Technological Democratization: The Potential Role of ICT in Social and Political Transformation in China and Beyond

in Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
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Abstract

This paper seeks to understand the role of the Internet and information and communications technology (ICT) in potential democratic movements. We propose an ecological model of technological development and democratization which recognizes that change can occur (1) at individual as well as social levels; (2) on a continuum from oppression to freedom; and (3) in multiple social spheres. Using case studies from China, we suggest that ICT might facilitate democracy on account of its potential transformations and efficiencies in terms of individuals’ relationships to knowledge and information; governments; persons, groups, and nongovernmental organizations; and work and traditional social roles.

Technological Democratization: The Potential Role of ICT in Social and Political Transformation in China and Beyond

in Perspectives on Global Development and Technology

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    Freeland (2011) similarly analyzed global data on Internet penetration political oppression corruption and food prices and found that based on just those four variables Libya Algeria Egypt Russia Uzbekistan Azerbaijan and Venezuela were among the most vulnerable countries in the world.

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    Ecological Model of Technological Development and Democratization (adapted from Christens & Perkins 2008)

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