Patricia Mindus

Political liberty and new technologies

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Political Freedom; Internet Governance; CIR; Democracy.

Victim of its own success, the concept of «digital democracy» risks to turn into an obstacle, and not a tool in order to grasp reality. We need to look into another field to better understand what issues today's technologies raise in relation to political freedom, understood as self-determination: the field of Internet governance. There is an interesting debate on how we should handle this new world we have in common that is constituted by the infosphere, starting with the current debates surrounding the reform proposals for the ICANN. The stakes are high (balkanization, loss of neutrality, etc.) but mainstream democratic theory is largely unprepared for the challenge. The paper shows why the debate on the control of critical Internet resources is misleading: the «seats of power» are now elsewhere. In order to move within the private ordering that currently characterizes Internet governance in a way that is respectful of fundamental rights we need to rethink the relationships between social powers.

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