The autopoietic state: Communication and democratic potential in the net
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The relationship between the practice of democracy and the use of new information technologies is dependent upon the technologies of communication and information, rules regarding the use of those technologies, and the nature of the entity making rules regarding those technologies. Since today developments in all three of these areas are turbulent, this article looks to social theory that deals with turbulence and chaos as a way of understanding the democratic potential in the qualitatively different network society. The streams of literature drawn upon include second‐order cybernetics and chaos theory, organizational sociology, and the literature on the state. The concept of the autopoietic state is developed as a basis for determining appropriate communication policy principles for maximizing the democratic potential in the network environment. © 1994 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Copyright © 1994 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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