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What is Checks and Balances

Digital Transformation and Its Role in Progressing the Relationship Between States and Their Citizens
Mutual controls by each branch of government on the exercise of power by the other branches in order to avoid the concentration of political power. Under this principle of government, separate government branches are empowered to prevent actions by other branches and are induced to share power ( Checks and Balances, 2008 ).
Published in Chapter:
The Governed and Their Governments: A Working Democratic Paradigm for the 21st Century
Diogo Santos (Pitágoras College, Brazil & Estácio de Sa University, Brazil) and Mylla Maria Maria Sousa Sampaio (Universidade Federal do Maranhão, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3152-5.ch001
The relationship between citizens and the state is omnipresent: even the most totalitarian regimes present some interaction between society and ruler. Digital communications have added new instruments through which all, especially the least represented, can make their voices heard. This chapter provides theoretical bases for analyzing how citizens and government interact in the digital age. Dictatorships rely on performance and resort to violence to obtain support. Democratic leaders rely on principle, performance, or elections. Legitimacy by policy efficiency can support despotic governments. Digital communications arise as new channels for governments to promote their views to the people, convincing them of their policies' value; monitor the population's activities in support or against the government; and block information contrary to governmental interests. The people too can use digital interfaces to obtain information, share approval or discontent, and organize protests. Digital communication tools deeply impact the traditional democratic mechanisms to provide regime legitimacy.
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