Telecommunications as a global nervous system: information technology and social policy

By Karin Geiselhart, [then] PhD Candidate, University of Canberra

Presented at the Communication Research Forum, Canberra, 1999



Government, like business, has become increasingly dependent on information technology to help manage its activities. The gathering and analysis of huge flows of data are essential for the administration of virtually all government activities. Interactive technologies can also contribute directly to the forms of communication and deliberation which underpin democratic processes: sharing information, discussing it, making consensual decisions, and monitoring the outcomes. These possibilities place information technology in the realm of social policy.

Government telecommunications and Internet strategies have emphasised cost effective information provision, data security, and efficient service delivery. The potential of electronic systems to facilitate participation, improve transparency, and heighten accountability in governmental processes and policy development has received less attention. One study looked at this issue in OECD countries (not including Australia) and found that new technologies have not had much impact on the policy process, although they have contributed to the dispersion of information (Gualtieri 1998). The requirements of democratic policy processes are an activity specific to government. No business models exist for democratic policy formulation.

The convergent telecommunications, computer, and media industries are quintessential examples of globalisation. Thus, the structures, values and processes driving these industries may be expected to flow on to influence the application of these technologies at every level. Repeatedly, the developing information infrastructure has been referred to as a ‘global nervous system’ (Beniger 1986, Margetts 1996). This image implies intention and control, a ‘brain’ to direct the systemic activities.

Can the efficiencies and economies of electronic commerce be equally applied to improve the performance of democratic governance? What factors affect this? What would electronic democracy look like in practice, and what policy assumptions would contribute to its development?

This paper looks at some of the policy documents which have shaped Australian information technology and telecommunication infrastructure from the perspective of electronic democracy. It argues that the this potential has been somewhat subsumed by commercial imperatives in recent years. The need to structure the information society for enhanced citizen participation is a critical but generally overlooked aspect of social policy.

Telecommunications as a global nervous system


Modern telecommunications increasingly underpins much government activity. The Internet has become the defacto common media for disseminating government information, and the Office of Government Online is committed to maximising use of the Internet for service delivery. However, there has been little attention to the role these technologies might play in processes of democratic governance. Although new technologies have contributed to the dispersion of information, they have not had much impact on the policy process (Gualtieri 1998). The aim of government technology efforts has been greater efficiency of information provision and service delivery. The potential of these new interactive systems to facilitate participation, transparency, and accountability in policy processes has been largely overlooked. The capacity of interactive systems to generate social capital through ‘virtual communities’ has been debated (Doheny-Farina 1996), and much of the literature on electronic democracy has acknowledged that a deliberative stage which reflectively considers social priorities must precede a voting stage (Sclove 1995, Street 1997). These issues have not generally attracted the attention of either public administration scholars or technology analysts.

The author has been involved for several years with research addressing the question: How can the efficiencies and economies which are driving electronic commerce be best harnessed for the requirements of democratic governance? What factors affect this? Arguably, it is no longer possible to talk about good government without taking information technology and its context into account. Just as modern genetics could not exist without computerisation, and has, to some extent, been shaped by it, so must theories about modern democracy be positioned within a technological framework.

Governments and information technology

Government, like business, has become increasingly dependent on information technology to help manage its activities. The gathering and analysis of huge flows of data are essential for the development and administration of virtually all government activities. Interactive technologies can also contribute directly to the forms of communication which underpin democratic processes: sharing information, discussing it, making collective decisions, and monitoring the outcomes. It remains an open question of how the efficiencies of modern technology can best enhance democratic communication processes.

Government reforms have led to the adoption of business models, and the pursuit of lower costs has encouraged widespread computerisation of many government processes. These reforms have helped to make government more efficient but have not always made it more accountable or improved communication between citizens. These have not been the main priority for government applications of information technology. The principles guiding democratic application of information technology for citizen participation will not be identical to those appropriate for efficient service delivery. The differences may be roughly explained by the distinction between instrumental and developmental applications. Instrumental approaches allow completion of an immediate or short term task, perhaps with great efficiency. Developmental approaches foster iterative reflection on what the task should be. Banking online is not the same thing as having a say in bank policy. Accessing information about government policy is not the same thing as having input when the policy is being decided.

To elaborate on this distinction, some key Australian information technology policy documents are analysed from the perspective of participation. It is noteworthy that neither the fields of computer science and public administration have both largely overlooked the role of information technology as a process of democratic governance.

