ERIC Number: EJ786895
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Statistics and Politics in a "Knowledge Society"
Social Indicators Research, v86 n2 p177-200 Apr 2008
The importance of information in economic and political processes is widely recognised by modern theories. This information, coupled with the advancements in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has changed the way in which markets and societies work. The availability of the Internet and other advanced forms of media have made information more accessible to citizens than ever before. Therefore, the ideal of the "fully informed decision maker" should be a reality. Unfortunately, this is far from the case. As Einstein put it, "information is not knowledge" and although citizens are bombarded by information on a constant basis, this bombardment does not necessarily bring about knowledge. Several studies have analysed the characteristics of the knowledge society, as well as its impact on the production of "official" statistics. In this paper we do not enter into this debate, but we analyse the role of statistics in building a knowledge society and improving the democratic control of policy makers. The paper analyses the relationships between information, expectations and economic theory, as well as the nexus between information and political sciences. Various approaches to the measurement of societal progress and the role of "key indicators" in this respect are also discussed. Finally, both theoretical models and empirical evidence about what citizens know on societal progress are discussed and the OECD project on the measurement of societal progress is presented.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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