In his lecture on December 12th, 2018, Dr. Alexander Weiß talked about the topic: “Digitalization and Comparative Democratic Theory: Chinese and Indian Perceptions of the Digital Challenge for Democracy”.
What should a democracy know about citizens? While in times of digital surveillance and Big Data we may need new answers to this question, the general relation between digital transformation and democracy as object of democratic theory remains complex – on the one hand for the conceptual diversity of ‘digital transformation’ but also and additionally because ‘democracy’ itself is understood and conceptualized differently. A ‘Comparative Democratic Theory’ shows that the spectrum of understandings and meanings of democracy is even broader than we know from Western discourses: Democratic thought specifically reacting to regional and historical constellations is existing in all regions of the world, e.g., democratic thought from India and China has evolved in rich and diverse traditions. Before this horizon my question is: How is digital transformation perceived, framed, and evaluated in Chinese and Indian theories of democracy? Selected Chinese and Indian perceptions of digitalization as either threat or support of democracy are analyzed with focus on democracy’s epistemic dimension and surveillance.
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The audio file of the lecture can be downloaded here.