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FULL BOOK - Ugrin-Varga New theory - Csaba Varga

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FULL BOOK - Ugrin-Varga New theory - Csaba Varga FULL BOOK - Ugrin-Varga New theory - Csaba Varga Document Transcript

  • Emese Ugrin – Csaba VargaNew theory of state and democracy 1
  • Published by:Institute for Strategic Research, Hungary (ISR) www.strategiakutato.hu Translated by: Anna Born © Emese Ugrin, Csaba Varga, 2008 ISBN: 978-963-87857-01 2
  • ContentsPreface ................................................................................................................................... 7Introduction .............................................................................................................................. 10Chapter One: The glocal world and information age ............................................................... 13 1.1. The new concept of globalisation: functional and substantial globalisation................. 13 1.2. Localisation and ’life milieu’ ........................................................................................ 15 1.3. Glocal age and the new mediation level: the nation...................................................... 16 1.4. The four models of the present glocal age ................................................................... 17 1.5. The Information Age that comes to an end ................................................................... 18 1.6. The age of new technologies and artificial intelligence ................................................ 19 1.7. Age of new knowledge and critical approaches to democracy ..................................... 20 1.8. Information society as the next stage of glocalization .................................................. 23 1.9. The history of the three basic categories and their submodels...................................... 25 1.10. A new understanding of knowledge society at the end of the information age .......... 28 A restricted concept of knowledge in the information society......................................... 29 1.11. The expansion of network society and knowledge-based economy .................... 31 The era of knowledge-driven economy............................................................................ 33 1.12. Capital resources of the information society........................................................ 36Chapter Two: Developing the relationship between state and citizen ..................................... 39 2.1. Starting point in eight items .......................................................................................... 39 2.2. State and democracy – a solid first approach................................................................ 40 2.3. The theory of the administrative field comprehensively embedded in the individual, political, social and the collective consciousness................................................................. 42 2.4. Citizen – the theory of five prize-winning community citizen ..................................... 44 2.5. The theory of the state: types of state in the new theory of the state ............................ 45 2.6. Social theory – the theory of new civil society ............................................................. 47 2.7. Historical analysis – the basic model of three periods ................................................. 50 The model of the Industrial Age ...................................................................................... 50 The model of the Socialist Age ........................................................................................ 53 The model fo the Information Age................................................................................... 54 2.8. Democracy – before the new democracy is established............................................... 56 2.9. The functional theories of e-public administration ....................................................... 57Chapter Three: State, governing, democracy within the concepts of liberal democracy and inpractice ..................................................................................................................................... 63 3.1. The historical formation and definition of the modern state .................................... 63 Problems with the nation-state and its birth ..................................................................... 63 The inconsistencies of nation-state .................................................................................. 65 3.2. Democratic deficit or the post-totalitarian system ....................................................... 65 3.3. Minimal democratic procedures have been emptied of their content ........................... 70 3.4. The repositioning of state after the division of politics from society............................ 72 3.5. The possible road of change: the e-state and civilised country..................................... 74 3.6. Governance and the disfunctional government ............................................................ 76 3.7. The institutional and administrative nature of the state ................................................ 76 3.8. The struggle of the service providing state and the weak communication ................... 77Chapter Four: In the current of new paradigms ....................................................................... 81 4.1. The paradigm that looks back from the future and paradigm change ........................... 81 4.2. The accepted paradigm of sustainable development.................................................... 82 3
  • The anomalies of growth trends in the industrial society................................................. 82 Globalisation vs. Localisation in the 1990s ..................................................................... 83 The state has become a bone of contention between functional globalisation and localisation ....................................................................................................................... 85 4.3. Is a new „ideology” born on how to continue? ............................................................. 85 4.4. How does the theory of sustainable development develop? ......................................... 86 Sustainable state as a new state theory............................................................................. 87Chapter Five: New dimensions of general and enigmatic development .................................. 89 5.1. Space and time dimensions of changes ......................................................................... 89 5.2. The cognitive nature of information and its consequences ........................................... 90 5.3. Communication globalisation and information society ................................................ 91 5.4. Does knowledge society bring about primordial model change? ................................. 92 5.5. Redefining knowledge capital and the types of pulling forces of the era ..................... 94 Personal knowlegde.......................................................................................................... 94 Implicit knowledge........................................................................................................... 95 Knowledge as social capital ............................................................................................. 96 Utilized knowledge makes the world off the hinge.......................................................... 96 5.6. The laudation of innovation in the new era................................................................... 97 Innovation in the knowledge-based economy .................................................................. 97 5.7. Knowledge management in the new economy............................................................ 100 The economic approach – knowledge management ...................................................... 100 The social perspective: human resource management ................................................... 101Chapter Six: The present is already an intelligent development ............................................ 102 6.1. The comprehensive goals and the directions of intelligent development ................... 102 6.2. New approach to planning and the general alteration of the whole ............................ 103 6.3. Tangible limitations of intelligent development ......................................................... 104 6.4. Content management: the future branch of the age..................................................... 105 6.5. The infocommunicational public service system and the business type processing model.................................................................................................................................. 105Chapter Seven: The new paradigm of governance – the service providing state .................. 114 7.1. The service providing state and its various interpretations ......................................... 114 The economic perspective .............................................................................................. 114 New social perspective................................................................................................... 118 7.2. Differences between virtual space and cyber space .................................................... 119 7.3. Cyber-space is the scene of collective intelligence ..................................................... 124 The virtual community ................................................................................................... 124Chapter Eight: The new state as virtual community .............................................................. 126 8.1. The institutionalisation of virtual space in the horisontally organised state ............... 126 8.2. The problem of control – order and chaos .................................................................. 128 8.3. E-governance and e-public administration without popular fallacies ......................... 130 8.4. The historic development and global trends in e-governance..................................... 130 8.5. The hypotheses of various e-governance models....................................................... 131 8.6. E-governance with the continuously developing tools of ICT.................................... 133 8.7. The four players of e-public administration, or is this the new model?...................... 134 8.8. The elementary significance of knowledge centres .................................................... 135 8.9. E-local governance and e-democracy opens a door to the future................................ 136 The topical e-local governance programme ................................................................... 137 E-democracy – the possibility of participatory democracy............................................ 137Chapter Nine: Democracy theories and experiments ............................................................. 140 9.1. E-democracy – historical overview – visions and doubts ........................................... 140 4
  • 9.2. The extraordinary history of electronic democracy as an idea.................................... 140 The period of "Cybernet" ............................................................................................... 141 The age of tele-democracy ............................................................................................. 142 9.3. Tele-democracy, the age of cyber-democracy ............................................................ 143 9.4. Electronic democracy serving universal values .......................................................... 145Chapter Ten: Participatory democracy and/or e-democracy.................................................. 147 10.1. The breakthrough: participatory democracy ............................................................. 147 10.2. Understanding participatory democracy – the system of structured dialogue .......... 147 10.3. Participatory democracy – road towards the direct ................................................... 149 (e-)democracy ( from welfare society towards well-fare society) ..................................... 149 10.4. The summary of democracy development and the new, for the time being enigmatic model? ................................................................................................................................ 154 10.5. The local document of participatory democracy – or the "settlement/city charta" ... 156Chapter Eleven: The Aba model: development of local democracy, creation of a socialcontract ................................................................................................................................... 159 11.1. The presentation of civil representatives, analysis of their plans.............................. 161 11.2. The creation of participatory democracy in Aba and the chances of e-democracy (the history of events)................................................................................................................ 163 The official beginnings of the democracy (Village assembly, September 2004) .......... 164 Appeal for a local social contract ................................................................................... 164 Draft scenario of the local social contract (third version).............................................. 167 Letter to the citizens of Aba (February, 2005) ............................................................... 169 The programme of social contract in Aba ...................................................................... 170 The (festive) Day of the Social Contract........................................................................ 172 The establishment of the forum of civil representatives (April 2005) ........................... 173 11.3. The future scenario of Aba, until 2007-2010 ............................................................ 173 The Aba model ............................................................................................................... 177Chapter Twelve: The comprehensive vision of state, democracy and public administration 179 12.1. Rethinking the future, vision of the future, strategy of the future............................. 180 The reinterpretation of the concepts............................................................................... 180 12.2. Clearing the concepts of future planning and future development ........................... 181 12.3. Long-term future image up until 2020, a comprehensive future image until 2013 .. 182Chapter Thirteen: Paradigm changing new recognitions in the first third of the 21st century................................................................................................................................................ 183 13.1. The challenging timeliness and the alternative of knowledge society ...................... 183 13.2. The unexpected post-modernisation models ............................................................. 184 13.3. The accepted digital state and public administration vision ..................................... 185 13.4. Network state is the future, but what sort of network state? ..................................... 186 13.5. The cardinal question: participatory democracy and/or e-democracy?..................... 188 Exoteric and esoteric democracy theory ........................................................................ 190 13.6. On a taboo matter: the e-parliament .......................................................................... 191 13.7. The secret of the conceivable future: consciousness-guided (post)society and (post)democracy ................................................................................................................. 194Chapter Fourteen: The characteristics of conceivable future scenarios ................................. 198 14.1. The five types of complex future scenarios .............................................................. 199 14.2. Universal scenarios ................................................................................................... 200 14.3. Global scenarios ........................................................................................................ 200 14.4. National scenarios ..................................................................................................... 203 14.5. Local scenarios.......................................................................................................... 208 14.6. On the chances that the scenarios are going to be realised (or left unfinished) ........ 209 5
  • Chapter Fifteen: The combined future of the new state, new e-public administration andparticipatory democracy......................................................................................................... 212 15.1. What comes after new infocommunication techonologies have been introduced?... 212 15.2. New public administration and office work: k-public administration ..................... 213 15.3. Is new knowledge and new consciousness unavoidalbe in public administration? .. 216 15.4. Intelligent civil society – and what comes after it..................................................... 217 15.5. Finally, is the new state and new democracy vision born? ....................................... 218Chapter Sixteen: Diverging (and decisive?) alternatives of the near future........................... 221 16.1. The e-state and e-democracy scenarios..................................................................... 221 16.2. The European Union, - the odds of an e-federal state ............................................... 221 16.3. The alternatives of e-governance in Hungary until 2013-2015................................. 222 16.4. The scenarios of Hungarian regional, small regional, settlement e-local governance and e-public administration................................................................................................ 223 16.5. The chances of institutionalisation of e-democracy, e-election and e-referenda at the local level ........................................................................................................................... 224 16.6. Individual and community e-consciousness, e-realisations as the qualitative requirements of participatory e-democracy scenarios........................................................ 224Chapter Seventeen: Summary: risk factors and the future chances of creating a new world 226 17.1. The veritable long-term chances and hopes .............................................................. 227 17.2. Short term prognosis ................................................................................................. 231Major publications.................................................................................................................. 233 6
