Can the internet improve politics? The question and answer are structured in a sequence of steps: (1) Politics is about counting, and the web is good at counting. (2) Politics counts evaluations, and the web is good at evaluations. (3) Political evaluations bear cognitive costs that need to be alleviated through trust, and the web is good at employing trust. (4) Political trust relations increasingly have a general network structure, and the web is good at networks. (5) Political trust relations need to be stored, and the web is good at storing sensitive data. Additionally, the availability to address large option numbers and offline access are addressed.
Contrary to aspects of e-democracy that are simply “nice to have”, steps 4 and 5 point to improvements that are necessary: The web allows for a network-based collective decision making that efficiently fits the necessities of societies that are no longer satisfied with the kind of representation that urges everyone to align to one group for all issues. Individualization and the cultural demands of non-Western societies go in the same direction in demanding a different and necessarily web-based solution to the cognitive-cost problem of democracy.
Does information and communication technology (ICT) still bear the possibility of a disruptive change for the so far invariable area of politics? While entertainment, news media and even universities have been recent challenged by Youtube, Twitter or Coursera, Washington has not yet faced comparable ICT-based competition, despite intense research. The paper hints to two blind spots of the current rather individualistic and middle-class-based discussions, and follows two new propositions: To seize the opportunities to include civil society into the formal counting process and to mix direct and representative democracy.
The paper proposes an explanatory model: Modern growth leads to four waves of institutional innovation. Rationality and deliberation are introduced first around and later within organizations, while related institutional changes occur first within organizations and only later on macro level. As in the book but much shorter, this model is confronted with evidence for households/intimacy, work/education, and politics. As macro-institutional changes parallel to those of the 1940s have not yet happened for the current transition, those changes are derived that can be predicted for the 2020s.
Somewhat tired and perplexed – that was how in 2015 the Western world commemorated the end of World War II seventy years ago.
Challenges as terror, war, and migration, being complex and puzzling no less than those of the 1930s, shatter the former complacency of having built a sustainable world order on the ruins of 1945. Even commemoration has changed its face: Over decades, ever new groups of former victims have been included into remembrance. This year, the usual rituals suddenly reminded how many people currently die.
Have you from time to time had the feeling of a dejà-vu? There are so many things now comparable to the early 20th century, from migration over terrorism to economic crises.
This book shows: this is no coincidence. Understanding that modernity has two steps is a key for understanding world history from the 19th to the 21st century, and shaping it to the better.
In the 2020s, institutional innovations bring a climax of crises as long as innovations in organizations are not yet matched on the macro level, and their solution when they finally do. In the current second transition of modernity, modern interaction principles have been introduced within organizations since 1968, but the general acceptance of individualized responsible linkages in democracy and career development as base for regained stability and prosperity still stands out. Read more!