INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES AND THE INTERNET AS A FACTOR OF SOCIO-POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

  • The authors:
    Astghik A. Petrosyan
    Evgeniya V. Ponomarenko
  • Issue: July 24-26th, 2019
  • Pages: 511-518
  • Section: EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND CULTURE IN A DIGITAL SOCIETY
  • URL: http://conference-ifl.rudn.ru/511-518/
  • DOI:
    10.22363/09669-2019-511-518

Abstract. In the 21st century the Internet and information technologies open
up new prospects for political participation. The Internet wide coverage has
created unprecedented opportunities for dissemination of information on
socio-political processes, for enlargement of the aware sector and for their
active involvement in those processes. The authors proceed from the
definition of political participation through the Internet as involvement of
various groups of people via information technologies in political processes,
as well as in presentation by the authorities of positions and proposals
concerning issues of public importance, ways to resolve them, or in taking
decisions through formation of public attitudes and opinions, in influencing
the processes aiming to enforce these decisions.
The use of the Internet in politics promotes the evolution of the
conventional, i.e. consultative, model of political participation into the
interactive model, thus securing the impact of broad masses on the political
decision-making processes. Political discourse that has acquired features of
horizontal communication is turning into a multi-component, multi-lateral
model of interactive communication. Political Internet participation makes it
possible to overcome such obstacles as time and distance.
The article presents the role and influence of the Internet and means of
electronic communication on political ongoings and participatory processes.
It is exemplified by the results of the electronic voting during the 2005-2019
elections to local and state bodies held in Estonia, a European pioneer in
providing elections through the Internet.
A more detailed analysis is given on the role of the Internet and information
technologies in the revolutionary events and power turnover processes of
2018 in Armenia. The possibilities arising due to the use of the electronic
mass media and Internet information websites are demonstrated and
analyzed in the context of radical political changes and revolutionary events.
Evidence is provided that permanent coverage of the developments and
interaction with Internet users enhanced and regulated the then-opposition
activities, and involved the public at large in the ‘Velvet Revolution’. The
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DOI: 10.22363/09669-2019-511-518
new Armenian authorities are rather sensitive about communication on the
Internet platform. They not only present reports on the work fulfilled,but
also follow the society feedback.
The survey is conducted with the methods of content analysis of documents
(mass media publications), Facebook monitoring, elements of statistic
analysis and secondary analysis of research works on political activitiesand
political participation.
Having noted the advantages and disadvantages of the use of IT in politics,
the authors come to the conclusion that neutralization of abuses and risks of
the opportunities given by continually developing technologies, supposes
not only philosophical consideration but also moral and legal studies, as
well as practical mechanisms.
Keywords: Information technologies, Internet, social network, political
participation, electronic voting

Astghik A. Petrosyan¹, Evgeniya V. Ponomarenko²
¹National Academy of Science,Institute of Philosophy, Sociology and Law,
Yerevan, Armenia, e-mail: astghik.petrosyan@gmail.com
²Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University),
Moscow, Russia, e-mail: evgeniya.ponomarenko2017@gmail.com
ORCID ID: 0000-0003-3725-4461

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