  • Preface Introduction to foreign readers This volume leans on the Hungarian and more broadely speaking, onEuropean experiences, although the crisis of the state and democracy model isnot exclusively a Hungarian, nor a European phenomenon. We wouldn’t beexaggerating even if we modestly claimed that the political-social crossroadshave become global. The sociological backround of the book is based on thesocial crises of Hungary, Central-Europe and the totality of the Europeancontinent. For theory creation, however, this regional observationexceptionally constitutes a point of advantage. For instance, in Hungary or inthe Central European states that have implemented political regime change, theuselessness of the Euro-atlantic democracy model is more clearly and sharplyvisible than in the Western European classical democracies and states. The authors belong to those exposed intelligentsia who have beeninstrumental to regime change in 1989/1990. Csaba Varga was one of theopinion leaders and social scientists of the Opposition Round Table whileEmese Ugrin art historian became a (Christian Democrat) MP in the Hungarianparliament after the regime change. Already at that time they warned that thepost-socialist state neither then, nor subsequently should opt for the 19thcentury form of capitalism as their universal future perspective. In 1989 this was scarcely understood and was accepted by even fewerpeople because during the euphoric times of the regime change everyoneseemed to have been satisfied with the slogans that had grown into mythicproportions, namely those of market economy and democracy. Not before long,however, it became obvious that while classical capitalism based on privateownership that replaced state capitalist socialism could function merely as avalid starting point, yet it would never bring real and permanent economic andsocial solutions (neither) to Central Eastern Europe. And it has also becomeclear that the empty, formal, false socialist „democracy” won’t be redeemed bycivil democracy either that is itself formal and rapidly emptying of content. Thetwo models of the past sharply oppose each other and one could support onlyone of them, - yet the real solution could only be brought about by a quantumjump-like new model. We should also note here that the Hungarian social-economic situationand climate is well suited to swiftly and spectacularly reveal the exhaustion andemptiness of the nineteenth-twentieth century market economy and worlddemocracy model at the end of the millenium. Moreover, the Hungarian andother Central European examples of crisis also unveil at a similar speed that the 7
  • classical European, even Euro-atlantic modernisation can hardly be continued.At the same time it is equally revealed (in a dramatic or perhaps pitiful fashion)that present-day leading civilisation world model has no future image andperspective. It has ended yet is it not ripe enough to be radically replaced? The first decade after the millenium, slowly coming to an end, has onlyfurther strenghtened this experience. Hungary with its struggles and search forthe future is becoming once again an example, in a double sense in fact: 1. Thenew political elite made up by the one-time opposition who fought for regimechange and the one-time second-rate leaders of the state party that had acceptedregime change are equally captive of the ideology of regime change and thusglobal perplexity just as the pre-1989 state party elites who directed the SovietEmpire that extended over half of the world and executed „surface” reformswere captive of their own system’s ideology and empirical practice. 2. Thecrises that cannot be concealed and the weakness of old or new ideologicalengagement make it possible that in Hungary and Central Europe the birth ofradically new state and democracy theories, models, programmes take place,not obstructed at all by the fact that the current political elites are generallyspeaking not open to new models and solutions. This is understandable, on the one hand, because serious opinion leaderintellectuals cannot be against democracy or constitutional governance sincethe experience of soft dictatorship called socialism is simply too close and wecannot retreat anywhere in the past. On the other hand, in Hungary neithersociety nor economy is in the spiritual and mental condition to understand andsupport a newer second regime change and face the prospective even greaterrisks. One needs to protect the new, liberal democracy and plan for a newmodel simultaneously; and likewise, the executive „power” controlled by theparliament should duly be protected while once again it is high time that thecentralising, power-centred governance model was replaced with somethingelse. The global (universal) crisis is clearly visible from Hungary since thoseinterest- and value groups who urge for the concealment of the crossroads aretoo weak to successfully accomplish and legalise the rescue of the system. It isan inspiring situation and state of consciousness so that new thinking mindsand theoretical programmes could come to light. Emese Ugrin and Csaba Varga take advantage of the new situation andmeet the new intellectual challenge. Luckily, neither wanted to be party orgovernment politician and thus both of them have worked primarily in researchfrom the mid-1990s onwards. Csaba Varga together with Emese Ugrin and fiveother eminent scholars founded the Institute for Strategic Reserch whichcurrently comprises sixteen research groups. Initially, their joint aim was toestablish a comprehensive future perspective for Hungary, yet soon after it has 8
  • become evident that neither Hungary nor the post-socialist region can beunderstood as isolated entities but only in the framework of broadercivilisation-cultural processes. This is why well before the millenium theybecame preoccupied with the globalisation-localisation theory or the theory ofinformation and/or knowledge society. This book that was written and published in Hungarian in 2007 andwhile is is primarily based on the Central Eastern European experience, itconceptualises a universal and new democracy and state theory which goesbeyond the borders of Central Europe and even the European continent. Whilethe book bears witness of wide knowledge on state and democracy literature,the authors do not adhere to the traditional way of thinking on demoracyresearch. The authors are typically the grounded actors of the new knowledgemarket as they represent researchers with wide intellectual horisons and inpossession of transdisciplinary knowledge and who are very knowledgeable onthe theories and practices of the digital state, e-public administration andelectronic democracy of the information age. All this while partly explains, partly does not offer reasons for the radicalnew alternatives of the information age. The cure the authors offer for the stateand democracy is universal and based on participation for consciousness-centred societies and political systems; for that matter, it can equally be appliedto Hungary, Europe or any other continent. The speciality of the volume is areport on a Hungarian democracy experiment that is centred on participationand aims at developing collective consciousness, - all of which has been startedoff in Aba. Hopefully our book will inspire debate among the interestedprofessionals of the knowledge world market and perhaps if offers hope formany developed and developing societies. History will not only continue butinstead of the illusion of an end a new elementary turn should be expected: thehistory of a veritable, new world model is about to begin in the comingdecades. 9
  • Introduction Present-day democracy is a post-totalitarian system, - is the basic assertion at the turnof the twentieth century. Democracy needs protection in order not to slide back into softdictatorship, yet it is the concept of democracy that needs re-examination so that we couldreach some sort of post-democratic phase. The prefiguration of the turn of the 20th centuryhas lasted a whole century: the post-democratic stage could either be regarded as participatory(as well as electronic) democracy, or as a global, new, ideal democracy based on polisconsciousness. The recognised path starts off from democracy and leads to democracy, albeitthe distance between the two democracy models is as great as it had previously been betweendictatorship and democracy. Furthermore, the new democracy model is not any less blurredthan the post totalitarian systems vision of itself. The Euro-Atlantic state- and democracy model shows spectacular signs of crisis.While the global politico-state arena has vested interests in masking the current crisis, it isthrough the efforts of local forces that the crisis is essentially managed. This, however, hasonly a minimal impact on stakeholders at a global and nation-state level. Behind the scenesonly very few people deny the necessity of radical reconsideration, whilst in practice there isnot even one politico-state group prepared to risk its current positions. The complexity of thesituation is adequately demonstrated that while the European Union expressly pushes for theintroduction of electronic democracy, the solution to the European Constitution or the reformof the European Commission still awaits a final answer. A new state and democracy theory is or the more necessary because the democracy ofnations/states cannot be interpreted isolatedly. Global democracy that spans over continents isgoing to come into existence as a coherent system simultaneously in the global and localsocial space-time, at mid-level as continental and partially nation-state democracy, while atthe lower local levels it is going to consist of a regional, micro-democracy. The same alsoholds true at the state level: the global state is a unified system (or the institutional systemwhich substitutes it), a continental state (union, confederacy, etc.) and a nation-state and alocal government. The multi-layered participatory democracy, the expansion programme of the local andcommunal democracy is already fifteen years old.1 On the whole, we can nevertheless statethat a unified system has not yet been set up, despite the fact that every country, continent orinternational organisation includes in its political mission the aim of "democratisingdemocracy". This, however, presupposes a new model of democracy. The idea ofparticipatory democracy was able to spread so fast first and foremost because globalisationand localisation processes have become ever stronger, they have entered the area of theeconomy. Due to new information technology systems, the effect of these processess hasmade its way into the social and cultural spheres, too. Here we are going to introduce the newconcept: the idea of knowledge and consciousness-based democracies.1 One of the first books published in Hungary about this topic is: Pál Bánlaky-Csaba Varga (1978): Azon túl ott atág világ (The Wide World There Beyond) Magvető, Quickening Time, 1979 10
  • In this context, the programme of participatory democracy should be viewed as thestrengthening of defence mechanisms of local world(s) that aim at preserving local socio-economic and enviromental interests, as well as local identity. On the other hand, thisprogramme also serves as a means to manage continental competivity of local and nationalsocieties. Since different regions of the world are differently affected by the newconsequences of glocalisation, the two strategic roles make the differences in its realisationcomprehensible. Another source of diversity is to be found in local democratic traditions, which aregreatly influenced by the socio-economic state of a given area and the operability of existinginstitutional systems, etc. The theory of e-governance, e-public administration and the new democracy is in itselfa new theory. If, for instance, e-public administration is a new type of public administration,then one of the foundations of the new theory is the practice of the new public administration,while another of its foundations is based on the basic principles of the programmes whichdesigned e-public administration. We should not believe that the theoretical conceptions ofeach and every new European development had been conceived prior to its implementationphase. For that matter, in Hungary the introduction of e-government and e-publicadministration had been declared prior to the development of a theoretical approach. Atpresent, nevertheless, there is neither an ongoing public debate on the crisis of pleasuresociety, the emptiness of current political models nor a search for the universal future. The theory of e-governance is, however, not merely and not exclusively a new publicadministration theory: on the one hand, the character "e" lifts the public administrativeapproach into another dimension, hence as of now we speak of an electronic and/or digitalpublic administration. Consequently, the theory has to extend to and include the new(infocommunicative) technology and the world perception that is inspired by new technology.On the other hand, e-public administration is going to fundamentally change, - or to put itmore carefully: may probably change, – the state itself, it will redefine what it means to be acitizen as well as assume a new type of relationship between state and citizen (and itscommunities). The theory of e-public administration (or k-public administration) willtherefore need to include theories on the state, citizens, society and democracy. What followsfrom the above is that sooner or later an integrated theory is going to evolve, whichcomprehensively examines and interprets basic questions, as well re-examines thedevelopment of public administration. E-governance and e-public administration are in the focus of our attention primarilybecause so much in Europe as in Hungary this developmental stage for the future seemsrealistic and feasible. The foreseeable perspectives, however, lead much further: they pointtoward a participatory state and participatory democracy, both of which are unimaginablewithout the evolution of the intelligent network society. All in all, the short-term timetablemight look the following: Phases of Elements PerspectivePhases: development Service state, Service state, partial digital e-governance which Established digital digital state and e- is simultaneously citizen-friendly, with island- state and all public like e-state governance and e-local authority; inclusive e-scaleFirst phase administration public administration added within the public framework of the traditional representative administration 11
  • democracy, partly based on a new and formalised social agreement e-governance and Partial European and national democracy Established e-Second limited e- reform, national, regional small area and democracy althoughphase democracy settlement e-democracy, with e-referenda, representative simultaneously simple or complex or democracy still in electronically participative democracy place Intelligent civil Intelligent (real and virtual) civil societies Intelligent civil society and social established at a global, continental and local society and networkThird phase particpative level are going to step over the framework of democracy democracy traditional democracy, or will enforce the new democracy and social model built on the participation and direct decisions in basic questions. Participatory A democracy and participatory state built Developed democracy and simultaneoulsy on individual decisions and civil participatoryFourth participatory state associations that are more loosely connected democracy, freephase led by society than political parties yet it is also a society and comprehensive real/ virtual democracy and communal citizen participatory state where the civilian citizen is who makes aware rather than manipulated and hence responsible becomes a responsible individual decisions Table 1. Developmental phases, ideas & hypotheses 2000-2050 (Csaba Varga) This book is partially a comprehensive attempt to elaborate at length a new andintegrated theory, whilst it is also going to raise every important theoretical issue with regardsto new state and democracy theories, new society and democracy theories as well as theprofessional and interdisciplinary theories of e-public administration. The book does not onlyrevolve around theoretical problems and solutions, but it also tries to formulate alternativestate and democracy development scenarios for the next thirty to forty years. Similarly, the book showcases perhaps the most comprehensive Hungarian attempt tolocal government and democracy, also known as the Aba model. Aba gained regional andnational fame and interest when it started its own experiment on the development ofparticipatory democracy in the summer of 2004, which the locals prefer to call democracyexperiment or social agreement programme for short. The essence of the Aba model is asfollows: it is based not on a single, but multiple representation of citizens combined withstructured dialogue and is further developed into shared local governance to finally achieveparticipatory and electronic democracy. One of the elements of this idea is thus the combineddevelopment of e-democracy and e-public administration. The gradual realisation of the Abamodel is of particular interest because it is a real practical example rather than merely atheoretical one. This book was not written as an answer to the current political crisis in Hungary. Yetthe increased national democratic deficit and the radical decrease of state capabilities jointlywith the crisis currently experienced in the development of Hungarian society may change theview of the involved parties, namely the minds of those who shape public opinion and are thedecision-makers in Hungary. January 1st, 2008 Emese Ugrin –Csaba Varga 12
