Big gap

Michelle is pointing to the Tufts University ‘Digital Democracy’ course wiki.

On the plus side, as Michelle says, it’s a move that should be welcomed, and it’d be interesting to see how other Universities will approach such an open handed approach with their education programmes.

BUT, looking at that syllabus, it’s rather depressing the way that it reflects a good deal of the discussion around social media and democracy outside of the halls of academe. It mixes the laudable reflections on the disruptive potential of the technology in enabling pro-democracy movements within repressive societies with a series of rather abstract questions combining social theory with the observations of digital evangelists about how the growing influence of digital natives will change things.

But here it is again: The questions of representative democracy, how it will be effected by these disruptive changes – and the things that everybody needs to know (how does technology prove to be an asset to groups that hope to increase their social capital) seem to be absent.

This seems to be the ugly duckling at almost every party. I suspect that – if I were to look hard enough – I’d find a reference to this stuff somewhere.

But it’s lack of prominence here strikes me as somewhat lazy. A preference for abstraction.

Good job there’s a ‘Political Theory 2.0’ session in the offing at Barcamp tomorrow, eh?

(Hat tip: Demsoc)


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