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Transparency and accountability in the age of cyberpolitics

By Maria Touri

Abstract

This is the author’s final draft of the paper published as Touri, M. ‘Transparency and accountability in the age of cyberpolitics’ in Karatzogianni, A. (ed) Cyber-Conflict and Global Politics, (Routledge, 2008), pp. 48-58. The final published version is available from http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415459709/.For more than a decade, the democratic potential of new media has been discussed extensively in relation to their capacity to empower citizens. They have been credited with enabling an information explosion and the creation of a more transparent political environment, the importance of which is heightened during conflict and war, as theories of International Relations have also underscored.\ud The impact of transparency and publicity on human behaviour is hardly new with Kant being amongst the first to argue that the principles of human action could be ethical only if they were public (Kant 1963 in Brown 2005: 58). In the case of conflict and war and based on Kant’s observation that even if state leaders do not suffer personally, they suffer through the loss of office (Schultz 1999), an open political environment facilitates the unseating of a government that undertakes costly strategies (de Mesquita and Lalman 1992). According to\ud Fearon (1994) and Schultz (2001) domestic political institutions in democratic states enable the disclosure of information about governmental incentives and preferences in a given crisis; and as governments become less likely to engage in bluffing behaviour, bargaining processes are more likely to result in peaceful solutions.\ud In light of the notion of political transparency, this chapter seeks to offer insight into the role of new media in situations of conflict, examining the dissemination of news through the blogosphere and drawing upon the unique quality of blogs to enable citizens ‘to emerge from the spectating audience as a player and maker of meanings’ (Coleman 2005: 274). More specifically, this chapter demonstrates how the contribution of the news framing theory can provide a conceptual tool to unpick the subtle and unseen process through which blogs can form a more open political environment and create a news media system capable of facilitating conflict prevention.\ud [Taken from chapter Introduction

Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/8071

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