  • Chapter One: The glocal world and information age As we have already pointed out in the introduction, we need to characterise theinformation age in order to adequately interpret the concept of e-public administration. This,however, is not possible to understand without a comprehenisve and more paradigmaticinterpretation of globalisation processes. This is also necessary because at the end of thetwentieth century, the information age stands for universal globalisation.1.1. The new concept of globalisation: functional and substantialglobalisation Suprisingly, even the Soviet Empire, or the group of COMECON countries can bedescribed as a paramilitary, semi-global, monopolist state system. The globalisation at end ofthe twentieth century has, however, far exceeded any previous models of globalisation (boththose that took place several thousand or several hundred years ago). This new type ofglobalisation embraces the entire global population and reaches to even the most hiddencorners of the third and fourth world. On the other hand, it also creates a new type ofuniversal space-time structure in human civilisation in a way that it simultaneously afunctional and substantional world process. Hence the notion of new globalisation concisely sums up the recognition that theconstantly uniting human civilization has reached the stage of functional globalisation. Thisglobalisation, however, does not only create a new world structure, but it also attempts to fillin the "vacuum" it generates with particular content. New globalisation thereforesimultaneoulsy entails globalisation and localisation, so it is not surprising that it isincreasingly called the glocal world structure. New globalisation is a dual process: it consists of a functional and substantional seriesof changes. By functionality we mean that the functional elements and processes of humancivilization (economy, society, ecology and their sub-systems, politics, state, military,education, etc) are globalising at a rate and extent never seen before. As a result, globaleconomy, global society, global military order, etc. have come into existence.Substantionality means that the people do no longer simply dream of a unified civilizationand culture, but that unification is now taking place at a rate and extent never experiencedbefore. This is why we can speak today of global knowledge and global culture with goodreason. While they differ greatly in their characteristics, the two great processes nonethelessalso strengthen each other. New functionalism unifies in such a way that largely identicaleconomic and political structures evolve in different countries and continents while newunification does not merge but rather preseves the culture and way of thinking of the peoplesand nationalities. Consequently, new unification also hinders and limits paramilitary orpolitical globalisation in a number of ways. It is therefore no coincidence that there is no exactsame state or public administration in the member states of the European Union; after all,each state and its public administration retains its own particuliarities. Yet it is beyond doubtthat the state belongs to the functional side of globalisation as it has long lost its substantionalcharacteristics. 13
  • It is Endre Kiss, the philosopher, who notes2: "According to a widely sharedinterpretation, globalisation is the science of such particular comprehensive problems, whichaffect the ENTIRE humanity in a new qualitative way, and its trends affect us existentially. Inthis spirit ecological problems become for instance legitimate areas of globalisation, as areother issues such as the state of raw materials, migration, shared healthcare problems of theworld, which know no boundaries any more, positive and negative world dynamics ofquestions regarding the population, the energy situation, the arms trade and drug crisis are allgreat dilemmas of integration and world economy. Another major interpretation does not tiethe issues and the whole phenomenon of globalisation to individual concrete and alwayssingularly appearing "global" questions, (or to a (partial) cluster made up of randomquestions), but instead it examines the structural and functional correlations of a new worldsituation in its ENTIRETY." Thus, globalisation theory does not simply aims to define somekind of partial and fragmented state of the world, it puts the functional, and, to add to EndreKiss train of thought, the substantial general theory of the post-millennium global-universalworld into words. Since globalisation would hang loose in the universal space were the base notstrenghtened and fuctional, thus it needs localisation process to strengthen and evolve on eachand every continent. This in itself is already a global process irrespective of the interests ofglobalisation and it happens even in modernised European countries that local regions aim atincreasing their independence to reduce their defencelessness. This is how in the new glocalworld order the state (and the nation-state) is situated in the middle, which, on the one hand,offers some protective shields for local regions, while on the other hand simultaneously helpslocal regions to integrate in the global stage. The new glocal world can also be described as quantitative and qualitativeglobalisation. By quantitative globalisation we first and foremost mean that globalisation goeson continually both spatially and functionally and eventually it is going to embrace the entirehuman civilization. Qualitative globalisation, as its name already suggests, could meanqualitative globalisation (although historically it has not been pre-determined whether thiswould be the outcome in reality) and this may necessarily entail the substantional unificationof the worlds countries and peoples (similarly to the above point, it has not yet been decidedfrom a historical point of view whether such an event would also imply a global state or aglobal army for that matter). When it became apparent for the very first time in the last decades of the twentiethcentury that soon the evolution of the information age is going to become an effective worldprocess, many have started to formulate short or long term utopias about how the informationage will simultaneously be the cause and the consequence, dynamitic and end product of thepresent globalisation. This process was essentially set off after the turn of the millennium,when the first the functional then the substantional globalisation acquired enormous powerresources with the spread of the info-communication networks and services. The post-millennium world is thus undoubtedly a glocal world, ever more so inEurope, including the less or moderately developed countries. The present glocal world iswears the robe of the information age, and its public political name is knowledge-basedeconomy and society.2 Endre Kiss (2005) Magyarország és a globalizáció (Hungary and Globalisation) Kodolányi, Székesfehérvár);Endre Kiss (2006) A globalizáció jövője és/mint tudástársadalom (The Future of Globalisation and /asKnowledge Society) (www.pointernet.pds.hu/kissendre) 14
  • 1.2. Localisation and ’life milieu’ At the beginning of the twentieth century, in the semi-global state of the worldlocalities were in dual subjection; on the one hand, they depended on continentalsuperpowers, on the other hand, on the states of the industrial age and their nationalisedpolitics and societies. We may call this stage the age of subjugated European localities. This isa universal phase although local authorities played an increasingly important role in somestates. At this point, local economies have become increasingly integrated into the partialglobal systems of the continents. At first sight the concept of globalisation is to be understood by focusing, within theglobal structure, on local levels in the local structure. Nowadays in Europe and in Hungary wecall these places the scenes of localisation (starting from larger and ending with smallerelements) as is the region, the county, the small areas, the town and the village. Presentlyabout twenty to thirty settlements make up a small area in Hungary, which is almost alwaysheld together by one or more towns; in all, there are almost one hundred and eighty smallregions. In Hungary counties are currently reckoned with; besides Budapest, there arenineteen of them altogether. Consequently, by and large ten small areas belong to every oneof them; last but not least, the nineteen counties constitute the seven regions of Hungary(except perhaps the region that unites Budapest and Pest county); all in all, every region isconsists of three counties. Just like in Hungary, in every country, local regions (all seven of them) are the basicunits and balance of the global world. If there is no localisation there is no globalisationeither, or if there is one, then it is of a kind that sooner or later becomes unsustainable. Theopposite of this arguments holds true as well: without globalisation local regions wouldremain isolated and introverted. The relationship between the global and local worlds canvary greatly: the biggest danger of today could be that globalisation prevails over the locallevels and thus the subordination of local worlds continue. However, the reverse negativeprocess is not likely to occur, that is, that local worlds prevail over globalisation. It is so mucha task as an opportunity to find some kind of a balance between the two levels. The new,interactive internet-based information and communication revolution is one option thatprovides opportunities. For the sake of a more in-depth analysis, however, the internal structure andcharacteristics of local regions are also worth summing up. Within the framework oflocalisation theory we argue that local worlds are made up of three structural elements: theupper life milieu, the lower life milieu and the internalised life milieu. The notion of lifemilieu is introduced here in order to adequately account for the analysis of the local worlds; itis significant insofar that it is the local life milieu that the individual as well as the communitydirectly relates to. We find the region and the county at higher levels, which could bedescribed increasingly as regional upper society. Similarly, the concept of lower life milieucan be broken down into two structural elements: the environment and the directlyexperienced world. The environment (that is, the small area, the centre of the small area, thetown or village of residence) is the social milieu in which the individuals live day in and dayout. The notion of the direct world refers to – symbolically speaking - the"hot reality" (circleof friends, family, etc.), the everyday experiences of the individual. One of the novelties ofthe locality theory is that we examine the imprint of the local world and the internal reality ofthe individual. To put it differently, we focus on the the personal dimensions of the localworld. 15
  • In the global context, a network of local worlds was born as a continuation andacceleration of localisation. All of these are different realities. In the world structure, theyrepresent an independent and stable pole, which presumably is going to strengthen in thedecades to come. In the localization process we can also distinguish between quantitative andqualitative localisation. Past decades have primarily brought about the dominance of thequantitative processes, and it will be the great task of the first half of the twenty-first centuryrealise the qualitative localisation in human civilisation. Today numerous developments pointto this direction; the independence and self-assertion of local regions increasingly grows, asthey begin to think in terms of new types of "city states" local "states" "regional states” andmicro-republics. This holds also true for Hungary, and this is what the more advanced regionsand smaller areas strive for, whether they admit it or not.1.3. Glocal age and the new mediation level: the nation We can still regard the 1980s and 1990s as a time when globalisation and localisationwere on separate although parallel tracks, yet it became clear already before the turn of themillennium that globalisation and localisation also build upon and complement each other.This is why we can state that today there is no globalisation without localisation, and viceversa. If we consider the sphere between globalisation and localisation at the level of nation-states, then this level is so much element, disc, or even as a bridge for mediation thatstructures the world. There are several categories generally accepted to describe the dual process ofglobalisation and localisation: the best terms are perhaps glocalisation or glocal. Thiscontracted category expresses in a precise way that globalisation and localisation are linkedtogether. It is also worth noting, however, that in the information age it is going to becomenormal practice that globalisation has a direct impact on localisation, and that localisation also"skips" the nation-state mediaton level. Nations do not dissapear, neither do they remaincaptive of the prevailing nation–state. Instead, more than ever, nations are going to becomecommunities, linked by common culture and high-level consciousness. The content of thisconsciousness is knowledge. In an ideal scenario, eventually we will be able to speak ofknowledge- and cultural nation. This type of nation is first and foremost no longer introvert,no longer on the run, defensive or closed; quite the contrary, it is open, it is strong and rootedin itself, it does not offensive and it is proud to shows itself to the world. It does not aim todivide, it integrates the people both in time and in space. It dates back to thousands of yearsand looks forward to endless spatial time. This triple process (global sphere, nation-state level, local sphere) has not yet beendeveloped and accepted. However, we propose a new concept on similar lines: globe-natio-loc (globalisation-nationalisation-localisation). Well, we admit that this word is slightly hardto pronounce and hard to learn by heart. Yet we emphatically emphasise that a new type ofglobalisation-localisation as well as nationalisation is taking place with a new content. Forthese reasons a newly created and pertinent concept will be likely introduced in the next fewyears. Regardless of the name of this concept, we confidently state that Hungary, or in thebroader perspective, Central Europe has reached the glocal age, which has also the middlenation level, too. 16
  • 1.4. The four models of the present glocal age The new glocal age is not to be placed outside history, on the contrary, it is deeplyembedded in history. It has not happened unexpectedly, nor will it end unexpectedly. Afterthe turn of the millenium, the glocal age tries to break away from the captivity of theindustrial and, at times, post-industrial age. However, this process takes far more time andeffort than the theoreticians of the information age might want to think. The reason for this isthat the industrial age, a world model itself, also struggles for subsistence. The present newglobalisation, nationalisation and localisation simultaneously embodies the combination andjoint existence of the three world models (Industrial Age, Information Age, Knowledge Age).Together they make up the prevailing world model, whilst there are very sharp differencesbetween them. Industrial Age monetary industrial society pleasure society Information Age Knowledge Age information innovational knowledge society society Consciousness Age consciousness society (idea ) Table 2: The universal four age model (Csaba Varga) The industrial age and especially its end, the monetary industrial age, has created theconsumer-centred pleasure society4 model in the Euro-Atlantic zone by partially integratingcertain advantages of the information age. The central aim of this era is consumption, thus itsbenchmark is consumption, too. The individual just as the community or a country measuresthe state of its development and success by its position in the global market of consumption.Pleasure society is also called risk society3. Pleasure society at present feeds the personal3 Ulrich Beck (1986) Die Risikogesellschaft. Auf dem Weg in eine andere Moderne. Frankfurt/Main(Suhrkamp Verlag); (2003); In Hungarian: A kockázattársadalom. Út egy másik modernitásba (Risk society),Századvég Kiadó, Budapest. 17
  • hunger for pleasure, yet due to the nature, standard and manner of the service, the failure ofpleasure society is guaranteed. Yesterday’s Europe marked the "invention" of the industrial age: the spread ofindustrialised mass production, the urbanised city, the representational democracy (massdemocracy), science (or rather: normal science), the rational materialist way of thinking andwidespread alienation. The information age should be seen as the end of the industrial age:monetary capitalism is replaced by information capitalism, representational democracy and itsinstitutions empty of meaning, politics is generally deconstructed, financial and culturalglobalism spread all over the world. Each age concludes with total disillusion and the loss ofsense in the future. At the time of political regime change Hungary too, opted not for thefuture but for the past when it embraced the industrial age, industrial society and its ways ofoperation. Representational democracy is the democracy of the industrial age. The post-industrial global age and the present democracy model are not on good terms with each other.Globalisation either neutralises or empties democracy, or, a new type of democracy will beable to sucessfully cope with globalisation and it will put it under its control.1.5. The Information Age that comes to an end Having briefly clarified what we mean by globalisation and glocal age, let us turn ourattention to the relationship between the information age and the new glocal world. From ahistorical perspective globalisation cannot be considered a new phenomenon: in the last fiveto seven thousand years several types of (usually partial and limited) globalisations had takenplace. These types of globalisations were first and foremost the result of a more or lessimperial, occassionally global imperial aspirations. One of the novelties of the globalisationthat has been accelerating since the second part of the twentieth century was that for the firsttime in the history of humankind globalisation attempted to ”conquer” the entire humancivilisation. The quantitive expansion of globalisation, however, can not be imagined withoutthe existence of the Information Age. The technologies and services of the Information Agemake it possible for the global economy and attached policies to connect the entire world andattempt to make it a uniform political and economic area. This functional globalisation hasnot come to an end yet, nonetheless, we can assert with conviction that the Information Age isthe newest type of globalisation, or to put it differently, the Information Age is thesimultaneous globalisation and localisation. Lately, we have heard much about new economy, the central element of the glocal age.The concept was imported from the US to Europe; although not fully, yet at intervals itcorresponds to knowledge-based economy. It is the essence of economy that has changed:from the economy of industrial age we crossed the threshold to the economy of theinformation age. To quote Nicholas Negroponte: ”As business activity globalises and theinternet spreads around the world, so are we witnessing the evolution of a single, uniformdigital workplace. From the point of view of storing and manipulating bites, the significanceof geopolitical borders all but have completely disappeared…”4Therefore, we are one stepaway from the universal digital world, the economically coherent universe of existence. Thismodel, however, only takes mass production into consideration: not only shoes or tertiary4 Nicholas Negroponte (2002): Digitalis létezés (The Unfinished Revolution) Typotext, Budapest. p.179. 18
