The digital revolution fundamentally changes the ways governments, political parties, and voters interact with one another. Changing strategies of campaigning and political mobilisation offer citizens new opportunities to engage in political debate and participate in popular votes and elections. Modern information technologies provide novel means of shaping the political discourse, giving previously voiceless masses a way to express opinions and political interest groups immediate access to their target audience. Likewise, electronic tools of government emerge promising a more direct, transparent and efficient interaction between citizens and governmental bodies. These developments have a major impact on the processes of democratic decision-making – on how consensus can be reached and how conflicts are being negotiated.
Technology seems to endorse the direct democratic model, whereas the digitalisation calls into question the participatory processes of representative democracy, prompting a reflection about the history, ideas and institutions linked to direct and representative democracy: do new technologies represent a turning point for the future of democracy?
In collaboration with the Embassy of Switzerland in Italy.
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