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POLI-1007EL Study Guide - Quiz Guide: Arab Spring, Social Democracy, Smart City

Political Science / Science politique
Course Code
Michael Johns
Study Guide

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Digitalisation and Politics
Core questions:
How does digitalisation impact democratic politics?
How can democratic politics shape digitalization?
General pattern: we start from optimistic promises and then explore how things are more
complicated. Usually there is something to be said supporting this optimism, but also
something criticizing it.
Democracy is normative model of politics
C.f. Dahl on the assumptions of a democratic order
C.f. Held on different models of democracy: direct democracy, indirect/representative
democracy democracy
C.f. Swiestra
- democracy is a 3 stage process where each stage has to conform to normative standards;
- Important democratic are: recognition, resistance, deliberating, voting, joining
Is digitalisation good for democracy, or bad?
Politicians using digital technologies (for example, Trump who uses Twitter)
Our representatives should:
a. Do what we order them
b. Lead us
There is some tension between these goals, and thus between politicians and the demos
Cambridge Analytica provides us with an example of how politicians can use digital
technology to manipulate the electorate.
Digital technologies and deliberation
Digitalisation promises to revitalize the public sphere, where citizens meet to discuss the
public interest
Does digitalization live up to this promise? Why and how? Why not and how not?
Digital technologies and accountability
Promise: digitalisation can enhance transparency (make visible what representatives,
powerful people do). And thus accountability, and thus more democracy? Is it accurate? No
you have to balance, do pros and cons
But is more transparency always good and enhancing democracy?
There are arguments in favour, but also opposing this claim
Digital technologies and resistance (revolution, Arab Spring)
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