be all, the thing is innocent. If government were a matter of will upon any side, yours, without question, ought to be superior. But government and legislation are matters of reason and judgment, and not of inclination; and what sort of reason is that in which the determination precedes the discussion, in which one set of men deliberate and another decide, and where those who form the conclusion are perhaps three hundred...
Page 17 - telephone" has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.
Page 42 - The quest for greater individual choice clashed directly with the obligations and social norms that held families and communities together in earlier years. People came to feel that questions of how to live and with whom to live were a matter of individual choice not to be governed by restrictive norms. As a nation, we came to experience the bonds to marriage, family, children, job, community, and country as constraints that were no longer necessary. Commitments have loosened.
Page 4 - In circumstances of accelerating globalization, the nation-state has become "too small for the big problems of life, and too big for the small problems of life.

About the author (2004)

Elaine Ciulla Kamarck is director of the Visions of Governance for the 21st Century project and the Innovations in American Government program at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. She served as senior policy advisor to former Vice President Al Gore, and was instrumental in creating the National Performance Review, a White House policy council to reinvent government. Joseph S. Nye Jr. is University Distinguished Service Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and a former assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs and chair of the National Intelligence Council.

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