Some key Australian information technology policy documents and initiatives

You mean we wouldn’t be able to control who we communicate with?

Response of a First Assistant Secretary to the suggestion of using an email list to enhance the policy process.

There has been surprisingly little analysis or evaluation of information technology applications aimed at citizen-government communication. Like public sector reform, Australian public policy on information technology has followed overseas trends, but the initial conditions included strong considerations of public benefit. Neither the public policy nor computer literature has seriously attempted to chart or analyse these technological policies in Australia. The following brief summary illuminates that gap, but does not claim to be comprehensive. Rather, it surveys some policy documents which have articulated the national approach to the emerging information society. The perspective here will be to what extent these policies acknowledge and encourage democratic communication processes, both in the development of the policies and their overall direction. Inclusion of several documents at the state level will be used to illustrate their consistency with national approaches.

It is useful here to begin with a non-government document on Australia’s information infrastructure policy. Clarke (1994) clearly set out the importance of this infrastructure in determining Australia’s future well being. Recognising that important social values were at stake, he attempted to ‘informate’ the debate, so that policy settings can be ‘identified, articulated and implemented which will exploit the opportunities rather than the people.’ In describing the stakeholders in the political economy of the information infrastructure, he noted that ‘the set of interests least likely to be powerfully represented is those of the public.’ He made a strong argument for explicit inclusion of the public interest in the development of this infrastructure, and gave the elements of this public interest which would need attention. The ability to perform multiple roles, as providers of content, not just passive accepters, and the need for sufficient training to make good use of access were both seen as essential. These were needed for a ‘participatively-oriented’ infrastructure, which in turn would unleash the creative forces necessary to become a clever country. He advocated openness of systems, content and delivery, along with ‘relative bandwidth symmetry’, implying equal access as either provider or consumer. Avoiding an engineering approach was also important.

He recognised the global nature of the infrastructure, and the need to take a national path while ensuring ability to participate in this global system. He warned of corporate domination of the agenda, and likewise the possible destruction of collaborative community through commercialisation. He advocated encouragement of the non-profit sector, ‘where sufficient voluntary energy and commitment are forthcoming’, and pursuit of equity across social and geographic groups and economic sectors. The role for government was outlined as protecting public interests, including reversing the trend towards charging for government information and ensuring freedom from surveillance, and establishing clear socio-economic objectives. This would require government investment, particularly in the early years. There was detailed discussion on possible pricing structures consistent with these goals, which recognised the role of shared norms and values in avoiding the ‘tragedy of the commons’ on the information superhighway. Clarke concluded that government must recognise the importance of its multiple roles as leader, stimulator, co-ordinator, facilitator and regulator. His monograph was an informed and strongly normative analysis of how Australia should proceed down this complex path. It provided a guide consistent with common definitions of democratic process. His analysis can assist in evaluating subsequent government statements of policy for the information infrastructure.

The following survey is chronological, from 1994 to 1998. The reports are listed below.

Document title


Originating body

(1) Networking Australia’s Future

December 1994

Final Report of the Broadband Services Expert Group

(2) Clients First: the challenge for government information technology

March 1995

Information Technology Review Group

(3) Framework and Strategies for Information Technology in the Commonwealth of Australia

December 1995

Office of Government Information Technology

(4) Putting Australia on the New Silk Road: the role of trade policy in advancing electronic commerce


Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

(5) Management of Government Information as a National Strategic Resource

August 1997

Report of the Information Management Steering Committee

(6) A national policy framework for structural adjustment within the new commonwealth of information

August 1997

Information Policy Advisory Council

(7) Australian Research Council Discipline Research Strategy for Information Technology


(Working Draft)

(8) Towards an Australian Strategy for the Information Economy

July 1998

National Office of Information Economy

(9) State information policies


New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia information policies

(1) Networking Australia’s Future

This document examined the technical, economic and commercial preconditions for widespread delivery of broadband services to homes, businesses and schools in Australia. It drew on consultation with a wide range of groups, and listed submissions came from a fairly balanced set of corporate, community, government and individual contributors. It included a strong social development and equity perspective, and encouraged the participation of consumers and small business. It noted the need to promote social interaction, enrich education, and improve health services, as well as improving delivery of government services and improving the competitiveness of business. One heading was ‘A Communications Society’, rather than a more narrow economic concept. It called for sensible management of change, and recommendations included minimal requirements for Australian broadband content, wide participation in setting standards, open accessibility, supply of broadband to all schools, libraries, medical and community centres by 2001, and a community applications fund to support innovative applications of community services. Electronic voting and public consultation were listed under future government broadband services, along with community bulletin boards and information services. The government was called upon to show leadership, while encouraging the private sector. The document also highlighted that interactive services are essential, as opposed to one way, and that consultation and collaboration were necessary for best outcomes.

