Digital Public Sphere: Rhetoric or Reality

Digital Public Sphere: Rhetoric or Reality

Seung-Yong Rho (Seoul Women’s University, Korea)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-027-1.ch005
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Abstract

In the information age, simultaneous citizen-government interaction through information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as e-mails, digital policy forums through bulletin boards, and real-time digital chat already has been happened. Digital deliberation is one of examples for improving citizen-government interaction through ICTs. In this context, it is important to evaluate current practice of digital deliberation. That is, can we consider current practice of digital deliberation as authentic citizen participation in governance process? Based on the analysis of the current practice of digital deliberation through ICTs, unlike the expectation, this paper argues that there was a lack of active participation by citizens as well as public servants. The policies should be made by the will of citizens in democratic governance but current practice of digital deliberation did not support this statement. Citizens’ unawareness of digital deliberation, citizens’ lack of active participation, and public officials’ less positive perspective on the digital deliberation make current digital deliberation unconstructive. These practices have violated the principle of democracy, which is government by the people. The citizens’ strong will of active digital deliberation is a key to the success of digital deliberation in the democratic governance. In addition, public officials’ positive view and strong support on the digital deliberation are important to make digital deliberation effective.

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