New Technologies and Democratic Participation on the International Level

New Technologies and Democratic Participation on the International Level

Marios Papandreou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3637-8.ch002


This chapter shows that the role of new technologies in global democracy is very important. First, the concept of democracy is analyzed with particular reference to participation and (access to) information. Second, it is explained that democracy should not be limited to the national level because of the major changes of globalization and because of the fact that these changes influence the everyday lives of billions of people. Examples of the United Nations and the European Union are examined, the former as an example of what could be done and how (with regard to individuals’ participation) and the latter as an example of what has already been achieved. Finally, it is explained how and under which conditions new technologies could help build more democratic and more participatory processes on the international level. The concept of access is the central link between information and communication technologies on the one side and international participatory democracy on the other.
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Democracy And Global Governance

Supposing that democracy applies by definition (as shown above) to those who have the power and that its exercise should be in favor of the people, we think that it should be understood not only as concerns (national) governments but in the more general context of governance. What governance means and how it is distinguished from government will be treated shortly in the following paragraphs.

For many centuries, states had been the only source of power and influence. States and national governments had been for a long time considered as the only subjects of international law, they had the power to impose their will domestically and conclude treaties internationally. They were major mechanisms of political organization (Deliyianni-Dimitrakou, 2008, p. 7). As long as this was the situation, democracy was only described as a way of governing (in the sense of a government) a people. It had to do with institutions, procedures and practices inside states.

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