Democratic accountability in the digital age

Democratic accountability in the digital age

There is, this Brief argues, a new governance paradigm emerging, characterised by the rise of "governance by networks" and "rule by data". This flux, say the authors, is marked by a hollowing out of the state, replacement of human functions in public administration by digital technologies, and networks where private actors are becoming part of government. The resultant crisis of governability calls for new institutional mechanisms to protect and promote democratic values, as old ones are rendered inadequate. This document examines and discusses shifts in the contemporary democratic fabric by focusing on emerging technological practices in government. It explores key concerns, and articulates the gaps in current legal-policy measures necessary to promote participatory democracy in the digital age. This brief is part of a series from IT for Change produced from its Voice or Chatter research project, which examines the relationship between ICT-mediated citizen engagement and democratic governance.

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