  • degrees are currently mass produced, but information and the mediatized reality is also for theconsumption of the masses. This glocal age is necessarily moving toward a new social system, too. Earlier onsociology used to report mainly on the structures, classes, strata and subgroups of society as ifthese elements were to constitute the knowledge of the entire society. These elements,nonetheless, are only the structural features of society, and merely by taking these elementsnobody is able to understand in its entirety what society really means. Western European andAmerican authors wrote a number of books on social theory in the last couple of years.5Although at present we might know perhaps more about society as a whole, the scientificexplanations and standardisation of different sociological trends still needs to be developed.6There is no complex, unified social theory in Europe, even though we use such notions ascommunication society, linguistic society, information society, knowledge-based grouprelations, dynamics, and virtual social phenomenon systems. Regardless of the philosophicalviewpoint, the picture of the entire social theory will simply not aggregate.7 In the meantime,however, the mindset of industrial society has been emptied of meaning. Whilst informationsociety creates another (virtual) society, we have all but lost our sense of direction; althoughwe might add that luckily, we have also left the illusions of society and community behind. For some it might come as a surprise that some scientists of information societyalready predict the end of information society. Nicholas Negroponte holds following opinionon the matter: ”We have wasted too many words and too much time by stressing thesignificance of the transition from the industrial age to the post-industrial or information age.In the meanwhile noone noticed that the age of information has come to a close and we havestepped into the age of post-information”.8 We can definitely agree with this statement. Rightfrom the start, before the society of information age could have fully developed, it becameapparent that it needs to be reconsidered and stepped over. The surviving industrial age shallbe blamed for its failure, too. The turn of the millenium unmasked the industrial age for good; its new version iscalled the Information Age. The boundary, however, is sharp between the two: somethingdifferent is going to soon commence.1.6. The age of new technologies and artificial intelligence Before we can start discussing the new world models and their chances thereof, it isimportant to note that the industrial age was disrupted most spectacularly by the expansion ofnew technology. In the last few decades the industrial technology produced numeroustechnological innovations.5 As far as we are concerned, we do not believe that the issue can be solved by the concept of net society as it isused by Manuel Castells frequently: ’These trends are equal to the triumph of the individual, yet it is not clearhow much load they put on society. However, we should take into consideration that the individuals supportedby the new technical opportunities are really able to reconstruct the social interaction patterns and they create anew form of society, the net society.’ (p.139.)6 Imre Kovács ed.. (2006): Társadalmi metszetek (Social sections) Napvilág Kiadó7 There are good foreign and Hungarian examples. Frank L. Szemjon (2005) The Intellectual Basis of Society(Kairosz); In Hungary Elemér Szádeczky-Kardoss could have become a significiant turning point with his book:Elemér Szádeczky-Kardoss (1989) Universal Connection of Phenomena. Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest.8 Nicholas Negroponte: idem p. 129. 19
  • Most of the Hungarian intellectual elite has had an anti-technological bias for a longtime; new technological results were keenly interpreted as an inhuman process. In Hungarytheory of technology is not even always taught at polytechnic universities, even though wecannot correctly interpret the history of the last twenty years, the regime change and thefollowing 10 to 12 years without an understanding of the numerous changes in economy,society, consciousness and human dimension that were all forced upon us by technologicalchanges. Two global powers such Japan and Germany, regularly issue technological forecastsfor the next twenty years.9 These elaborate publications of several thousands topics forecastthe changes in the fields of science, research and technology for the next two decades. Mostof their predictions held so far proved to be correct. These forecasts are very serious and well founded. It is therefore clearly predicted thatthe technology of the next twenty years will have no resemblence of the technology ofyesteryears, nor that of today. Already within a decade, the personal computers and digitalcameras currently in use are going to become the size of a pen or watch, so the ones that weuse now will be out-of-date. More importantly, as a result of human-centred computing thecomputer is going to become an intelligent assistant.10 At this stage we have not evenmentioned the expected results of nanotechnology. We may choose to fear the coming superrevolutions of technology, yet we can have a different attitude towards technologicalchange11. Being aware of the immenent changes means that we can get prepared for them, andwe should try to capitalise on new technologies. We presuppose that in this field enormousbreakthroughs are to be expected. It is in this sense of the word that we claim that artificial intelligence is going to play akey role not only in the the modernisation of the state but also in education and civilisation.We wonder whether even one teacher or instructor has any idea how s/he would put artificialintelligence at work at their facilities and institutions. All in all, new technology is responsible for providing a helping hand so thatinformation society should not sink into the mud of the industrial society. Yet there is anothersubtantial matter that the information society shall have to answer: Is knowledge brought bynew technologies used in an adequate manner?1.7. Age of new knowledge and critical approaches to democracy Contrary to the opinion expressed in other publications, we claim that the mostimportant new feature of (let us momentarily forget about the maturity of) the new age is newknowledge created rather than new technology, or new economy, or a new type of society weare going to live in. This holds true even though at best we are only at the threshold of the ageof knowledge. It is a new phenomenon that the total knowledge of mankind doubles every 1.5to 2.5 years; meanwhile, it is often the case that the knowledge of past decades essentiallyreplaces the knowledge of the last 2000 years.9 Zoltán Pálmai (2002): On Technological Trends. (e-World, 2002/Special Issue); TEP, TechnologicalForecasting Programme (www.om.hu )10 Michael L. Dertouzos (2002): Félkész forradalom: útban a megszelidített számítógépek felé (Semi-finishedRevolution. En route to Domesticated Computers) Typotext, Budapest, p.48.11 It is not suprising that many are already imagining circuits built in the brain or chip installed in the brain, sincethese technological developments are almost ready. Michael L. Dertouzos (2002) p.49. 20
  • The grouping and the standardisation of knowledge may be the subject-matter of awhole new investigation.12 In the age of knowledge society it seems reasonable to interpretold-new knowledge according to their functional and substantial roles, just as it is interpretedin the case of globalisation, for that matter. The summary of functional roles records themanner knowledge becomes social capital and the speed with which it spreads around in thenew glocal world. This is why we distinguish among global, continental (in our case:European), national and local knowledge. There is a relatively large amount of tresspassamong knowledge types. This is accounted by the fact that the global world has entered into amulticultural age; yet, all the same, in the long run a significant amount of discrepancy isgoing to continue to exist between the cultures of human civilisation, whether in the domainof knowledge, religion or value systems. New types of knowledge first and foremost are grouped substantially. We attach moreimportance to the real values and contents of knowledge than to any social practice;knowledge that is independent from time and space, found in it most pure forms, independentof the understanding and applications of a period. That is why we can distinguish knowledgefrom reality/non-reality running infinitely in every direction; we thus have knowledge, forinstance, about God, materials, space and time, society, mankind or, for that matter, ourknowledge of the methodology of thinking. Coming from this perspective it does not matterwhether the particular piece of knowledge was created by religion, art or science. Another way of grouping substantial knowledge is to arrange it according to thecontent and carrier of knowledge. The dominant aspect of this logic is the collectiveevaluation of formal and contentual characteristics of knowledge. That type of knowledgebelongs to the formatted publicly shared knowledge, which manifest itself in most languagesboth linguistically and conceptually and which almost always has a uniform meaning. Thiskind of knowledge is on the other hand widely used in human civilisations, and the widevariety of such knowledge forms the the basic condition of the existance for human culture.This is the commonly shared knowledge of humankind, which of course linguisticallytranslates into a large amount of variations. If this formatted commonly shared knowledgesuddenly vanished or ceased to exit, the humanly constructed world and humankind as suchwould be doomed. The commonly shared knowledge constitutes the elementary, cardinalcondition of life on Earth. It is a recent recognition that no current valid democracy theory exists. There aranumerous different kinds of reasons that account for this recognition: 1. The principle of deformed representative democracy: a valid democracy theory doesnot exist because we do not live in the classic democracy of Ancient Greeks. Present-daydemocracy is far from being adequate especially so because its performance is functionallyweak; 2. The principle of non-democracy in the robe of democracy: the model that hasevolved in the last decades represents such a type of global representative democracy model,which exceeds the mature principles of representative democracy; 3. The principle of facade democracy: for the time being it is comprehensible only fora handful of people that the practice of democracy, which is deeply embedded in the social,12 Alfred J. Ayer (1956): The Problem of Knowledge, Penguin Books 21
  • intellectual and cultural processes and has been defined for instance by Alexis Tocqueville13isoften but a facade democracy; 4. The paradox principle of democracy: various interest groups hold onto power bysubtly shorting out the principles of democracy while exploiting and using the institutionalsystem of democracy to its fullest; 5. The principle of democratic deficit leads to weakening of action: the global,continental and national operability is seriously weakened and its legitimacy thereofdrastically questioned due to the new concentration of the dominant interest groups; 6. The principle of exporting ambiguous democracy: the world of developeddemocracies export an ambiguous, limited type of democracy to the lesser developed orundeveloped world; 7. The principle of democracy protection without reflection: many experts andknowledge groups rightly protect the established principles and practices of democracy whilethey do not or very reluctantly accept that the Euroatlantic democracy model needs reform; 8. The principle of lack of democracy awareness: in developed countries self-criticismand critical thinking in general is superficially developed and therefore there is no properoversight of processes which leads to limited or non-existing democracy awareness; 9. The principle of lack of future perspective in democracies: in developed ormoderately developed countries there is no future perspective in people towards democracyand therefore people have no idea about what is there to come; 10. The principle of democratic minimum that has not been lost: even so most statesattempt or are forced to comply with minimum standards of democracy at all levels, or at leastto keep up the appearance of it; 11. Unfinished arguments: We could list numerous other causes to account for the lackof new theories. The problem can also be approached from the angle what is happening right now inthe democracies of the world and in their social realms? • Reality belongs to a network or system of realities. It is self-evident that paralellymore realities exist than the one the actual political democracy is based upon; • The central stage of democracy cannot be limited to the (nation-state)political/state level; the requirement today is to build an outstretched, multi-level democracy; • The role of virtual reality has increased in the real orientations and decisions ofdemocracies. Meanwhile, the issue of democracy in the age of virtual reality has not yet beenraised; • In order to hold onto power for a shorter or longer period of time, the policialelits are willing to apply a range of anti-democratic tools and technics, which are contrary tothe ideals of democracy, justice and expedience; • Democracy once again is not only the public and/or concealed game of therepresentatives of dominant power groups, but also terrain where civil and social groups andorganizations who were left out from the political elit fight for power; • The principles/practices of democracy should not avoid managing the fightbetween groups who hold institutionalised power and others who lack such kind of power; • Democracy does not only consist of rational institutions and set of policies, but aset or a system of comprehensive knowledge, mentality and consciousness, which goesagainst the uniformity of institutions and pocesses to a large extent;13 Alexis de Tocqueville (1993) Az amerikai demokrácia (The American Democracy), Európa Könyvkiadó,Budapest. 22
  • • Interest-based policy/democracy is corroded and often ignored by the informationage and age of knowledge just about to commence and its intrinsical change of paradigm; • Albeit participatory democracy is a social requirement, even civil society actorsare insufficiently prepared for direct, personal participation. We could go on listing and interpreting the new phenomena for a considerable amount oftime. It is hard to deny, however, that even after the turn of the millenium human civilisationand culture has remained a military, political, economic power system operated by centralisedstates that are controlled by individuals and society to a limited extent. This is the main reasonwhy global risk society exists. We are simultaneously at a verge of a universal-localbancruptcy and the dawn of universal-local new alternatives and hopes that have little incommon with old paradigms. The question remains: for how long can this be maintained?1.8. Information society as the next stage of glocalization If the information age and within it the model of information, post-information orknowledge-led society is the latest stage of globalisation or rather the latest development ofglocalisation, then it is evident that the content and concept of the information age is one ofthe central categories of the information age. The extended name of the new concept issustainable, innovative information society. It has not been decided yet wheter the political, economic, social or cultural conceptsof a specific period are in themselves useful while giving a comprehensive interpretation of acertain period. Nevertheless, for the content of information age we find primarily thosecategories useful that interpret social processes rather than economic and cultural concepts.This is why we distinguish between global, continental (that is: European), national and localknowledge(s). In this sense information society is a general concept, which can be deducedfrom the category of information age, and which serves as a basis for other categories such asthe e-economy, e-state to be later discussed. The concept of information society can be equally determined on the basis ofinformation technology, economy, politics or power, society, ecology or for instanceinformation theory. If we claimed above that information society is a generative concept, thenin this case none of the approaches that offer partial solutions are useful as a starting point. Toput it the other way around, we have to come up with an interactive category whichsummarises and arranges every approach into one system. The starting point of the first generative approach is that of the information age asworld model, which is a concept that stands above information society. In this case it mightsuffice to state that information society designates the social paradigm change of theinformation age. Thus it includes the interpretation of global society generated by the newworld structure and with the help of which the concept of new global society that standsabove local and national societies can be interpreted. If this generative approach is a validone, then the information society is primarily a global and local, information-based socialparadigm change. The second valid approach could be to characterise information society with conceptsthat name capital goods. This category presents us with some difficulties because we mustgive priority to intellectual capital, or to put it differently, knowledge capital and thus the 23
