This introductory chapter analyzes the central political problem of our time, namely how to adapt democracy to the acceleration of the information age. Modern technology creates a supply of new tools for improved governance, but it also creates an urgent demand for putting these tools to use. We need better policies to obtain the benefits of innovation as quickly as possible and to manage the social problems that speedier innovation will inevitably create—from pollution to weapons of mass destruction. Our task is to place politics progressively within the domain of information technology—to use its new or enhanced tools, such as empiricism, information markets, dispersed media, and artificial intelligence, to reinvent governance. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
Keywords: modern technology, information technology, information age, democracy, Internet, governance