Transformation of Local Government in the Digital Age
The major normative issue that arises in much of the discussion of ICTs and democratic theory is the digital divide, how it is shifting, and what governments should do to address the inequalities it generates in the Information Age. While recognizing that the digital divide is inherently undemocratic and that it has important theoretical and empirical consequences at the local level, it is not our primary normative focus in this book. Rather, we want to discuss the theoretical aspects of the relationships between emerging ICTs (particularly the Internet), citizen participation and representation in local democracy. The fundamental question we address is: to what extent might ICTs transform our concept of how local democracy operates? Specifically, how might ICTs impact citizens’ relationships to local governments in modern democracies?
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