|Commenced in January 1999||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 18|
The expansion of telecommunication and progress of electronic media constitute important elements of our times. The recent worldwide convergence of information and communication technologies (ICT) and dynamic development of the mass media is leading to noticeable changes in the functioning of contemporary states and societies. Currently, modern technologies play more and more important roles and filter down to almost every field of contemporary human life. It results in the growth of online interactions that can be observed by the inconceivable increase in the number of people with home PCs and Internet access. The proof of it is undoubtedly the emergence and use of concepts such as e-society, e-banking, e-services, e-government, e-government, e-participation and e-democracy. The newly coined word e-democracy evidences that modern technologies have also been widely used in politics. Without any doubt in most countries all actors of political market (politicians, political parties, servants in political/public sector, media) use modern forms of communication with the society. Most of these modern technologies progress the processes of getting and sending information to the citizens, communication with the electorate, and also – which seems to be the biggest advantage – electoral procedures. Thanks to implementation of ICT the interaction between politicians and electorate are improved. The main goal of this text is to analyze electronic voting (e-voting) as one of the important forms of electronic democracy in terms of security aspects. The author of this paper aimed at answering the questions of security of electronic voting as an additional form of participation in elections and referenda.
The manual system of voting has been the most widely used system of electing representatives around the globe, particularly in Africa. Due to the known numerous problems and challenges associated with the manual system of voting, many countries are migrating to the electronic voting system as a suitable and credible means of electing representatives over the manual paper-based system. This research paper therefore investigated the factors influencing adoption and use of an electronic voting system in Ghana. A total of 400 Questionnaire Instruments (QI) were administered to potential respondents in Ghana, of which 387 responded representing a response rate of 96.75%. The Technology Acceptance Model was used as the theoretical framework for the study. The research model was tested using a simple linear regression analysis with SPSS. A little of over 71.1% of the respondents recommended the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana to adopt an electronic voting system in the conduct of public elections in Ghana. The results indicated that all the six predictors such as perceived usefulness (PU), perceived ease of use (PEOU), perceived free and fair elections (PFFF), perceived credible elections (PCE), perceived system integrity (PSI) and citizens trust in the election management body (CTEM) were all positively significant in predicting the readiness of citizens to adopt and use an electronic voting system in Ghana. However, jointly, the hypotheses tested revealed that apart from Perceived Free and Fair Elections and Perceived Credible and Transparent Elections, all the other factors such as PU, Perceived System Integrity and Security and Citizen Trust in the Election Management Body were found to be significant predictors of the Willingness of Ghanaians to use an electronic voting system. All the six factors considered in this study jointly account for about 53.1% of the reasons determining the readiness to adopt and use an electronic voting system in Ghana. The implications of this research finding on elections in Ghana are discussed.
This article provides a conceptual framework of the freedom of media and its correlation with democracy. In a democracy, media should serve the publics’ right to know and reflect human rights violations and offer options for meaningful political choices and effective participation in civic affairs. On that point, the 2013 events at Gezi Park in Turkey are a good empirical example to be discussed. During the events, when self-censorship was broadly employed by mainstream Turkish media, social media filled the important role of providing information to the public. New technologies have made information into a fundamental tool for change and growth, and as a consequence, societies worldwide have merged into a single, interdependent, and autonomous organism. For this reason, violations of human rights can no longer be considered domestic issues, but rather global ones. Only global political action is an adequate response. Democracy depends on people shaping the society they live in, and in order to accomplish this, they need to express themselves. Freedom of expression is therefore necessary in order to understand diversity and differing perspectives, which in turn are necessary to resolve conflicts among people. Moreover, freedom of information is integral to freedom of expression. In this context, the international rules and laws regarding freedom of expression and freedom of information – indispensable for a free and independent media – are examined. These were put in place by international institutions such as the United Nations, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and the European Union, which have aimed to build a free, democratic, and pluralist world committed to human rights and the rule of law. The methods of international human rights institutions depend on effective and frequent employment of mass media to relay human rights violations to the public. Therefore, in this study, the relationship between mass media and democracy, the process of how mass media forms public opinion, the problems of mass media, the neo-liberal theory of mass media, and the use of mass media by NGOs will be evaluated.
