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Cyberspace And Modern Political Theory

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Cyberspace and Modern Political Theory

What is cyberspace? Cyberspace is a special domain that is driven by an electronic network largely transparent. Cyberspace is a series of networks. The term was coined by American writer William Gibson and first used in his 1984 science fiction novel Neuromancer, in which he described cyberspace as a place of "unthinkable complexity." The term has given rise to a vocabulary of "cyberterms," such as cyber cafes (cafes that sell coffee and computer time), cybermalls (online shopping services), and cyberjunkies (people addicted to being online). It is considered a new universe; a parallel universe shaped and continued by the world’s computers, and communication lines. The way I see it cyberspace is a place where people can go from shopping to meeting people from around the world. Anything you need in life is on the net you don’t even have to step out of your house. The only thing that separates man from the computer is the computer screen. It is also a way people can become more dependent on the system and socially declined. Cyberspace in the future will become a place of socialization it also posses a threat because it embodies an unlimited amount of information. It is essentially political and embodies a set of social allegations that are engaged in a political dialogue, debate, analysis and struggle for more knowledge. What is Political Theory? A subdivision of political science traditionally concerned with the body of ideas expressed by political philosophers who have asked not only how politics work but how they should work. These philosophers have been concerned with the nature and justification of political obligation and authority and the goals of political action. Although their prescriptions have varied, and some have been utopian in concept, they have shared the conviction that it is the political philosopher's duty to distinguish between what is and what ought to be, between existing political institutions and potentially more humane institutions. The term political theory, in the past century, has come to be used as well to denote descriptive, explanatory, and predictive generalizations about political behavior regardless of the morality involved. This approach is more concerned with mathematical, statistical, and quantifiable techniques than with normative concerns. Politics is a pervasive form of human activity, but it is especially important for the governance of society. Governing may occur in a number of contexts, ranging from open/liberal democracies to the most repressive dictatorship, but all involve some forms of political activity. "Without communication between people, there can be no political activity, and the nature of political activity varies according to the type and cost of the means of communications." In public debates 'cyberspace is often assumed to be synonymous with the realization of democratic ideals. The reasoning behind the Internet as a democratic tool was that it provided a new media source capable of challenging the monopoly held by a few over mainstream media. Politics in contemporary Cyberspace constitutes three distinct types: 1) politics within the Net, concerning the internal operation of the Net and involving those online 2) politics which impacts the Net, dealing with the policies and regulation of governments affecting Cyberspace and 3) political uses of the Net, concerning how Cyberspace is used to affect political life off line. Virtual reality has come to resemble the real world; ordinary everyday politics has captured Cyberspace. Political life on the Internet has moved away from fluid Cyber-communities in which civic life centers on free discussion and debate. It has entered an era of organized civil society and structured group pluralism with a relatively passive citizenry. A randomly selected on-line citizen is certainly more able, and as for now, probably more willing, to air personal and political opinions than his or her counterpart off line, but this is not sufficient to conclude that Cyberspace will transform the nature of citizenship in advanced industrial countries in the next century. As virtual reality comes to mirror the real world, Cyberspace simply becomes another arena for the ongoing struggle for wealth, power and political influence. Politics within the Net in the old days inspired utopian speculation. It was personal, egalitarian and voluntary in contrast to the corrupt politics of elites and organized interests, of money and power in the real world. This type of political life continues on the Web, but it has not turned out to be a model for politics in the real world, nor has it affected the consciousness of many of the millions of new users who have signed on in the last few years. If anything, the newcomers introduced a number of unpleasant attitudes and assumptions about politics, which have upset the older generation of Internet users. In addition, with the advent of Internet commerce, as well as disputes about domain names, cyber crimes, terrorist sites, pornography and many other phenomena which attract the attention of organized advocacy groups and governments, the old types of Internet self-regulation have been challenged by external forces. The age of almost total laissez faire belongs to the past of the Net. The creation of the Internet gave rise to utopian fantasies of citizen empowerment and the revitalization of democracy as well as dystopian fears of technocratic domination. Neither of these possibilities seems likely. Cyberspace has been transformed from a virtual state



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