Edited by Corien Prins, Colette Cuijpers, Peter L. Lindseth and Mônica Rosina
Chapter 6: The ambivalence of the impact of digitalization on democracy through the lens of privacy and transparency
Digital technologies have the ability to stimulate political engagement and thus may foster representative deliberative democracy. However, digital technologies can just as easily become a challenge to democracy, either deliberately by obfuscation and manipulation or more intrinsically, as digital technologies as such are prone to bias. With a focus on transparency and privacy as underlying pillars of democracy, this chapter illustrates the challenges of digitalization for democracy. Such challenges do not pertain to one specific democratic stakeholder, but relate to the entire democratic ecosystem. Because of the complexity and variety of such ecosystems, further research should focus on better understanding the impact of digitalization on the pillars, values and interests underpinning democracy, taking into consideration the difficult interplay between the different stakeholders and technology as a separate – non-neutral – actor
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