This early map of Australia’s broadband future showed high awareness of the civic role these technologies could and should play, and their potential for facilitating participation at every stage in the evolution of these networks. This was an optimistic document, and its more ambitious aspects have not materialised. The massive $250 million Regional Telecommunication Infrastructure Fund will develop the communications infrastructure and services in rural and regional Australia, but community focussed activities do not seem to play a large role.

(2) Clients First

This influential report reflected a client perspective in government IT services. The recommendations call for rationalisation of data networks and information systems across networks to achieve greater cross-agency flexibility in service delivery and economies of scale. A Chief Information Officer would help integrate information technology with the business needs of the public sector and corporate planning processes. A high level advisory and consultative group would develop a ‘blueprint’ for information technology policy in Australia and co-ordinate a common approach to client service delivery in government.

The report was commissioned by the Minister for Finance, supported by that department’s Information Technology Review Group. The Office of Government Information Technology was subsequently set up in the Finance portfolio. The approach was firmly business driven, and advocated devolution to agencies, consistent with the need for improved coordination. There was some consideration of wider governance issues, primarily in relation to privacy concerns. However, the policy development recommendations did not extend to the need for consultation beyond the public service itself. Thus, it was left to the Commonwealth to ‘assess existing privacy guidelines and the potential of multiple agencies to deliver services to clients through single points of contact.’ Innovation and development was oriented at government as business, and towards clients, but not at citizens. Outsourcing was considered, but not given blanket approval. Greater interaction between industry and government was promoted through ‘partnering opportunities’, but a similar encouragement of communication with non-profit or community level organisations, even for developing a client service, was absent.

(3) Framework and Strategies

This ‘Blueprint’ document provided a more detailed set of objectives for the integration of information technology to achieve world class ‘cost-effective provision of affordable, equitable and accessible Australian government information and services.’ The technical and business orientation, again with a client orientation, described a number of innovative projects in government, and called for a merger of IT and telecommunications plans in government agencies, partly in response to the global converging environment. It noted increased public demand for quality services which respect privacy, data security and confidentiality. It called for increased competition on outsourcing of Commonwealth information technology activities, and the development of a broad framework for government information management, with standards for Internet and other electronic information provision. Consultation with department IT staff, their unions, the Public Service and Merit Protection Commission and industry was suggested to establish standards for staff IT skills. Thus, there was a business orientation and the express hope of ‘building Australia as regional base for global IT companies to supply fast-growing markets of the Asia -Pacific’. However, there was also recognition of the need for equitable, inclusive services to avoid an ‘information rich, information poor’ society. The report did not recommend a universal access policy, as with telephone services, but noted the need for community based information access, ‘such as local libraries, schools, and similar facilities.’

(4) Putting Australia on the new silk road

The title of this document from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade reflected their longings for the benefits of electronic commerce. The perspective was fully globalised and commerce oriented. Missing was a recognition, on the international scale this report addresses, of Australia’s possible role in promoting a more socially aware form of global electronic commerce. The community service obligations that informed domestic documents were almost completely missing. For example, possible negative impacts on employment are noted, but an optimistic scenario was possible, dependent on ‘creating an environment that supports electronic commerce, on the mix of economic policies and particularly, on the flexibility of the labour market’. The framework was intended to advance ‘the interest of Australia’s online companies on international market.’ Together, these statements imply that the public would bear any costs of restructuring for a global electronic commerce framework, and that sustainable social outcomes are not the goals. This interpretation is supported by the list of stakeholders who were consulted: exclusive representation from industry and government. There was no call for ongoing mechanisms for feedback from consumers, or their inclusion in further consultations. An annex quoted liberally and uncritically from the US framework for electronic commerce, and its principles of deregulation, private sector lead, global approach, and minimal government involvement.

