Digital Technology and Democratic Theory Excerpt

Meet Angeliki Papadopoulos. She is a twenty- eight- year- old woman who lives on the outskirts of Athens in the year 2036. It’s almost 8:30 on a beautiful April Sunday morning, and she is just about to pour herself a cup of coffee before reading the news on her laptop. Angeliki logs into her Citizenbook account, a platform initially called Facebook, which was renamed by the public in the year 2025, when its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, decided to withdraw from the company and donate all his shares to a nonprofit foundation run along democratic lines. The company was then repurposed as a deliberative platform for democracy. As Angeliki opens the news tab, her attention is drawn to a flashing sign alerting her that she is overdue for two votes, one on a somewhat complicated issue of environmental law and the other on the choice of a delegate to represent Europe at the next international trade summit in Rio de Janeiro. She decides to ignore the flashing sign and contemplates instead whether she shouldn’t delegate the first vote to her uncle, who is a marine biologist and would know better, and just abstain on the second vote. She just does not have time this weekend to read up on the relevant literature.

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Open Democracy and Digital Technologies

by Hélène Landemore