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Challenges to Representative Democracy

A European Perspective

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Edited By Robert Wiszniowski

Using different perspectives and various approaches, this collection of diagnostic texts aims at presenting all the possible faces of the contemporary Nation-State. Based on political science methodology, this volume is devoted to both theory and practice. The structure of the book is unconventional. The issues presented are extremely contextual, subject to an ongoing discussion and mostly unpredictable. From the scientific point of view, the territorial differentiation in the traditional uniform of the Nation-State is simply reconfigured and reshaped due to the new logic of internal market competition.
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The informational paradigm and the modern state

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Javier Lorenzo Rodríguez

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain

1.The digital revolution and the modern state: an opportunity or a threat?

The concept of “Digital Revolution” defines how technology has changed the way of producing, recording and spreading information through analog, to mechanic, electronic and finally, digital devices. In computer engineering terms, it refers to the possibility of replicating the very exact information from one device to another with no loss of information, by the digital signal and its possibilities of doing this remotely (Shannon, Weaver 1963). The multiplier effect of these new Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and their capacity to spread and enrich information generate a new way of ordering human activity (Negroponte 1995). Therefore, information becomes the most important outcome in the new productive chain. This is the reason why The Digital Revolution is also known as the Third Revolution, that leads to the so-called Information (Bell 1976) or Network societies (Simmel 1950), which differ fundamentally from the societal orders of the past (Webster 2002). For Castells, this implies a change from the classical parameters of post-industrial societies based on three major adjustments (1997): a) communication channels will adapt to information; b) given the centrality of information for socialization, communities will adapt accordingly; c) the interaction among actors will become more flexible, breaking time-space barriers and producing hyper-connection.

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