(5) Management of Government Information as a National Strategic Resource

A very different set of values came through in this weighty document. The terms of reference were based on the recommendations of Clients First and the IT Blueprint. These included cost-effective management of government information, identification of existing initiatives, and principles for public access to government information. However, the vision statement for the report went beyond efficiency and aimed for ‘better government’, which ‘uses its information fully, as a national strategic asset for government, business and the community’. The community was viewed as an ‘actor’ in government information. Improved information flows were sought ‘to promote collaboration’, rather than for narrower cost-savings or even better service delivery. Accountability as a value was also supported, with indications throughout that this means more than value for money. There was a pervasive awareness of the need to address social as well as economic issues, and to create a framework for individuals to interact richly with government, rather than simply as clients for government services: ‘it will no longer be acceptable for government to consider clients as transactions waiting in a queue. Australians will become better informed individuals….’(p 12). The need to integrate business plans and achieve cost-effectiveness through information management was an important component, but this was not viewed in isolation. Technical and legal aspects of information management were placed in a values framework, informed by theoretical understanding and discussion of information society concepts and prominent overseas projects. A set of information service principles started with the statement that ‘access to publicly releasable government information is a fundamental right of all citizens in a democratic society’ (p 34). The recognition of government information as national resource created a logical connection to other principles, such as access at cost of transfer, and ensuring the availability of information at the local community level.

Information was seen as a key area for management effectiveness in programs of public sector reform, along with human resources, finance, and capital assets. The report’s principles were intended to fill a gap and provide guidance on government information management, similar to that already available for human resource management. It recognised that better access to government information would allow greater participation, as well as better service delivery. This perspective came through clearly in the section on Open Government, which supported the recommendations of a joint Australian Law Reform Commission and Administrative Review Council report on freedom of information (FOI). These included amending the FOI object clause to provide access that would ‘enable people to participate in the policy, accountability and decision making processes of government’, ‘open the Government’s activity to scrutiny, discussion, comment and review’, and ‘increase the accountability of the executive’ (p 32).

The Information Management Steering Committee report also included a section on electronic democracy, only slightly changed from the draft to the final report, except to add a final paragraph advising caution on the benefits of electronic democracy, while keeping a watching brief on such initiatives in other government jurisdictions. There was considerable discussion on the potential for interactive communication, such as the Internet, to provide more effective feedback mechanisms. The intention was again participatory, and sought ‘broader and possibly more balanced input to policy processes’ (p 131). This was seen as a mechanism for continuous improvement and ‘more balanced’ input to policy, at least on less controversial topics.

The report incorporated the elements of democracy and policy formulation as creative, participatory communication processes, and saw the potential for new technologies to facilitate and update these. It also did not shy away from government’s obligations to take a leadership role in this area. Responsibility for implementing this report rested with the Office of Government Information Technology which became the Office of Government Online in mid-1998. The technical recommendations are being progressively implemented by relevant agencies, bringing some benefits of wider information distribution. In mid 1999, the researcher was unaware of any overt electronic democracy initiatives, or any overall directives towards greater transparency of the policy process.

(6) IPAC national policy framework

This document reflected the ambivalence within the contributing policy communities. In addition to industry and government, the library community and consumers were represented. While acknowledging the domination of multinational institutions and the need to adapt to this situation, it also advocated Australia staking a claim to achieve sustainable economic benefits and preserve community values. The focus was on the new political economy, an important variation on the earlier term ‘information society’ and the later ‘information economy’. While not mentioning the growing inequities in global or national political economies, this document did place social and community outcomes at the top of its national objectives. The repeated reference to sustainable communities and industries underpinned the remaining working assumptions and outlines of roles for government and industry. Industry and government were both assigned leadership roles. Thus, there was an assumption of the need for diverse inputs, with explicit roles for community and consumer stakeholders. Values of trust and security, along with user collaboration, were given as key elements for electronic interfaces.

(7) ARC Discipline Research Strategy for Information Technology

The purpose was to develop strategies to increase the benefits of information technology research for Australia, and terms of reference include both social and economic benefits. The emphasis was heavily on industry development, although the vision was that ‘Australian IT research will be recognised as a major driving force contributing to the prosperity and social cohesiveness of Australian society’. However, the strategies made no mention of practical areas of study such as the role of computers in government, improving government accountability in relation to critical areas such as outsourcing, or social aspects of the emerging information society. Major stakeholders in IT research did not include community interest groups. The stated belief was that IT ‘benefits society as a whole in the new services it provides, in the benefit to social prosperity through employment opportunities, access to knowledge and information, enhanced communication and in improvement in the balance of overseas trade’. It is unclear how these desirable social outcomes might be ensured by the suggested ARC sub-panel on IT, with members from the diverse disciplines of Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, Digital Communications and Information Systems. The divide here between instrumental technological approaches and a wider social view was extreme, with few actors available to put forth alternative perspectives.