  • analysis becomes a twofold process. One of the processes details the ways knowledge capitalhas become a central actor contrary to other, more traditional types of capital such as theeconomic and/or financial capital; it can be obviously performed only on the condition thatwe consider that knowledge capital has become equal to the other forms of capital and has anactual exchange value in the financial market-centered new capitalism. The interpretation ofthe second process focuses on the contents of intellectual capital and the extent it is applicableand the ways it becomes personal and social capital. If we hold this logic true, theninformation society is nothing but the transformation of knowledge capital into personal andsocial capital. The third concept, which we could hold true is based on information theory. It focuseson the first element of the complex concept of information theory and it attempts to clarify thedifferences between data, information, idea, knowledge and decision. Consequently, itsubscribes to the widely shared view that information society is no more or nor less than theproduction, transmission, marketing and exchange of information. This approach, however,does not distinguish between information, ideas and knowledge therefore it interpretes the ageonly at the lowest level, that is: the level of information and data. Moreover, it is thisapproach that attempts to define the information age unequivocally as a new technological ageand so the change in the digital, info-communicational network and the system of services andmaterials is considered the most important feature of this new state of the world. In ouropinion, however, although their content is accurate and justifiable, the two interpretationalattempts do not cover the full content of information society. While interpreting information theory and information industry, basic concepts areessential to define. Data: consciousness-linguistic configuration, carrying the meaning of acognition unit; Information: determines the relation between two data items, thus it is an idea(a message, news, a piece of information about reality); cognition: connected, systematised,construed piece of information; knowledge: interpreted and integrated system of cognition, acomprehensive vision on reality and all its dimensions (which simultaneously make up a newvision of reality); decision: a knowledge system used to alter reality and its application andchange it into social and personal capital for the sake of knowledge. The unavoidable argument against the logical path just descibed is the following: inevery age information and knowledge are of a significant value and so it is insufficient toclaim that the information age equals the age of information. This is a justifiable counter-argument. It is the characteristic of this age is that information can be converted into analogueand digital signs with the help of new technologies. Sign: information transmitted by humanmade means. So it is the speciality of information society that both theoretically andpractically indefinite amount of information can be produced and transmitted as signs. Herecomes the turning point which marks this period: the information age this way and by thismeans produces information on a never seen before scale and so information trade mightbecome the main sector of economy in the future. By the same token the large amount ofinformation/knowledge available revolutionalises so much society as the individual. The third approach leads us to the concept that information society is the society ofsigns transmitted by human made means, and therefore it is potentially merely a cognitionsociety. It is the realisation of information society at a higher level, while knowledge societyis already the society of interpreted systems of cognition, which potentially does not transmitinformation signs, but knowledge signs. Only in this way it has the potential to change thelives of individuals and societies. 24
  • The fourth interpretation clearly distinguishes between between information andknowledge society from a historical and contentual point of view.1.9. The history of the three basic categories and their submodels With the help of the newly clarified concepts we have come to the point where we caninterprete the global-universal models of (recent) past, present and future in a more accuratefashion. If we take into account the aspects of analysis mentioned above, we are able toformulate the definition of an integrated information society, which can stand firm both in theshort and long run. The main point thereof is that after the turn of millenium we areincreasingly thinking in terms of sustainable and innovative information society in Europe. The details only show the spectecular difference between societies led by informationor knowledge although – pay attention! - this difference does not include the basic changes inthe operation of these societies. The basic, interdiscipliniary concepts may be used as an entry for governmental andsocial plans and discourses. First of all let us take a closer look at the concept of theinformation society.Information society: Information society is the symbolic name of an era in which the economy, society andthe culture is predominantly based on the production, exchange and marketing of information;that, however, in itself is not sufficient for the information society to come into existence. Thegreat novelty of the age of information society is that the information, whether analogue ordigital, can be produced and utilesed as signs and so we could with good reason callinformation society sign society, too. This is why information society simultanuously meanslarge amount of information or digital content, new information communication technology,new information-driven economy and new information-based society. The global and localsociety and its structure is fundamentally changing due to the joint and wide application ofnew technology, the spread of new economy and the trade in new types and large amount ofinformation. Information-based economy and the information system organizes social groupsinto a system all around the world, and by such means different and new junctions are createdin the new, dynamic global system. All the same, information-based economy and theinformation system rejects those social segments, states and regions that are less succesful inproducing and trading information. A basic condition of a successful information society andeconomy is the advanced state of the social receptive agent and the social embededness of adeveloped information economy and infrastructure. Information society and economy comesinto existence only on the condition that the majority of society has access to new informationand communication technologies, and possesses the necessary knowledge and skills needed touse these means. Information society as actual state is attractive and has a dynamic impactonly if it is on the one hand sustainable and the other hand innovative.Knowledge society: Knowledge society produces unequivocally new types of economic, social andknowledge markets all around the world. Moreover, it also creates economic and social 25
  • structures that are based on networks. Following the information communication revolutionsin creating new technologies, human civilisation has become a globally standardisedfunctional system at the beginning of the third millenium, which in itself constitutes a newstage of social development. In this era the structure and operation of society is determined by the movement anddistribution of knowledge as well as its processing and correct application. Knowledge societyis stratified based on the ways this knowledge has been acquired; knowledge that is limitlessand potentially equally open to everyone creates equal opportunities. On the contrary,differences in opportunities are created along lines of possessing knowledge or lackingknowledge. As a norm knowledge is a new social quality: knowledge society is organizedefficiently, filling the individual and community with content and quality. It is a new socialsystem in which innovative learning turns information into knowledge, knowledge intoaction, or at least it opens up an opportunity to do so. This is why the future prospect ofinformation society is the model of knowledge society, which is a potential new quality: it isnot information, but knowledge-based, a network, it is the name of a type of society thattempers the glocal digital gap. Knowledge society brings positive changes not only in theexternal factors such as economy and society, but also in the consciuousness and awarenessof individuals and communities.Knowledge-based economy: It is the name of a new economic model, which simultaneously fulfills and changes theindustrial – post-industrial and financial economy. In the knowledge-based economy the mostimportant element of economic growth and productivity is knowledge, which is embodiedprimarily in the intellectual capital of technology and humans alike. The expression’knowledge-based society’ was born from the acknowledgement and recognition of the effectof knowledge and technology exercised on economic growth. The production processes ofknowledge society are based on the utility and distribution of information and knowledge.Knowledge-based economy is invariably a market economy and the most importantcoordinational factor is the knowledge market. In the knowledge-based economy growth inwelfare, efficiency and employment is determined by knowledge intensity and the dynamicdevelopment of high technology. The first step in the changes initiated by the post-industrialeconomic model: modern economy, stepping out of its own medium, makes non-economicsubsystems such as education, healthcare, society, etc. part of the economic subsystem. Thesecond step of the change: knowledge producing, stepping out of its own medium, occupiesthe expanded economy, which is currenlty led by the knowledge market. There is noknowledge-based economy without knowledge-based society. This holds true also vice versa.Moreover, in the information age knowledge production, knowledge-based economy andknowledge society are the driving force behind one another.The history of the concept A new opportunity of defining information society comes from no other source thanhistorical modelling or by analysing the development of historical models. Some elementshave already been mentioned. If we describe the last two to three thousand years of humandevelopment with the help of concepts such as feudalism, industrial age (and its sidetrack:Socialism) and information age, then we can draw a few important conclusions from history.First of all, information age is as big and important period in human history as feudalism was;secondly, the replacement of industrial age by information age is approximately as big a 26
  • change in terms of world models as, when at the end of the Middle Ages the first formationsof industrial age replaced feudalism; the third consideration being that in this case we have togive a broader definition of information age than any of its internal phases, such asinformation society. Dominant elements of the Historical-social submodels1960s-1980s: decades of the information (technological) society1980s-1990s: decades of the information economy (new economy)2000 - 2010s: decades of the information society2010 - 2020s: decades of knowledge led society Table 3. Historical submodels of the information age (Csaba Varga) According to this logic, the internal phases and stages of development of the nearfuture are already visible. The information age started out as a technological change in thethird quarter of the twentieth century. As far as we are concerned, we prefer to call this erainformation society, although we must add that it was in the 1960s and 1970s that the dreams,utopia and future prospects of the information age were drafted. It was a time whentechnological changes were enthusiastically greeted. The next developmental phasecommenced sometimes in the 1980s and 1990s: at this stage the information age saw itselfprimarily as new economy and it was in this way that the money-centred global economy ofnew capitalism tried to aggregate a much larger than average profit. The development ofinformation age as society became possible only in the mid-1990s and even nowadays it onlytakes place fragmentarily. It was only in the second part of the 1990s that the question whether the informationage had primarily changed into a knowledge-based age became part of the agenda and itsveritable efficiency could be measured by understanding to what extent new knowledge, newscience and new ways of thinking aggregated by human civilisation were taken over and usedin the information age. (This is when the concept of e-content was introduced in the ideologyof information society. This concept is partally narrower and partially broader than knowledgeindustry, which serves to name and develope content industry). We can talk about continentaland state ambitions only after the turn of the millenium, which grasp and interpreteinformation age as a new social model or social change in standards. It will take aconsiderable amount of time until information societies that follow or exist along each otherare going to compile an integrated, information age model, which in turn is probably going tolead to knowledge age. From the reviewed stages and arguments we can conclude that one can distinguishbetween at least two large models within the information age: the age of information societyand/or knowledge society. The information age and the knowledge age. The two ages cannotbe sharply separated from one another; they exist side by side. It is only in the optimalscenario that information society is followed by the model of knowledge society. A newworld model is generally born on ruins two-three hundred years old. The knowledge-basedworld is on the one hand part and parcel of the information age; on the other hand, if historypermits it is going to prepare the real model change. The new era can either be calledknowledge age, although that still does not mean that history comes to an end because theknowledge-based world model can be possibly followed by a newer universal phase: the eraof the consciousness society. 27
  • Presently we cannot go into detail about the coherent yet altogether different set ofproblems of the global and local world, or to use a new concept how and to what extent theintegrated and complex crisis situations slow down the unfolding knowledge-based economyand society models. Nowadays the disadvantage of a social (and knowledge) strata or group ismultipled because on the other hand the economic-financial, regional-local, social, ecological,cognitive-knowledge or media advantages are also integrated and act together. We would like to put forward a few more arguments to the sceptics, the disillusionedones, those who eagerly imagine a negative scenario. The present-day old-age glocalaggreations of negative states may expand at least fivefold the social and moral gaps of theage. A general social conflict can break out between (1) the technologically poor and wealthy,(2) information poor and information rich, (3) knowledge poor and rich, (4) awareness richand poor and (5) the increasingly different experience of God between the rich and poor. Itwas Europe that recognised it for the first time the converting power of information in socialstructure and it hastily has generated a program to combat this continental danger. However,neither the designers nor the analysts of the situation understood it adquately that this is notonly a conflict between the technologically reach and poor. The issue is not limited to accessto technology, which in some European countries, regions and social groups is less than inother ones. This is why we should not exclusively focus on the the development of thehardware-software capacity or knowledge-centered services. A recent development: for some reason the development order is not good. So far wecould always come up with a reason why the correct order should be to give computers topeople first, then connect them to the internet, then offer them new digital services, whichaltogether somehow, in our minds at least, would automatically enforce the intellectual andmental changes necessary. (It is altogether another question that in Hungary wheretheoretically speaking this logic has been followed even the ICT-sector did not receive thenecessary economic-social and state budget). However, the old logic is all of a sudden nolonger valid and a new order is required. One of the dominant causes for this is that, as wehave already demonstrated it, the new global world is dually attached: it has a glocal nature.Moreover, it is definitely culture-dependant and when several dominant matters are inconflict, it becomes obvious that cultural dependence is stronger. It is only of local interestthat the success of the new development and implementation order interferes with the old-fashioned government structure of member states. Moreover, within governments it isinvariably the actions with economic-financial portfolios that are in decision-makingpositions. Thus we should not pay attention exclusively to the fact that the universal-globaldirections have a huge impact on the chances of small states, in both a negative and positivesense, but we should also focus on the social-cultural identities, intellectual and mentalresources of small states, small regions, small groups that have the potential of becomingpulling factors and indicators. In the information age the future of Hungary should be interpreted in the global futureperspective while at the national and local levels the parallel economy, social, intellectual andmental developments could also bring about success.1.10. A new understanding of knowledge society at the end of theinformation age 28
  • In our understanding the evolution of information society model and the evolution ofknowledge society model are two subsequent development stages of the information age. It isdifficult to separate the two models both in theory and in practice. It is worth recalling thatmany experts, including Daniel Bell14, consider knowledge to be the organised set of facts andideas. According to Bell, knowledge passed over in a systematised form consists of newjudgements, moreover, it may be added that these judgements do lead to new actions. As we have already indicated, it is essential to define knowledge among othersbecause the realisation is that information society and knowledge society significantly overlapin practice. In our opinion this may be explained first of all by the internal knowledge carrierfeatures of information and the fact that information is determined by infrastructure.Nevertheless, it is important to distinguish between the various phases of development inorder not to have a detrimental effect on social values and objectives (social-puch) for thebenefit of techno-puch during the realisation of information society. First and foremost, knowledge society is the social and cultural dimension ofinformation society. This approach therefore does not start out with discriminating betweeninformation and knowledge, but from the fact that the knowledge society, contrary toinformation society, focuses on transforming knowledge into social capital. This is themoment in the evolution of human civilisation when technical/technological possibilities areutilised for reorganising society. To put it differently, the already operating information andknowledge systems are utilised at a social level; they become the public vehicle of knowledgesociety, through which not only knowledge elements such as information and data lines flowbut also knowledge, even substantial knowledge in general. We refer here to knowledge as acontinuum of specific organisational features, which is distributed through IT networks, andwhich becomes a part of social capital (without being identical with it).A restricted concept of knowledge in the information society Contrary to the concept of knowledge defined as substantial and social capital, we canalso interpret knowledge in the narrow sense of the term. Daniel Bell defines this concept inthe information age from the aspect of infrastructure. What is especially significant for ourinterpretation in this definition is the fact that "new judgements" are part of knowledge, whichexist at all poles of the information medium, even where knowledge is born as an "organisedset", and where it is being used. In the process of arriving at judgements there is a subjectiveelement we cannot disregard: the human, who is simultaneously the creator, carrier,transmitter and user of knowledge, – of knowledge integrated as personal capital. It ispossible to examine knowledge and the process that creates knowledge only together with theperson who has acquired it. In this context, one may separate several layers of knowledge: • Information = formalised (explicit) knowledge, which itself has been also created as aresult of a cognitive process. • Knowledge has also another layer that is closely connected to the personality of thecarrier of knowledge (personal knowledge, personal capital). Knowledge cannot be separatedfrom this personality as it cannot be formalised either. This tacit knowledge, which can beacquired and passed over only through personal relationships and experiences (such notionsbelong here as skill, experience, idea, intuition, suspicion, etc.), play an ever increasing role in14 Daniel Bell (1986) The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism. New York, Basic Books; Daniel Bell (1999)The Coming of Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting, New York, Basic Books. 29
