Redefining Democracy: The Role of Technology in Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice

Dr. Marta Nunes da Costa
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My paper has three fundamental moments. From a theoretical point of view, I want to deconstruct the concept of 'democracy' and expose its several meanings. I argue that the future of a global community, which is based on increasing shareness of knowledge, information and technology, depends on the clarification of the crucial concept of democracy and exposure of hidden assumptions. Once this is done, I advance my second moment, where I delineate some of the necessary conditions to get closer to the democratic premises of equality and respect. Having the structure and functioning of contemporary mass media, on the one hand, and the concept of the 'public sphere' as guidance, on the other, I argue that actual democracy depends on the creation of an alternative public sphere. This alternative space can and is being constructed via the maximization of new technologies of information and visual communication. In the third moment of my paper I explore a series of examples that support my theory.

Keywords: Democracy, Public Sphere, Individual Autonomy, Technology, Mass Media
Stream: Political Science, Politics
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Marta Nunes da Costa

Philosopher/ Researcher, New School for Social Research, Graduate Faculty
Centro de Filosofia de Lisboa, Portugal, New School for Social Research

New York, New York, USA

I am currently doing research looking for the conditions of possibility of actualization of individual autonomy in contemporary democratic societies. Having my Ph.D. Dissertation as starting point, which was entitled 'Redefining Individuality' and which reflected upon the critical tradition of Kant, Adorno and Foucault, I am developing a new kind of political and moral theory, which I call 'the politics of the individual'. In my current interests of research I explore the role of technology in reshaping and creating a new and alternative public sphere, which will be truly democratic.

Ref: H06P0512