Edited by:Lucy Bernholz, Hélène Landemore, and Rob Reich
University of Chicago Press
One of the most far-reaching transformations in our era is the wave of digital technologies rolling over—and upending—nearly every aspect of life. Work and leisure, family and friendship, community and citizenship have all been modified by now-ubiquitous digital tools and platforms.
Digital Technology and Democratic Theory looks closely at one significant facet of our rapidly evolving digital lives: how technology is radically changing our lives as citizens and participants in democratic governments.
To understand these transformations, this book brings together contributions by scholars from multiple disciplines to wrestle with the question of how digital technologies shape, reshape, and affect fundamental questions about democracy and democratic theory. As expectations have whiplashed—from Twitter optimism in the wake of the Arab Spring to Facebook pessimism in the wake of the 2016 US election—the time is ripe for a more sober and long-term assessment. How should we take stock of digital technologies and their promise and peril for reshaping democratic societies and institutions? To answer, this volume broaches the most pressing technological changes and issues facing democracy as a philosophy and an institution.
Lucy Bernholz is senior research scholar at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and director of the Digital Civil Society Lab. She is the author of
Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets: The Deliberate Evolution and coeditor of
Philanthropy in Democratic Societies: History, Institutions, Values.
Hélène Landemore is tenured associate professor of political science at Yale University. She is the author of
Democratic Reason: Politics, Collective Intelligence, and the Rule of the Many and
Open Democracy: Reinventing Popular Rule for the 21st Century. She is also the co-editor of
Collective Wisdom: Principles and Mechanisms.
Rob Reich is professor of political science at Stanford University, where he also serves as director of the Center for Ethics in Society and codirector of the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. He is the author most recently of
Just Giving: Why Philanthropy Is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better and coeditor of
Philanthropy in Democratic Societies: History, Institutions, Values, and
Education, Justice, and Democracy.