  • the knowledge-based economy of information age. As an important element ofcompany/institution/community knowledge asset, tacit knowledge is in the centre ofknowledge management. One often is confronted with the view that "knowledge is capital". This expression isused with regards to knowledge acquired at school. In this sense of the word, knowledge is infact a complex concept, certain elements of which do have capital value, while others do not.The uncertainty, or if you like, the risk factor is that separating these two layers is practicallyimpossible. Therefore, in lack of a more precise interpretation, one may say that so far, firstand foremost it is exploitable knowledge that has had capital value. This definition ofknowledge is first of all widely used by economists, and it is closely connected to the conceptof innovation (J.A. Schumpeter15) and the prevailing marketability of a given knowledge. From this perspective, economically unexploited “theoretical” knowledge or knowledgethat is not used in the course of innovation is not necessarily represented in knowledgecapital. This approach is contradicted, however, by the above mentioned complexity ofinformation which states that information is a knowledge set in which different kinds ofknowledge elements are condensed. The complex formal presentation of this knowledge setcan set apart knowledge elements containing information, and orient the understanding of newrelationships. Hence it is especially hard to predict which knowledge element will be utilisedfrom the knowledge sets containing individual pieces of information. Knowledge of capital value is part and parcel of knowledge society, which ischaracterised by such viable social capacities as marketability. Marketability of knowledgehas the following properties: Infrastructural trait: infrastructural knowledge is realised in individuals. The reservecapital of individuals at any one moment is manifested in the form of social knowledge. Risk carrier trait: similarly to the original nature of capital, all knowledge is a risk.When acquired, it is impossible to tell whether that particular knowledge would subsequentlybe used, and if yes, under what circumstances, which actors, and in exchange for whatremuneration. Limitless transferability: in the knowledge market numerous areas of effectiveknowledge have merged into one other. The knowledge versions or new knowledge that arecreated by knowledge transfer become realisable capital due to their singularity. The possibility of merging individual knowledge is unlimited. This way knowledge isclassified as one of the most important social and economic resources of the 21st century. Manuel Castells16, who sees the essence of post-industrialism in the technicaldetermination of information age, is of the opinion that knowledge and information is not thebasis, but the prerequisite of the new economic system. For this reason he does not refer toknowledge economy, but knowledge-based economy. He states: “The most importantcharacteristics of today’s technical revolution is how this kind of knowledge and information15 According to Joseph A. Schumpeter innovation is defined as the establishment of a new form of production.„Innovation covers exactly the same path during the invention of a new product, as the exploration of newmarkets or new organisational forms.” Joseph A. Schumpeter (1980): A gazdasági fejlődés elmélete (Theory ofEconomic Development) Közgazdasági és Jogi Könyvkiadó, Budapest.16 Manuel Castells (996) The information Age: Economy, Society and Culture. Oxford (Blackwell), InHungarian: "Manuel Castells: Az identitás hatalma. Az információ kora. Gazdaság, társadalom és kultúra.Volume II." Gondolat Kiadó, 2006, Budapest. 30
  • is used in cumulative feedback loops that exists between innovation and utilisation to produceknowledge and to create information transmitter and communication units.” According to thedefinition of M. Castells, the economy of information age is nothing but the production ofapplicable knowledge created in the course of innovations. Essentially, he distinguishesbetween knowledge and applied (used) knowledge by introducing the concept of innovation. Consequently, it is not possible to define the concept and the program of knowledge andknowledge society on the basis of the principles and programmes of an earlier age (theinformation society). Castells’ approach clearly documents this statement.1.11. The expansion of network society and knowledge-based economy Network society and economy are the products of information society. At first, thenetwork used to be exclusively of technological nature, and was not used in the sense ofnetwork economy or network society. It is only at a later stage that on the internet networkeconomy starts to organise itself. Since there is convergence between telecommunication-, television-, publisher digitaltechnologies, as well as computerisation and transmitting internet-based innovative contentsto the economy, adequately understanding internet-based economy has become ever moreimportant. However, no convergence and consensus exists when it comes to understandingand interpreting the political (administrative) framework of the internet and internet-basedeconomy. Most of the topics discussed in the economic theory of network economy are far frombeing novel. The services, operation and use of telecommunication networks (1960s and1970s) and subsequently, computer networks (1970s and the 1980s) gradually established alegal, administrative, and economic regulatory system, and practically every internet-relatedissue was described by 1974. Numerous articles signed by a great many authors describe, systematise and recommendthe features of product and service price structure appearing on the Internet, the method ofstatistical measurement and classification, positive network externalities and the essence ofinter-operability. Although the expansion of commercial communication on the internet, andmore generally, network economy has made a great leap forward, the world has not mademuch progress in solving the issues raised quite some time ago, By the time academicdisputes developed about internet technology, "this something" as a network economy hasalready produced billions of dollars for the early birds. However, even at this point we cannot talk about network economy or network societycreating a highly organised new model. In this developmental stage establishing network economy rules and their legalformulation is necessarily accelerated. Although we are frequently unaware of this, our everyday activities are frequently legalacts, too. If in a shop we purchase something, we actually sign a sales contract. On the road 31
  • we observe the rules of the Highway Code, and we use many services (e.g. cable television,phone, mobile phone, internet connection) also on the basis of contracts. This also applies to those relationships of life that are influenced by the Internet andwhich are connected to the network. If an economic activity is exercised through the Internet,specific rules have to be observed in the same way as we observe them in "everyday" life.However, in the absence of special regulations, applying legal provisions to the“extraordinary” world of the internet represents a major challenge. The gradual adoption of the aquis of the European Union led to the development ofspecial legislation that is stable enough a foundation to keep electronically contact with eachother and to be able to do sustain the electronic traffic in the business world (concerningelectronic signature, telecommunication, electronic trade and information society services,electronic means of payment, procedural activities that may be performed electronically,copyright, consumer protection, legal prescriptions on advertising, etc.). Special regulationsystems of industrial self-regulation concerning registration of domain names, advertising,content providers have gradually evolved, and similarly, methods of alternating conflictmanagement (legal disputes settled outside courts) have been also established. The concept “internet law” refers to those legal provisions that are mandatory bothbetween network actors and between network actors and the world “beyond the Net”, all ofwhich prescribe a certain behaviour and detail the legal consequences that could ultimately beenforced by means of power when not being adhere to. Interpreting knowledge-based economy As the world economy has shifted gear from an industrial society towards a newknowledge-based economy, so is the globalising economy of the turn of the millenniumrevolutionising. While this radical change is usually compared to previous agricultural andindustrial revolutions in the history of humankind, new economy is generally calledinformation- or knowledge-driven economy. The richness of names reflects the wide variety ofdomains of life this change affects. It is such profound change that by today one must talkabout the evolution of a new era in our civilisation, namely of the information age and itseconomy. It is therefore essential to review the conceptual framework in order to understandthe significance of the transition and designate a possible path that is going to lead to therealisation of knowledge-based economy. The new concepts of economyThe central, leading and broadest of concepts Knowledge-based or knowledge-driven economyThe narrower alternative concept of knowledge- New Economybased economyPart of the knowledge-based economy Information economyPart of the knowledge-based economy e-EconomyPart of the knowledge-based economy and of the Internet economye-economyPart of the knowledge-based economy and one Communication economy (or media economy)sector of e-economy 32
  • Table 4: New concepts 2. (Csaba Varga) Although its governing processes undergo profound changes, economic life is stilldetermined by productivity and competitiveness. While productivity is determined by thewidening of internal resources of renewal and innovation, competitiveness is determined byflexibility, adaptation to changes and above all, the ability to apply knowledge. Essentialconditions in establishing new production functions are IT, as a key to speed, and knowledgeand culture as innovative capacities. Direct links are established between economic participants in the globalising"information and communication market", which allow for a more efficient organisation ofproduct and technology development activities (innovation), and of production itself (virtualcompanies, distance work, electronic trade, etc.). The ground-breaking nature of electroniceconomy is often called in the developing world "new economy". The 21st century is going to be the century of knowledge-based economy, and by thesame token we mean that the world (and Hungary) will face new challenges. By today it hasbecome obvious that in the new era only those countries, regions and micro-regions can stayeconomically competitive, which transform their production structure so that they incorporatethe intellectual added value in products and services. The development rate and the competitiveness of modern economies to a large extentdepend on human factors– concluded P. F. Drucker17 in the middle of the 1980s. By analysingthe economic situation of USA, the author has pointed out that the existence of“entrepreneurial” economy in the USA is more due to societal innovations than technologicalinnovations, which are primarily connected to the management of small medium enterprises(SMEs) as a "new technology".18 The recognition of the significance of societal innovations drew attention to theimportance of innovative behaviour. Under innovative behaviour we mean purposefullylooking for opportunities, tracking down and thinking over the basic processes within andoutside the organisation on a permanent basis, which is directed not solely at the developmentof products and services, but to changes in technologies, transformation of the organisation, ormodernisation of another area. The ultimate target in each case is meeting the demands of"consumers" at a high level, as well as to create new demand both from the side of consumersand service providers. In the case of a country, region, small area or a settlement this appearsas a continuous improvement of quality of life of the population.The era of knowledge-driven economy Knowledge-based economy and/or new economy is in essence a knowledge-focused,knowledge-exploiting, knowledge capita-engaging economy, and increasingly, an e-business.17 Peter F. Drucker (1993): Innováció és vállalkozás (Innovation and Enterprises) Park Kiadó, Budapest. Seealso: Ravi Kalakota - Marcia Robinson (2002): Az e-üzlet (The e-business) Typotex Electronikus Kiadó.18 The development rate and competitiveness of modern economies depends on the human factor to a significantextent, – concluded Peter Dricker in the mid-1980s. By analysing the economic situation of the USA, the authorargues that "entrepreneurial" economy may be rooted not so much in technological, but social innovations,related to management appearing primarily in small and medium size enterprises as "new technology". Peter F.Drucker: idem 33
  • Nobody should cherish any illusions about it: the industrial age comes to an end so much inEurope as in Hungary; further triumphs of the information age are simply a question of time. Since knowledge-driven economy has not yet fully developed, nor has it settled downcompletely in the global and European economy, there is not an established set of concept tofully describe the new type of economy either. By the way, this is how it should be. One mayonly claim today that the description of processes and their interpretation differ widely,depending on which aspect (whether knowledge, business management or other) neweconomy is measured upon and systematised. So much in the international literature as in theHungarian articles, it is a highly disputed concept: should we now talk about informationeconomy, knowledge economy or perhaps knowledge-driven economy. These categories, onemight need to stress, are nevertheless not identical to one another. For already an extended period of time, the new type of economy is no longer simply anew and modest sector of economy in the developed world. On the contrary, firstly,knowledge-based economy has become a truly global economy; secondly, it includes allsectors of the economy beyond the traditional sense of the word. Thirdly, economy haschanged its classical shape because the economic sector has engulfed, amongst others,education, health care and public administration. Fourthly, knowledge production has alsosurpassed its own boundaries and invaded economy as a whole; fifthly, new economy isincreasingly becoming nowadays an e-business. Finally, political institutions are there toassist in changing the economy of any given country in the new world while showing the leastloss and most profit. If one goes back to the economy of the Hungarian Reform Age, it is clear that thefeudal economy of the eightenth century needed to be transposed into the capitalist economyof the nineteenth century at a time when capitalist economy became the new economic worldmodel in Europe. The great personalities of the Reform Age wanted to adopt new technology,new knowledge and the requirements of the industrial era and democracy; and indeed, CountSzéchenyi became the symbol of this age and his nickname was the "Bridgeman". Similarly tothe nineteenth century, the task of the past decades was to gradually shift the gear of economyof the nineteenth-twentieth centuries into the knowledge-based economy of the twentyfirstcentury. Once more, there is a parallel between the circumstances and changes required in theReform Age with those of today: just as then, in order to establish new economy we needed toadopt new technology, new knowledge, new e-trading skills and a new business model; thesymbol of this age could perhaps be "knowledge manager" or the "knowledgeable human ". Itmakes a lot of sense to take Széchenyi as an orienting symbol of our days. When we attempt to find an adequate name for the actors of the old and newknowledge market, we come up against a problem. Namely, how shall we define theindependent sectors of knowledge market or knowledge-based market? The answer is all themore difficult because in the past ten to twenty years and in the next decade knowledge-basedeconomy itself has been and shall stay an economy in change at an unbelievable rate andscale, and so its sectors are not permanent or are not going to rest unchanged either. For the time being the information society approach only documents that the earlierevolved information-communication sectors of global economy have become independent anddynamic. In the concept system of e-economy, the concepts marked with the prefix e- inthemselves show the expansion of the economy to non-economic sectors in a spectacularmanner. Moreover, they also superbly demonstrate the duplication of institutional markets. 34
