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also available for download at:
http://www.martinhilbert.net/democracy.html***About this publication***
This online publication is the result of research done during the years 2003-2006. Most of it is based on the 303-page long German doctor thesis “Digitalisierung demokratischer Prozesse. Gefahren und Chancen der Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologie in der demokratischen Willensbildung der Informationsgesellschaft“ ( (published February 2007; Beiträge zur Politischen Wissenschaft, Band 144, Duncker & Humbolt Berlin, Politikwissenschaften). I sporadically added to the text, but the ongoing evolution of the topic would require a non-stop real-time effort. The main literature remains from pre-2006.
I decided to publish the text online to facilitate access and its diffusion. The topic is as dynamic as it is relevant to a wide spectrum of scholars. I hope this online publication contributes to the deepening of our understanding of democratic processes in the digital age.
The fact that this text is openly accessible on the Internet does not mean it has not been peer-reviewd. I would like to thank Prof. Karl Albrecht Schachtschneider for the guidance throughout this research, and him and Prof. Wolfram Reiß from the University Friedrich-Alexander in Erlangen-Nurenberg for the peer-review and the extensive comments on previous versions of this text. I also thank Prof. Jorge Katz from the University of Chile for the inspiring comments and the final review of the English version.