A Provisional System of Design Criteria for Democratic Technologies
by Richard E. Sclove, The Loka Institute
Adapted from Richard E. Sclove, Democracy and Technology ( New York and London: Guilford Press, 1995), p. 98; and Richard E. Sclove, "The Nuts and Bolts of Democracy: Democratic Theory and Technological Design," in Langdon Winner, ed., Democracy in a Technological Society (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1992), pp. 139-157.
Toward DEMOCRATIC COMMUNITY:
A. Seek balance between communitarian, individual, and transcommunity technologies. Avoid technologies that establish authoritarian relationships.
Toward DEMOCRATIC WORK:
B. Seek creative, flexibly schedulable, technological practices. Avoid meaningless or debilitating technological practices.
Toward DEMOCRATIC KNOWLEDGE:
C. Seek technologies that support democratic knowledge production and dissemination. Avoid technologies that promote impoverished or ideologically distorted understanding.
Toward DEMOCRATIC POLITICS::
D. Seek technologies that enable disadvantaged people & groups to participate fully in social life. Avoid technologies that support illegitimate hierarchy between groups, organizations, or polities.
To help secure democratic self-governance:
E. Restrict the distribution of adverse consequences (e.g., environmental and social harms) to within local political jurisdictions.
F. Seek relative local economic self-reliance.
G. Seek technologies (including an architecture of public space) compatible with globally-aware, egalitarian political decentralization and federation.
To help perpetuate democracy:
H. Seek ecological sustainability.
I. Seek "local" technological flexibility and "global" technological pluralism.
J. Avoid technologies that are vulnerable to catastrophic sabotage and to the attendant risks of civil liberties abridgement.
Support Loka with an on-line secure-site donation: Donate Now!
The Loka Institute