This article interrogates the question of leadership in the context of the antidemocratic tendencies of Africa’s political leaders. The African continent has continued to struggle behind other continents of the world as a result of the failure of leadership to address the political and socio-economic challenges of the continent. Thus, bedevilled with the challenges of development, the African continent is in need of people-centred leadership. However, as the continent struggles to overcome its political and development predicaments, it is stuck in the dystopia of demagoguery that promises nothing but apocalyptic future for its teeming population. Thus, despite the enormous resources available in Africa, leadership failures have made progress difficult to achieve. At the centre of this leadership failure are demagogues: a set of leaders who have influence over a large number of people but take advantage of that influence to undermine democracy and good governance. Citing various examples across Africa, the article describes how demagogues, especially in democratic countries, have become the problem of the African continent in its quest to achieve democratic progress, development and peaceful progress.
The number of electronic participation (eParticipation) projects introduced by different governments and international organisations is considerably high and increasing. In order to have an overview of the development of these projects, various evaluation frameworks have been proposed. In this paper, a five-level participation model, which takes into account the advantages of the Social Web or Web 2.0, together with a quantitative approach for the evaluation of eParticipation projects is presented. Each participation level is evaluated independently, taking into account three main components: Web evolution, media richness, and communication channels. This paper presents the evaluation of a number of existing Voting Advice Applications (VAAs). The results provide an overview of the main features implemented by each project, their strengths and weaknesses, and the participation levels reached.
The major aim of this paper is to investigate the opposition politics in Africa. The paper also examines the status and the role, the contributions and the weaknesses of opposition1 political parties in Africa, particularly in transitional democracies that emerged in the 1990s. In Africa, many of the opposition parties appear or become active only during an election, and disappear when the election is over. It is found out that most of the opposition parties in Africa are established around the personalities of individuals, lack internal democracy, suffer from inter-party and intra-party conflicts, have severe shortage of finance, and lack strong base and experience. Their weaknesses also include bad organization and weak connection with the popular constituencies. The paper concludes that most of the weaknesses of the African opposition parties emanate from the incumbents- hostile policies, which are mostly aimed at fragmenting and weakening the opposition groups.
This paper aims to argue that religion and Faith-based Organizations (FBOs) contribute to building democratic process through the provision of education in Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone experienced a civil war from 1991 to 2002 and about 70 percent of the population lives in poverty. While the government has been in the process of rebuilding the nation, many forms of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), including FBOs, have played a significant role in promoting social development. Education plays an important role in supporting people-s democratic movements through knowledge acquisition, spiritual enlightenment and empowerment. This paper discusses religious tolerance in Sierra Leone and how FBOs have contributed to the provision of primary education in Sierra Leone. This study is based on the author-s field research, which involved interviews with teachers and development stakeholders, notably government officials, Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) and FBOs, as well as questionnaires completed by pupils, parents and teachers.
Computer-mediated communication technologies which provide for virtual communities have typically evolved in a cross-dichotomous manner, such that technical constructs of the technology have evolved independently from the social environment of the community. The present paper analyses some limitations of current implementations of computer-mediated communication technology that are implied by such a dichotomy, and discusses their inhibiting effects on possible developments of virtual communities. A Socio-Technical Indicator Model is introduced that utilizes integrated feedback to describe, simulate and operationalise increasing representativeness within a variety of structurally and parametrically diverse systems. In illustration, applications of the model are briefly described for financial markets and for eco-systems. A detailed application is then provided to resolve the aforementioned technical limitations of moderation on the evolution of virtual communities. The application parameterises virtual communities to function as self-transforming social-technical systems which are sensitive to emergent and shifting community values as products of on-going communications within the collective.