  • The comprehensive concept network of knowledge-based or knowledge-driven economy is farfrom being clarified yet, which only proves the point that knowledge-based economy isevolving into a radically new type of economy. If one accepts the premise that the transformed nature of economy left its earliercourse, it becomes obvious that the previously sharp borderline between economy andknowledge, or technology and economy, or economy and society has all but disappeared. Inother words, it can be claimed that the subsystems of economy and society have become a farmore integral system than they had ever been previously. However, the evolution ofinformation society is not identical to the development of IT, or the new type of economy. Itis not by mistake that Europe today focuses on content development and content service, i.e.the essence of the joint information age development of knowledge, economy, and theindividual. Probably the most astonishing finding in our analysis is how different knowledgemarket (knowledge economy market) has become, which both organises and regulates themarket co-operation of knowledge traders and knowledge customers. The shift in the marketmodel can hardly be traced in the Hungarian literature on this subject for which the lack of e-markets and e-knowledge markets are also to be blamed for. However, we continue to claimthat within three to five years an unexpected and hardly foreseeable yet essential marketmodel transformation will take place in our country, too. From among its numerousconsequences, we are highlighting only one for the time being: the traditional market, thanksto the revolutions in the information and communication technologies, is not only going toduplicate itself, and thus a virtual market network will be created, but the economic market isgoing to be far less mediated too. Thus the traders and clients on the e-markets are going toimplement their transactions directly as a network of individuals and trader-client groups.Presently, on the basis of this trend we may venture to claim that the market roles are alsogoing to radically change especially when compared to the market models of the past hundredyears. This for instance implies that practically all market actors are simultaneously anddirectly be both traders and customers. The real breakthrough is partially caused by the fact that the new type of economy isincreasingly becoming e-business, too. Unsurprisingly, already at this early stage it is possibleto distinguish between the history of e-economy and e-commerce into separate periods. Thecompanies spent the first half of the 1990s working out issues related to computerisedadministration, studied and prepared information websites. This did not go in hand with anyapparent financial benefits. In the second half of the decade though, and depending on theeconomic sectors, in a widely divergent form e-transactions were started, while at a global,European, national levels, economic portals were established, and some of the companieshave even started to experiment with the creation of e-market spaces. For instance, it wasduring this period of time that the global world understood that e-commerce marketing cannotidentical to the marketing of traditional manufacturing or trading companies. The first half ofthe new decade (up to 2005 approximately) has brought about profound changes in all aspectsof what one may regard as the era of e-business. The new business era is also a new market, and as later on we are going to argue, it isalready and partially a post-market era, too. The institutions of knowledge market organise,mediate, co-ordinate between knowledge traders and knowledge customers of theinformation-communication market. 35
  • 1.12. Capital resources of the information society In summary, we may establish that the information market can be characterised in termsof resources. The approach in itself already represents a significant change, especially if weare to compare it to periods proceeding the information age (the industrial era, financialmarket-oriented capitalism, new capitalism). The resources are by no means understood aseconomic or political resources exclusively, but as social and knowledge resources, whilecommunication resources have become more prominent, too. The table „Resources of information society” introduces the types of capital, and theway they may be converted into each other. 36
  • Directions of convertibility of capital types Political capital indirect and participatiory democracy, transparency, presentation of autonomous territorial interests, partnership, subsidiarity, infrastructure and innovation policy, complex regional development, etc. Social capital Communication capital social cohesion, solidarity, Economic capital mediated communication, new intelligent environmental financial capital and information media, image building, PR, meansquality of life, human resources capital, infrastructure, innovation of mediating marketing interests,development, flexible workforce potential, flexible companies, awareness raising, etc. etc. diversification, knowledge production, adaptation to national and regional work divisions Knowledge and cultural capital tradition, local knowledge base, information, new knowledge, new science, innovation capability, education, training, knowledge mediating system, content development, etc. 37
  • Table 5: Resources of the information society (Emese Ugrin) With the analysis of the resources of the information society model we conclude theintroduction of this new globalisation, more adequately called "glocalisation", or the"globnatil-era". It is possible to question the internal structure, stages of the new era, thedifferences in the stages of the model. Nevertheless, it is very likely that the industrial age hasended, yet not abruptly and not without any traces; moreover, some of its consequences willstill cause destruction. Classical market economy has ceased to exist for a long time now, thesame way as there is no idealistic knowledge economy yet either. There is no more industrialsociety, while knowledge society is merely a vision at the moment. We may become wiser,and possibly less disillusioned within a couple of decades. The new secret is nothing else butthe fact that the un-tamed self-developing/self-enforcing history awaits new spiritual-consciousness regulation. The new spiritual, universal, cosmic, and collective consciousnessis going to open new gates, and is going to allows a glimpse at new ways. So far the bestpeople and the best generations have died in the process of pioneering the way of promisingchanges. Is this how it is going be this time round, too? 38
  • Chapter Two: Developing the relationship between stateand citizen After having drafted the characteristics of the new era, we should decide whether thesurviving concept and practice of the state is still tenable among the challenges and conditionsposed by the information age. To what extent can we still refer to the state and publicadministration in the sense we have got used to in the past few hundred years?2.1. Starting point in eight items On the present pages we cannot go into detail about the new state theory ofinformation age and the theory of self-governance as much as we would like. That is,however, worthy to note that in the past two and in the next decades the perception as well asthe practice of the state has fundamentally changed and is going to essentially transform. Thequestion is: can we still use the current state models, are they still capable of tackling the fastpaced changes? When human civilisation created the state, this in itself represented the establishmentof a virtual level and so all its functions and services concerning the governance of societiesand communities have become institutionalised. The information age implements the secondvirtualisatin of the state and self-governance. It is right now that the institutionalisation of thesecond and high-level virtualisation gathers pace and this new form is called e-governanceand e-public administration. This institutionalisation takes place in a way that primarily theinstitutions of the state and self-governance are modernised as well as new institutions arebeing created, too. The believers of the positive alternative of information society assume thatthe traditional democracy model is weary, partially exhausted and is giving place to a newdemocracy model within a few decades already, which on the one hand is going to return tothe fundamental principles of classical democracy, while on the other hand it is going toattempt the individual and direct control of global and local worlds. In order to interpret the theoretical foundations of e-public administration, thefollowing principles and topics are worth a debate and on the basis of which one can putforward the theoretical conclusions of: 1. The new citizen and/or community citizenship theory: What was the position of thecitizen in his/her own state in the last two-three hundred years, but especially in the last fewdecades and how should the citizenship status and competencies be changed with the help ofe-public administration? 2. The new type of state and e-state theory: How are European states able to performin the twentyfirst century? Having answered this question, a new one arises: what direction ofstate development should be stimulated and how and why should e-public administration bepracticed? 3. The local public administration and e-public administration theory: What should bethe developmental direction of local self-governance and public administration and theirmodernised versions in the new global-local world order? 4. The national and local or the intelligent local society theory: In the new global-localorder what should be the position of the local and within it, settlement society; to what extentis public administration responsible for this situation and how can e-public administrationforward the correct changes? 39
  • 5. The new digital, participatory type of democracy theory: How do the institutionsand procedures of democracy function within the framework of state, society and citizen andto what extent do they agree with one another? To what extent and how does e-publicadministration presuppose the infrastructure of e-democracy? 6. The new technology theory: To what extent and how does new technology of thetwentyfirstst century, such as infocommunication, mobile networks, new media, etc., assist,presuppose and require the global, national and local infratructure of e-public administration? 7. The new knowledge- and consciousness theory, from the aspect of publicadministration: What type of new knowledge and consciousness or culture is required andpresupposed by the wide introduction of e-public administration from the state, society andcitizen? 8. Industrial age, socialist era, information age or knowledge society theory: How andto what extent has the relationship and co-operation between the state, citizen and societybeen transformed during the more important ages within a historical perspective (that is:industrial age, state socialism, post-industrial model, information age)? The above mentioned questions and theoretical problems show that e-publicadministration cannot be discussed in itself, isolated from state organisational and stateadministrational systems. Hence the theory of e-public administration can only be interpretedin a wider theoretical medium and system of reality. A new economic and (virtual or cyber-)space theory is necessary as well as the development of an ecological theory, or morenarrowly put, theory of sustainable development is essential.2.2. State and democracy – a solid first approach Do we understand the state as the most important intermediary insitutional systembetween the individual and the world? Is democracy the operational mode of this wide-ranging intermediary relationship? So much in Central Europe as in Hungary in the last hundred fifty to two hundrednational ideas have become state ideas, or to put it differently, the purpose of state ideas wereto aid nationalisation processes. In this respect the twentieth century brought about a singlenew idea: state ideas have been streamlined into system ideas or to put it that way, the solepurpose of the state was to radically transform and keep the current system in place. Withminor spots, from 1849 to 1989 the history of the Hungarian state was not the history ofeconomy, neither of democracy but of an authoritative state. This was bound to happen insuch a way because this country was at the meeting point of half global middle powers andsuperpowers. It was run by authoritative groups and authoritative means in the interest ofinternal of external power groups. The old and new power groups that took over state powersat the end of the millenium face the question what sort of nationalism and state idea as well assystem ideas should they represent, the latest concept being wedged in between the other twoconcepts. They startledly realise that state ideas have matured into continental and evenglobal ideas, and system ideas cannot be built any longer in the twentieth century fashion. Nothing is the same to twenty, fifty or hundred fifty years ago. Neither nationalism,nor state practices. In the twentyfirst century the significance of having national-, European orsocialist identity havs drastically decreased. When we utter such statements what do we reallycommunicate? Perhaps they are merely a representation of how we think. It presents us withsome difficulty that in Central Europe for the next two decades at least some could still 40
  • experiment with authoritative state practices. This can, however, be done up up to the pointthat globalisation and the integration of the European continent is going take to partially orentirely take away the classic power functions of nation states. The traditional liberal answer is obviously that democracy-based state practices shouldbe strengthened. However, this does not solve our dilemma: what kind of democracy and whattype of state we are referring to (whether neutral or committed) or whether we consider thatsociety, economy, knowledge (knowledge economy) is by this stage capable of developmentwithout the explicit support of the state. It is the social democratic response which is the mostincoherent of all, especially so, because it does not dare to openly admit its view point, that ofa social-based state practice. The problem stays, however, unresolved: what kind of societyand what type of state they subscribe to in view that in order to obtain power they would haveto readily flirt with democracy-based or nationalism-based state practices. The conservativeanswer is none the more well-thought-out because it proposes that state practices should bebased on nationalism without addressing the same question: what nation and what type ofstate are we talking about or is the separation of state and nation acceptable while the viabilityof (knowledge-based or culture-based) nation development is assisted by state means. The contours of new democracy theory and new state theory can hardly be seen. If weleave this question unanswered and presuppose instead that the above mentioned ideologies inevery instance serve to gain and permanently stay in power, the theory of information societyand knowledge society give two divergent answers. There are two options open in the post-socialist countries at the threshold of information society for the time being: either theinvariably authoritative state that strengthens and controls information or the quasi neutral,service-oriented state, which helps the development of economy and society, - or, the thirdoption would be the combination of the two programs. Moreover, the last option may serve asthe reconstruction of the nation or (not yet transformed) nation-state, whether this is admittedor not. (These options can be only with difficulty binded to the classic political ideologies.)This multiply mixed state model most probably will not endure in the long run and sooner orlater will dominantly become an information (yet not authoritative) state, if it does not run outof time. If the Central European and Hungarian economy is to a small degree post-feudal, alarge degree post-socialist, and is already and to a greater or smaller extent made up fordifferent types of market economy or capitalism (including early post-capitalism to globalfinancial economy, even information-communication economy), then it comes of no surprisethat the new democracy model is going to be a multiply mixed model. If we are not thinking along the lines of daily political power interests, it is onlynatural that in a chaotic type economy and society the state should aspire even more than everbefore to have a of stability and evenness. Its secret is, however, that is not authority-oriented, not simply deficiently power-restrictive democracy as in the present,but a digitaldemocracy that is exempted of its nation-state roles, or put it otherwise, it is a developing,digital state, which uses the means of information age to run the e-state and to be committedto development. Only if this fares partially well will we achieve a civil state (civil-oriented state) and e-democracy, both of which bring to fruition democracy and state to everyone programme.Well, yes, there should be a state for everyone but not as a controlling tool but as a stateservice in defence of each and every individual citizen. This type of state could be called apersonal-impersonal state, which addresses every single citizen and with whom the citizen co-operates in a personal-impersonal manner. 41
  • The state that had been separated from society should find its way back to it; yet it canachieve this only by employing information-communication tools. E-democracy is similar torepresentative democracy only in name, since partially or completely it would be directdemocracy. These communities, however, are not pre-modern village communities but digitalsettlements and regions, as well as a digital democracy, member states of the union that hascome into existence on the European continent. This digital state because it is a newtechnological system of tools is going to create different political relations between peopleand the world. Since e-democracy presupposes not only a new type of state but also a new, enmasse e-democracy prepared personal-impersonal citizen, its veritable future is in knowledgesociety. The digital state and e-public administration as a political reform reality is going tocome into being within a reasonable amount of time. Additional sequences to it are, on theother hand, totally incalculable.2.3. The theory of the administrative field comprehensivelyembedded in the individual, political, social and the collectiveconsciousness Defining the basic question and developing the system of basic questions determineswhat the basic theory is going to look like to a large extent, how many layers will it containand what components will it be made of. We define the basic question in a way that we createa basic field, a primary field, a dimension of reality which will be called individual andcollective knowledge and consciousness field (knowledge – and knowledge culture) andconsecutively in this field, as a secondary field we may interpret the most prominent political-social institutions and agents of collective knowledge and consciousness field: the state,society, democracy and its main protagonist, the individual. This two dimensional field can bealso regaded as a logical space, or differently put, knowledge space or field of consciousness.(The explanation of the following is not the subject of this book. However, we should mentionthat behind the primary field there is a more general, universal field and in the secondaryfields some tertiary- quaternary fields, vectors and dynamic forms exist.) The primary field could be called the spirit of the age or we could call it from apolitical point of view the system of political philosophy, or from the point of view ofdemocracy, the essental theories of democracy. This approach simultaneously represents a firm standing-point in two philosophicalquestions: 1. As far as we are concerned, it is not the objectified institutions and operationalmodes to which a philosophy and intellectuality belong. It is rather the spirit of the age and itsway of thinking that create the most important institutions; 2. Our starting-point is not thatpartially (or in a majority) the institutions that have become independent (or estranged)govern so much the individual as the world, but in this theoretical model we assume co-ordinatedness as well as partial or total equilibrum among the four spacial agents: the state,society, democracy and the individualised person. Nowadays it is fashionable to quote Manuel Castells as a sort of basic truth, who statesthat the essence of democracy is that it is not the state who should monitor people but the 42
