Swiss Democracy on the Web 2010
The rapid adoption of online media like Facebook, Twitter or Wikileaks leaves us with little time to think. Where is information technology taking us, our society and our democratic institutions? Is the Web replicating social divides that already exist offline or does collaborative technology pave the way for more equality? How do we find the right balance between openness and privacy? Can Social Media improve civic participation or do they breed superficial exchange and the promotion of false information? These and lots of other questions arise when one starts to look at the Internet, society and politics.
The first part of this paper gives an overview of the social changes that occur with the rise of the Web. The second part serves as an overview on how the Web is being used for political participation in Switzerland and abroad.
This paper has been written as a road map for those interested in the changes that Social Media bring to Swiss democracy. It was created as part of a public private cooperation between Amazee Labs and IDHEAP (idheap.ch) and is the result of a research project (10440.1 PFES-ES, e-participation and e-democracy) funded by Amazee Labs and CTI (bbt.admin.ch/kti), the Swiss Confederations’s Innovation Promotion Agency.