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Digitising the Public Sphere, Vol. 16 - 2009, No. 1

Digitising the Public Sphere: Two Key Issues

, pages: 5-16

The discussion on how democracy is aff ected by the introduction and functioning of digital media and the Internet has been going on for at least two decades. Starting from the perspective of democratic theory and pecifi cally theories of the public sphere, this article tries to outline two key issues and what the current status of knowledge and debates on these appears to be. Referring to and drawing on all the other contributions to this issue of Javnost—The Public, the theoretical as well as the empirical, it is argued that while there is no doubt digitisation of the public sphere adds new dimensions and new forms of iscourse, the implications of these for the overall quality or health of democracy are still quite diff erently understood by scholars working in these issues. Consequently, further theoretical work is required, but, perhaps even more important, a variety of empirical studies.

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