Technology, communication, and Western pluralistic democracies: Aligning digital privacy to facilitate citizen-solidarity

Parsons, Christopher
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University of Guelph

This thesis is an investigation of the role of digital discourse in Western nation-states and the value of developing a privacy archetype sensitive to digital technologies. The developed archetype must enable citizens to develop solidarity without fear of surveillance while maintaining nation-states' political stability as they transition to digital communications. In making this argument, I draw on Kirgen Habermas to trace the theoretical development of contemporary nation-states and the role of non-coerced discourse in maintaining political stability. Current privacy archetypes were (partially) realized to facilitate public and private discourse and are ineffective in securing communicative privacy along digital networks. In light of Western states' adoption of digital communications technologies, I propose my reciprocal archetype of informational privacy, which can establish digital communicative privacy. My archetype shields digitized discourse from non-democratically sanctioned surveillance and supplements Habermas' political project by preserving the discursive principles beating at the of heart Western pluralistic democracies.

digital privacy, citizen-solidarity, technology, communication, Western pluralistic democracies