(8) Towards an Australian Strategy for the Information Economy

In mid 1997 a Minister for Information Economics was appointed, and a National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE) established within the portfolio of Communication and the Arts. This was described by a departmental officer as ‘paving the way for the private sector in electronic commerce’. The final document offered in this brief review is the strategy document released by NOIE in mid-1998. The title of the office indicates its orientation.

The office took over responsibility for electronic commerce aspects of information technology in the Commonwealth, while the Office of Government Online took carriage of projects within government. NOIE’s strategy document acknowledged social obligations, and included the community as one of the stakeholders. However, the aim was to ‘capture potential gains in new markets, boost employment and small business activity and maximise innovation and creativity.’ Calls in the earlier Networking the Nation for an ‘information society’ were subsumed in this document by the information economy. However, this was somewhat softened by a blurring of the distinction between society and economy. The first principle for the Commonwealth in shaping the information economy was that:

All Australians—wherever they live and work, and whatever their economic circumstances—need to be able to access the information economy at sufficient bandwidth and affordable cost; and need to be equipped with the skills and knowledge to harness the information economy's benefits for employment and living standards.

Thus, a form of universal access was deemed necessary, but the orientation was towards consumption, and ‘harnessing’ benefits for employment and living standards. Concepts of social sustainability through participation were not mentioned. Government was to show the way, but the private sector and in particular the global context in which it operates, comprised the remaining principles for development of Australia’s information economy. The remainder of the document discussed how these goals were to be achieved, with much emphasis on awareness raising and online service delivery in the health, education and government sectors. There was to be consumer protection, and Australia was to influence the international framework for electronic commerce. There was no sign of integration of these economic goals with other aspects of society. Performance indicators for local content in electronic commerce, or improved outcomes in health, education, employment or equity were missing. However, following public submissions on the draft document, which were also made available on the agency web site, a revised strategy was put forward which placed greater importance on wide access, and social indicators and outcomes.

(9) Other information policies

Information management strategies from New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia showed similar orientations towards service delivery, outsourcing, and maximising opportunities for electronic commerce. Typically, these policy statements covered such issues as privacy, telephone access, industry development, the Year 2000 problem, copyright and acceptable use. None of the three mentioned plans to improve citizen participation in and access to government as part of the policy process.

A similar approach to these state plans was presented in ‘Government.Direct’, a UK document on Electronic Delivery of Government Services, which emphasised passive access rather than participation. At the local level, a draft Community Information Strategy for the Australian Capital Territory listed key information which should be available electronically, but omitted contentious urban planning issues from this inventory.


Australian public policy on information technology and Internet issues has been informed by traditional views on participation, active citizenship and communication as a nation building activity. Earlier documents reflect this quite strongly. But as the Internet developed and the forces of globalisation became more powerful in the Australian government, private interests came to the fore. Industry players encourage a view of information technology as an engine for growth. Voices of groups representing social welfare or the environment are not major actors in direction setting for the information economy. The orientation emphasises efficiency and the self-organisation of the market, rather than proposing active use of the technology to ensure that social goals are articulated and achieved.

There is increasing reliance on global actors for guidance, with fears voiced that Australia will be left behind if it does not comply. Even so, much thought has gone into ensuring that a social policy perspective is retained in some of the key documents on information technology use in government, with explicit attention to democratic values and forms of communication.

The process followed by the National Office for the Information Economy on their draft strategy was an example of nearly full interactivity, as the consultation process used the technology to create feedback loops. All comments were available to all commentators, so that patterns in public response became obvious. Such measures have the potential to improve accountability to the public, as would wider canvassing of views prior to development of the draft policy. However, the overall orientation of the policy remains focussed on economic outcomes. The trend, on both national and state levels, is towards an economic approach to the development of the information technology, while providing minimal attention to establishing structures which would increase public participation and the accountability and transparency of government operations.

The above overview could not provide detail about how each policy area could build in democratic mechanisms. Rather, it focussed on the articulation of underlying values which inform the strategies. Two opposing sets of information values are set out in the table below. For convenience sake, and for lack of better terminology, they are referred to as ‘globalising’ and ‘democratic’. They suggest the extreme manifestations of these values, and may be useful in consideration of how the information technology and telecommunication infrastructure can contribute to processes of democratic governance.

