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WikiLeaks and the Limits of Representative Democracy and Transnational Democratisation

  • Steven Slaughter
Chapter

Abstract

Since late 2006 the WikiLeaks campaign established by Julian Assange has publicly released large amounts of confidential government and corporate information via the internet. This campaign represents a form of journalism and transnational activism which asserts that citizens currently do not have full access to information for democracy to operate fully and that citizens ought to have access to this information. This campaign also challenges the primacy of representative democracy itself, resting on the implicit and overarching claim by WikiLeaks activists that transnational networks of activism and journalism ought to be where questions of accountability, publicity and transparency are determined rather than by the elected representatives of national governments. The WikiLeaks campaign is a high-profile demonstration of emerging forms of transnational activism and a manifestation of the existence of a transnational civil society and a transnational public sphere which challenges the idea that political issues of accountability are solely matters for national representative democracy. As such, in advancing the claim that contemporary forms of policymaking and governance ought to be more transparent, it is the case that WikiLeaks poses a significant critique of existing forms of governance and representative democracy.

Keywords

Civil Society Public Sphere Public Engagement Global Governance World Politics 
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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© Steven Slaughter 2014

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  • Steven Slaughter

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