Disruption and empowerment. Embedding citizens at the heart of democracy.


  • Andy Williamson Hansard Society




digital media, citizens, eDemocracy, issues-based democracy


This paper describes a changing landscape of society and politics. Firstly it briefly situates current practices and methods of democratic engagement and representation within a recent historical framework. It then describes mediating factors relating to democracy, the media and civil society and contextualises these within the broader neoliberal shift from citizen to consumer. The paper then identifies some key transformational agendas in the modus operandi of citizen to government exchange that hint at a return to more civic-focused responsibility, the emergence of issues-based politics and discusses the transformative role that digital media can play in this. All of this pre-supposes that citizens have both the ability and opportunity to engage in democratic practices so, finally, the paper describes a transformative model for citizen-driven, issues-based democracy that might connect with the systems of power in a more effective and democratic way by harnessing digital media and by building on local skills, knowledge, ideas and partnerships.


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How to Cite

Williamson, A. (2011). Disruption and empowerment. Embedding citizens at the heart of democracy. JeDEM - EJournal of EDemocracy and Open Government, 3(1), 22-32. https://doi.org/10.29379/jedem.v3i1.52



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