Information Values



Universal access to the necessary technology

Access determined by ability to pay

Appropriate training

Minimal training for predetermined uses

Alternative sources of information widely available

Centralised sources of information

Diversity of views


Mechanisms for communication across sectors, levels and interests, many to many communication

Broadcast model dominant (one to many)

Participation in design of system

Trivialisation of participation, input to assist instrumental decisions only

Deliberation possible on any issue

Direct and indirect control of agenda

Openness of information gathering and decision processes

Secrecy about process, methods

Provision for reflection on these principles

System taken as given

Australia is a world leader in the application of information technology to provide government services and information. However, there is little awareness of the potential of these technologies to improve the quality of government by fostering wider participation and a greater diversity of imputs. This is probably not surprising, as these are essentially political rather than technical issues. Gualtieri (1998) found that both politicians and the public lacked the political will to apply technology to these democratic goals. A comprehensive survey of Australian information technology policy has yet to be attempted. Some recent reflections from Ilya Prigogine, one of the founders of complexity theory, provide an appropriate closing point:

I am convinced that at present humanity is going through a bifurcation process due to information technology…The…Greeks…developed two aims for humanity: first, the…rational formulation of the laws which rule matter or life and…the establishment of a democracy based on the role of values. Will the networked society be a step in the direction of the realization of this goal?


Beniger, James R. (1986). The Control Revolution - Technological and Economic Origins of the Information Society. Harvard Univeristy Press: Cambridge.

Canberra Wired - A Draft Community Information Strategy for the ACT. (1996). ACT Department of Urban Services: Canberra.

Clarke, Roger. (1994). Information Infrastructure of the Networked Nation (Version 2.0). Australian National University: Canberra.

Clients First: The Challenge for Government Information Technology. (1995). Report of the Minister for Finance Information Technology Review Group. Commonwealth Department of Finance: Canberra.

Currently Consulting On... [cited 12/5/99] URL:

Discipline Research Strategy for Information Technology Working Draft for General Comment. Australian Research Council and the Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs. [cited 18/8/97] URL:

Doheny-Farina, Stephen. (1996). The Wired Neighborhood. Yale University Press: New Haven and London.

E-Conference on Governance and Public Services in the Information Age, Discussion on the Public-Admin-and-Management@Mailbase.Ac.Uk List During October 1998.

Framework and Strategies for Information in the Commonwealth of Australia - Exposure Draft. (1995). Office of Government Information Technology. [cited 14/12/95] URL:

Government.Direct: A Prospectus for the Electronic Delivery of Government Services (UK Green Paper). [cited 1996] URL:

Gualtieri, Robert. (1998). Impact of the Emerging Information Society on the Policy Development Process and Democratic Quality. OECD Public Management Service: [cited 4/3/1999] URL:

Information Management and Technology Blueprint for NSW. [cited 13/1/99] URL:

Management of Government Information As a National Strategic Resource. (1997). Report of the Information Management Steering Committee on Information Management in the Commonwealth Government. [cited 6/8/98] URL:

Managing the Information Resource. [Western Australia information management policy document] [cited 23/4/98] URL:

A National Policy Framework for Structural Adjustment Within the New Commonwealth of Information. (1997). Information Policy Advisory Council: Canberra. [cited 9/9/97] URL:

Networking Australia's Future. (1994). Final Report of the Broadband Services Expert Group. Australian Government Publishing Service: Canberra.

Prigogine, Ilya. (1999). A Message From Ilya Prigogine. [cited 5/8/99] URL:

Putting Australia on the New Silk Road: The Role of Trade Policy in Advancing Electronic Commerce. (1997). Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Canberra.

Queensland Communication and Information Policy Statement. [cited 12/1/99] URL:

Sclove, Richard E. (1995). Democracy and Technology. The Guilford Press: New York.

Street, John. (1997). "Remote Control? Politics, Technology and 'Electronic Democracy'". European Journal of Communication, 12(1), 27-42.

Towards an Australian Strategy for the Information Economy. Ministerial Council for the Information Economy. [cited 12/9/98] URL:

Uhr, John. (1998). Deliberative Democracy in Australia - The Changing Place of Parliament. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge and Melbourne.

Return to Karin Geiselhart's papers