حوزه های تخصصی:
The debate over the contribution of the Internet to democracy is far from settled. Some point to the empowering effects of online discussion and fund raising on recent electoral campaigns in the US to argue that the Internet will restore the public sphere. Others claim that the Internet is just a virtual mall, a final extension of global capitalism into every corner of our lives. This paper argues for the democratic thesis with some qualifications. The most important contribution of the Internet to democracy is not necessarily its effects on the electoral process but rather its ability to assemble a public around technical networks that enroll individuals scattered over wide geographical areas. Medical patients, video game players, musical performers, and many other publics have emerged on the Internet with surprising consequences.