ERIC Number: EJ847328
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
The Internet and Democracy: Global Catalyst or Democratic Dud?
Best, Michael L.; Wade, Keegan W.
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, v29 n4 p255-271 2009
In this study, we explore the global effect of the Internet on democracy over the period of 1992 to 2002 by observing the relationships between measures related to democracy and Internet prevalence. Our findings suggest that while Internet usage was not a very powerful predictor of democracy when examining full panel data from 1992 to 2002, it was a stronger predictor when we study data from just the years 2001 to 2002. We hypothesize that the jump in the ability of Internet penetration indicators to explain variation in democratization that occurred in 2000 suggests that the Internet may have only recently come into its own as a positive force for democratization. However, these results are not globally consistent, and we show that some regions do not enjoy a positive Internet/democracy correlation suggesting that the Internet can be used both as a tool for democratization as well as an instrument for authoritarianism. (Contains 8 figures, 4 tables, and 5 notes.)
Descriptors: Democracy, Internet, Democratic Values, Global Approach, World History, Correlation, Incidence, Access to Computers, Predictor Variables, Social Change, Social Values, Political Influences, World Problems, Social Theories, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; Asia