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Das Umsetzungspotenzial deliberativer Demokratiekonzepte im Internet

Goertz, David

Die theoriegeleitete Arbeit untersucht das Verwirklichungspotenzial deliberativer Demokratiekonzepte im Internet. Aufbauend auf einer Darstellung der Kerngedanken deliberativer Demokratiekonzepte und der kommunikationswissenschaftlichen Grundlagen des Internets werden anhand der Standards der Interaktivität und Partizipation analysiert, inwiefern die computervermittelte Kommunikation und Netzöffentlichkeit einen deliberationsförderlichen Kontext bilden. Bieten die Spezifika der Netzöffentlichkeit und die Besonderheiten der computervermittelten Kommunikation das Potenzial, offline zu beobachtende Umsetzungsprobleme deliberativer Standards zu beheben? Welche ambivalenten Folgeprobleme zeigen sich im Internet? Sind die Besonderheiten des Internets einer produktiven und konstruktiven Diskussion über politische Probleme durch eine relativ große Zahl von Menschen förderlich oder abträglich? Dabei konnte festgestellt werden, dass das Potenzial des Internets sowohl positive als auch negative Auswirkungen für das Umsetzungspotenzial deliberativer Demokratieprozesse hat. Das Internet als heterogene Plattform, die wachsenden Bedeutung der Netzöffentlichkeit und computervermittelten Kommunikation führen nicht zu unidirektionalen Kausaleffekten, sondern müssen differenziert betrachtet werden. Die wachsende Relevanz des Internets muss als Potenzial wahrgenommen werden, um deliberativen Verfahren einen Institutionalisierungsrahmen zu bieten. Dabei geht es nicht darum, dass deliberative Demokratiekonzepte für sich alleine genommen gewährleisten können, dass eine politische Ordnung funktioniert. Innerhalb der drei grundlegenden Optionen zur Entscheidungsfindung (Argumentieren, Verhandeln und Abstimmen) muss vielmehr nachgedacht und diskutiert werden über Verfahren, die ein „adäquates Mischungsverhältnis zwischen den drei genannten Optionen ermöglichen. Die Netzöffentlichkeit und die computervermittelte Kommunikation bieten das Potenzial, die Option „Argumentieren“ zu stärken.

Communications, as well as a functioning public are crucial for the functioning of a democracy. Thus theories of democracy are also theories of communication and the public sphere. Changing circumstances suggest rethinking both democracy and the public sphere outside the limits of previous forms. If we understand democracy as a specific form of communication, the development of new communication technologies provides new conditions under which political opinions and decision-makings are formed and have consequences for the development and understanding of the concept of democracy. Changes in the communication structures and the shift from a hub-and-spoke architecture to a distributed architecture with multidirectional connections and the elimination of communications costs in the networked public sphere have fundamentally altered the capacity of individuals to be active participants in the public sphere. Political articulation and accessing the political public is much easier for individual users in the networked public sphere in contrast to traditional mass media. The definitions of deliberative democracy concepts vary. Its core elements requires reason giving, deliberative democracy must take place in public, must be accessible to all citizens who are affected by a decision and is dynamic and keeps open the option for continuing dialogue. These requirements are difficult to implement in a society which is dominated by traditional mass media. For deliberative democracy concepts the changes in the media structure that is associated with an increased importance of the networked public sphere and computer-mediated communication opens up the possibility of hitherto existing restrictions in the traditional media to become obsolete. But there has also been significant criticism of the democratizing effects of the Internet. Utopian and dystopian visions prevail in assessing the promise of the Internet. Citizens have always used new communication tools to persuade their fellow citizens toward different ends. Technology can be used to help the cause of human liberation, and can also be used to control populations and constrain freedom. This dissertation argues that utopian and dystopian visions suffer both from clear conceptual problems. The rise of the Internet does not lead to unidirectional causal effects in the direction of more or less democracy. In the first step, the two central terms for the work are analyzed: Concepts of deliberative democracy and the Internet. Building on this foundation the aim of theory-based analysis is to evaluate the potential of deliberative democracy for realization in the networked public sphere and computer-mediated communication, without losing sight of the potential for innovation and possible risks. Can the virtual sphere and computer mediated communication promote rational discourse? Can the internet bring together people from diverse backgrounds to discuss problems? What ambivalent problems with an expansion of communicative options in the Internet are given? On the one hand the networked public sphere and computer mediated communication mean that every user oft the Internet can potentially be a distributor and has the possibility of accessing directly information from other users. On the other hand there are major objections to the assertion that the networked public sphere expands discourse. The first is that the Internet leads to new to new forms of fragmentation or information overload in the public sphere. People with a higher socioeconomic status use the Internet more actively and acquire new information at a higher rat and uses the Internet more information oriented than less educated people. Furthermore is the issue of the digital divide still of significance. The thesis of this dissertation is that the unique qualities of the networked public sphere and computer mediated communication have the potential of applying theoretical ideals like that of deliberative democracy that may fall outside the scheme envisioned by theorists prior to the dispersion of the Internet.

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Goertz, David: Das Umsetzungspotenzial deliberativer Demokratiekonzepte im Internet. 2015.

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