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The Past and Future of Information Politics

The Past and Future of Information Politics

Chapter:
(p.149) Conclusion The Past and Future of Information Politics
Source:
Accelerating Democracy
Author(s):
John O. McGinnis
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691151021.003.0011

This concluding chapter shows that our current need to enhance social knowledge is but the latest stage in the long history of exploiting technological progress to improve governance. From ancient Athens, to Britain on the cusp of the industrial age, to the founding of our own republic, successful societies have navigated the turbulences of technological change by creating better mechanisms to gather information about the social world and to translate it into wise decisions. This history underscores the fact that improving information about consequences in politics is an incremental process. The recognition that previous societies have succeeded in enriching social deliberation should give us confidence that we too can seize the opportunities to begin to transform our political life.

Keywords:   social knowledge, democracy, technological change, political information, political life

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