25th IVR World Congress: Law, Science and Technology
25th IVR World Congress Law and technology Frankfurt am Main 15–20 August 2011 Paper Series
- Democracy (1) (remove)
- Proxy of democracy? : metaphors of connection as arguments against representation (2012)
- This paper aims to assess the arguments that claim representative democracy may be enhanced or replaced by an updated electronic version. Focusing on the dimension of elections and electioneering as the core mechanism of representative democracy I will discuss: (1) the proximity argument used to claim the necessity of filling the gap between decision-makers and stakeholders; (2) the transparency argument, which claims to remove obstacles to the publicity of power; (3) the bottom-up argument, which calls for a new form of legitimacy that goes beyond classical mediation of parties or unions; (4) the public sphere argument, referred to the problem of hierarchical relation between voters and their representatives; (5) the disintermediation argument, used to describe the (supposed) new form of democracy following the massive use of ICTs. The first way of conceptualizing e-democracy as different from mainstream 20th century representative democracy regimes is to imagine it as a new form direct democracy: this conception is often underlying contemporary studies of e-voting. To avoid some of the ingenuousness of this conception of e-democracy, we should take a step back and consider a broader range of issues than mere gerrymandering around the electoral moment. Therefore I shall problematize the abovementioned approach by analyzing a wider range of problems connected to election and electioneering in their relation with ICTs.