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Public Opinion Formation through the Democratization of Systems

Public Opinion Formation through the Democratization of Systems

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Processes of democratic decision-making have always involved systems of public opinion formation. Systems of public opinion formation have not, however, always been democratic. With the increase in the use of computer mediated communications technology we may be witnessing the democratization of systems of public opinion formation. A fresh look at an old debate between Walter Lippmann and John Dewey can aid us in understanding what this might mean. In this paper I will investigate both Lippmann's and Dewey's answer to the problem of democratic theory and public opinion. I will then describe a context in the process of change - the so-called communications revolution. The context that will result, I believe, can profitably be understood as a Deweyan revival.

ABSTRACT 1. Background 2. Lippmann in Context 3. Dewey in Context 4. The Communications Revolution 5. A Deweyan Revival References

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