Information and American Democracy: Technology in the Evolution of Political Power

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 24, 2003 - History - 268 pages
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This book assesses the consequences of new information technologies for American democracy in a way that is theoretical and also historically grounded. The author argues that new technologies have produced the fourth in a series of 'information revolutions' in the US, stretching back to the founding. Each of these, he argues, led to important structural changes in politics. After re-interpreting historical American political development from the perspective of evolving characteristics of information and political communications, the author evaluates effects of the Internet and related new media. The analysis shows that the use of new technologies is contributing to 'post-bureaucratic' political organization and fundamental changes in the structure of political interests. The author's conclusions tie together scholarship on parties, interest groups, bureaucracy, collective action, and political behavior with new theory and evidence about politics in the information age.
 

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Contents

Information and Political Change
1
Overview of the Theory
12
The Empirical Picture
25
Plan of the Book
27
Information Revolutions in American Political Development
34
The First information Revolution and the Rise of Majoritarianism
47
The Second information Revolution and the Roots of Pluralism
62
The Third Information Revolution and the Mass Audience
75
Education Policy
150
Gun Control
161
Campaigns for Office in 2000
173
Summary of the Cases
188
Political Individuals in the Fourth Information Revolution
197
Theoretical Considerations
200
Diffusion of information Technology among Individuals
210
Information Technology and Political Engagement
217

The Fourth Information Revolution and Postbureaucratic Pluralism
89
The Bureaucratic Conception of Pluralism
92
Postbureaucratic Political Organization
99
Political Organizations in the Fourth Information Revolution
110
Consumer Protection and Privacy
125
Environmental Advocacy
133
Information Equality and Integration in the Public Sphere
229
A Brief Comparison with Other Nations
231
Dahls Equality Proposition
239
Select Bibliography
251
Index
263
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