The global information society and the implications of self-organization

  • Frans A. J. Birrer
Part of the IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT)


The emergence of the information society shows many of the characteristics of a self-organizing process. This is certainly true of its currently most publicized branch, the electronic highway. Self-organization, however, implies that it is not possible to steer the process in any direction one might choose; attempts to steer should carefully take into account the social system’s own dynamics. A brief analysis of the main imperatives and trends around the electronic highway suggests that we should not be focusing our attention too exclusively on the development of the electronic highway as such. Right now, trends like globalization, decentralization and deregulation are having a much stronger impact. Though information technology (IT) is sometimes called one of the reasons for these trends, they are commonly pursued for quite different reasons. In turn, the trends will shape the future use of IT as well as a lot of other things. If we want the information society to develop in a democratic way, we must face those more general trends.


Information Society Electronic Communication Information Overload Direct Democracy Risk Avoidance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frans A. J. Birrer
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Science & SocietyLeidenNetherlands

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