Social Media, Open Government and "Liquid Democracy"

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 10:30 AM
Room: Booth 47
Oral Presentation
Michael PAETAU , Center for Sociocybernetics Studies, Bonn, Germany
More than 10 years ago Andrè Gorz argued that the use of the term »knowledge society« would only make sense if one were able to demonstrate that relevant radical changes in society somehow related to changes in the handling of knowledge in society. Such a demonstration concentrated on the area of democracy will be the object of my contribution. In my paper I want to unfold the thesis, that the present form of giving people more participation within political processes and providing more insights into documents of governance is an intermediate step to change western style of democracy fundamentally. I want to focus the question how new media, especially so-called »social media«, may overcome the traditional dichotomy between parliamentary representative democratic tradition  and grassroots oriented plebiscitary democratic elements. Since some years this question has been primarily debated under the term of »Liquid Democracy«. It stands for the idea to make democracy more liquid, more transparent and more flexible. People should have the opportunity to participate in political affairs complementary to delegating the powers of the sovereignty to a body of human elected from time to time for four or five years. "Liquid Democracy" will give people the possibility to campaign effectively and collaboratively for the issues they are concerned about. The paper will show which social, political and technological concepts for such a liquid democracy exist. Which discourses in different areas and scientific disciplines occur, and which experiences and evaluations are available.

Paetau, Michael: Kybernetik und flüssige Demokratie. In: Kahrs, H. (Hg.): Piratenzauber. Über eine Gesellschaft, die Freibeuter hervorbringt. Köln 2013: PapyRossa, S. 173-187