  • people should control the state, which after all is totally legitimate standing point taking intoaccount that it is the people who are the hosts of the state.19 It is an exciting question in istelf that we define the comprehensive political-social-administrative field also as a technological field. The issue today is particulary relevantbecause according to our hypothesis this comprehensive field is currently tampered with moreprofoundly than it has been ever before by the constant movement and changes of thetechnological field. Technology is one of the elements of the field of primary knowledge/consciousness as it is innovative knowledge and morale, while technological thinking anddevelopment is not only found in isolated technological products, it also helps products and itsoperational services impact and change secondary fields to a large extent. Presently, we are not able take a bird’s eye view on the history of state and socialtheory, especially since state and social theories are separated and are very differenttheoretical domains that have been created while new multidisciplinary theories have not yetbeen put forward. In the present short theoretical introduction, however, we should nevertheless pointout that no element of the four poles (the individual, state, society, democracy) is to bebrushed aside. The four poles complement and control each other, or to put it differently, thecoherent and compound field makes any sort of change possible and so does the program ofdevelopment, too. The analysis of the four poles is therefore an important theoretical pointbecause this is the reqirement as well as guarantee of the future state and administration.19 „It is the people who should control the state and not the other way round, - which after all is totally just sincetheoretically speaking it is the people who are its owners. Most reports are nevertheless sober, with the exceptionof Scandianiavian democracies.” Manuel Castells (2000): Az Internet-galaxis (The Internet galaxis) NetworkTwentyOne Kft. Budapest. 43
  • individual (local citizen) personal and social knowledge state society (administration) (local society) individual and collective consciousness democracy (local democracy) Table 6. Integrated interpretational model (Csaba Varga)2.4. Citizen – the theory of five prize-winning community citizen In the twentieth century Europe, where the industrial age or the age of modernisationwas the dominant spirit of the age, supported the individualisation of the person. Itacknowledged the individual’s right to personal liberty and it attempted to bring about aconstitutional state, which does not oppress the ambitions of the individual for freedom. Every single state administration necessarily constructs a relationship between thestate and its citizen. Depending on the regime of a given country or the type of state, thre arehuge differences in the relationship between the state and the individual. By comparing aregular civil democracy with a less standardised one, there is a major difference already in therelationship between the state and its citizen. This is hugely influenced by the one-dimensional or two-dimensional relationship as well as the development andinstitutionalisation levels of civil society in any given state. A citizen who belongs to a societywhere civil society is traditionally self-conscious and is used to community action is far morelikely to be able to influence either individually or at a community level the decisions of thestate or local governance. In order to interpret the relationship between the state and its citizen, we shoulddistinguish at a theoretical level between the various concepts of states, civil societies,democracies and citizen statuses. Since there is no theoretical literature in Hungary on suchissues, the categories hereby employed represent but an initial approach. By briefly discussingthe European situation, the following models can be drafted with regards to the relationshipbetween the citizen and the state: 44
  • 1. State dominance, oppression of citizens (quasi democracy): in this relationship, the citizen is not an autonomous entity, the state overwhelmingly dominates, although we should also add that this does not necessarily entail total defencelessness on the part of the citizen. The individual thus cannot become community citizen, and so the only way to correctly describe its relationship and situation is to use the term oppressed citizen. 2. Dictatorial state, oppression of citizens (lack of democracy, state socialist „democracy”): in this relationship, if there is either an explicit or hidden dictatorship in a given state, the individual has neither voice nor power to influence decision-making. Furthermore, from a political, economic, social or spiritual point of view the individual is defenceless. His/her basic task is none other but survival. 3. Democratic state, indirect citizenship participation (classic democracy): In the classic democracy model, there is a sort of balance between the civil state and the citizen. Within the limitations of representative democracy, the citizen is indirectly able to participate in the preparations of decisions, moreover s/he controls decisions and their implementation at least to some degree. (In the new glocal mediatised age, even within the legal and social framework of classic democracy, there is a risk that time and again the citizen could be subjected to the will of the state.) 4. Community state and community citizen (community democracy): The model of community democracy was able to exist only for a limited and interim period of time in the past; today, it should be considered an idea rather than practice. In such a relationship, the interests of the state as well as the individual are suppressed to the interests and values of the community, or more broadly speaking, that of society at large without actually eroding the autonomy of the state or the people. It is not by accident that in such a state an individual is not so much a citizen but a community citizen . 5. Represenational state, direct participation of community citizens (direct domocracy, representative democracy, electronic democracy): in present day Europe, a new standard is set by the majority of future developers, namely that of the representational state, direct democracy and the new community citizen who self-consciously wants to makes the most of the opportunities. This interactive relationship naturally presupposes a non-alienated state and a non-alienated citizen. In this relationship, there is real balance and responsibility is mutually taken by both sides. All of the five relationships have various sub-types and all of them are influenced by,among others, the global political climate (and terrorism, - as part of it) as well as globaleconomy (e.g. the financial situation of the world). We can therefore claim that depending onthe type of administration and the state, different state citizenship statuses and attitudes mightevolve.2.5. The theory of the state: types of state in the new theory of thestate Within the conceptual framework of the modern state, we should limit ourselves to thelast hundred to hundred and fifty years when relatively few, though significantly differentstate models have developed in Europe. To keep it simple, we should even disregard different 45
  • types of federal states, such as the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy or the Eastern Europeancommunist- state socialist block of states, that was partially a global military power, led bythe Soviet Union. „In the new reality, it is no longer expected neither of the new states, nor of the long-lasting ones that presently the state should undertake the majority of the functions which thebureaucracies of nation-states once considered as their main raison d’être”.(ZygmuntBauman20) Since in the Western part of Europe civil democracy permanently established itself asan enduring force, relatively few types of states developed in the nineteenth and twentiethcentury Europe, all of which have been continuously under the oversight of the parliamentand indirectly, of society at large. This type of state, however, has been time and againendangered by such dictatorial pursuits as came from Hitler to Stalin who unequivocallyexercised power over the centralised state and all of its institutional system. If we also takeinto account the state that is defenceless against powerful groups and the functioning ofnormal civil state then the following state types could be distinguished: 1. Strong state (the development of state dominance): It is clear from history that inthe past strong states far outweighed weak states. Taking into consideration that the history ofthe last thousand years in Europe was for long periods anything but the history of democracy,it also follows that the tradition of strong state is present all over Europe, regardless whetherthe state in question was at the time a nation-state or possibly, an empire. Strong state impliesthat the will and value system of its citizens is to a large extent disregarded. The strong statemodel was both introduced and utilised to their advantage by various power groups in thepast, such as the aristocracy or the ruling communist power concentrations that took overunder the cover of the proletariat. Curiously enough, the strong state model more often thannot meant a step forward after dictatorships had been overthrown. 2. Dictatorial state (party state): there is always a relativally small yet powerfulpolitical group behind every dictatorial state which nationalises society for a declared powergoal while citizens are handed over only minimal, quasi-control functions. The classic type ofdictatorial states developed in Central-Eastern Europe in the 1950s and 1960s and was calledsocialism. Theoretically speaking, in such a state both the parliament or the fractional partydemocracy exists, although their sole function is to cover up the true nature of thedictatorship. As a matter of fact, since the individual is considered but a tool owned by thepower centre, we cannot speak of real citizens in this type of state. 3. Democratic state (civil state, neutral state): The classic type of civil stateunderwent important changes in the last two hundred years. In the middle of the nineteenthcentury, for example, North American classic civil society was to a large extent committed tothe community, while during the hight of the Cold War, in the 1950s it was assimilated by thestrong state. This state model has been fiercely criticised in the last twenty to thirty years fromall sides for not living up to the social and economic goals it represents. The current situationalso pushes the state towards taking up the functions of a strong state: with terrorism gainingground, the democratic state is expected to partially function as a strong state once again.Simultaneously, the demands of the wellfare state push it towards a new civil service andcommunity state, too. 4. Community state (society friendly state, civil state): Most post-modern statetheories promote a state that is relatively weak and small as well as environmental due to theglobal and local changes, while it also aims at being society friendly as well as knowledge-20 Zygmunt Bauman (2002): Globalizáció, a társadalmi következmények (Globalisation, Social Consequences)Szukits Könyvkiadó, Szeged. 46
  • oriented state, too. This type of state always remains neutral because it does not givemaximum priority to one social group. From the perspective of community values, such as thesocietal, ecological and economic development ones, however, the state functions accordingto one of its interests. All of the above mentioned state types are centralised and redestributiveto a certain extent and degree. 5. Participatory state (direct state, digital state, knowlede-centred state, state led byhigh level conciousness): This state model, although historically it has certain antecedents,basically represents a change in the state paradigm. Regrettably, the new state model cannotdo anything but presuppose some degree of economic-social balance in human civilisation.(Theoretically speaking, we cannot exclude of course that a sensitive and tensed situationaround the world could enforce changes in state paradigm. One of the recognitions andadvantages of the new state will be that it builds on the direct participation of its citizens to asignificantly larger extent and by doing so it may become the most active state ever.) Theparticipatory state is thus primarily not a political power state, but a community and personalstate, which want to use all the available resources, such as direct democracy, globalinnovation- and knowledge-centred age, which can have access to solve old and newuniversal and local problems. The state types described above superbly demonstrate the differences betweengoverning models. However, it may be a bit too early to put all our trust into the radical andswift changes, since state types, state operations and state attitudes change incredibly slowlyand require important support from society.2.6. Social theory – the theory of new civil society Interpretations of civil society belonged for a considerable amount of time to thehistorical traditions of philosophy, politology and sociology. The concept of „civil society”first developed as a democratic counterweight against all-time power. “According to prevalent conceptualisation of civil society, all forms of civil initiativesbelong to this concept, whereby citizens participate on a voluntarily basis and choose todisplay and defend their values and interests; civil society is disconnected to the state as itfunctions in an autonomous manner. So that we should further refine this concept, the usageof the term non-profit sector seems reasonable, as it takes into account the way civil societyorganisations fit in larger societal institutions, especially in those that had been established bythe state and the market. The recent social and political changes so much in old as in newdemocracies justify the need for reconsidering the role of the tertiary sector.”21 Hence thislatter approach defines civil society not so much as a form of society; instead, it interpretscivil society in narrower terms and prefers to define it as initiative forms of local society. The traditional concept of civil society can be interpreted in two ways: the normativeapproach claims that civil society comes to the front at times when significant changes takeplace in either society, politics or the economy. It is the concept of civil society whichaccummulated those expectations and aspirations that became articulated as part of attaininga desired social system. Thus, for instance, state socialism was also a meeting point for thosestrategies and movements which asserted themselves against the totalitarian system and21 Alapfokú kézikönyv civil szervezetek számára (Textbook for civil organistions) NIOK–Soros, 1995,Budapest. 47
  • wanted to open up a dialogue with those in power. In this long historic process civil societyhas grown into an independent entity with integrated powers.According to numerous liberal advocates of civil society, with the development of liberaldemocracies the normative approach was no longer a timely explanation and, as aconsequence, it has been replaced by the analytical approach, in itself an attempt to introduceand explain enduring conditions. As far as the analytic approach was concerned, the concept of civil society should nolonger be used as a general category, since the explanatory force of the concept issignificantly weakened by it. The majority of those who professionally deal with this topicagree on the concept of civil society: they are those organisations, which are located betweenthe individual and society and serve as a link between the two. Montesquieu calls them’secondary groups’, in Hegel’s terminology they are ’bodies’, while in the works of ClausOffe22 they are called ’partner relations’. Previously, sociology used to report on the structure of society such as social classes,strata and groups, as if they had entirely covered knowledge of society as a whole. Thesegroups, however, are limited to the structural characteristics of society and we are none thewiser with regards to what society really is. Several books on social theory written by WesternEuropean or American authors were published in the last few years in Hungary.23 This is whyperhaps by today we are better equipped to understand society at large. However, it is up to usto compare and merge various sociological schools and personal viewpoints in the not toodistant future. Currently, we haven’t found any work on complex comprehensive social theoryin Europe, not even at the level of detached domains such as communication society,linguistic society, information society, ingroup relationships of knowledge-centred society orvirtual social systems of phenomena. Whatever perspective we might take, philosophicallyspeaking, a comprehensive image of social theory cannot be pieced together. One of the products of modern thinking is the definition of society and the paradigmof society partially interpreted against the traditional community, while it also redefinessociety within state structures. To put it briefly, we claim that (non-nationalised) society ismade up by all citizens living in a given state, moreover, it comprises the relationship systemsthat come into existence in society as well as its institutional forms. The interpretations ofcivil society are rooted in the fields of philosophy, politology and sociological history. Theconcept of „civil society” has initially developed as a democratic counterweight against all-time power. Having distinguished between citizen and state models, it is time that we differentiatedbetween types of society, so much because modern and post-modern societies increasinglyfall back on the help of society as because the intrinsic evolutional processes of global,national and local civil societies require state support on their part, too.22 Claus Offe (1984) Arbeitsgesellschaft. Strukturprobleme und Zukunftsperspektiven. Frankfurt (CampusVerlag); (2003) Herausforderungen der Demokratie. Zur Integrations- und Leistungsfähigkeit politischerInstitutionen. Frankfurt/ M. (Campus Verlag)23 As far as we are concerned, we do not believe that we solved this theoretical problem by applying the concpetof network society, - a notion so frequently used by Manuel Castells, for instance: „These trends equal thetriumph of the individual although at this point is not yet clear the extent this burdens society, unless we take intoaccount that the individuals who are supported by new technological opportunities in fact reconstruct thepatterns of social interaction as well as the new form of society and recreate a network society.” (idem. p. 39) 48
  • 1. Oppressed society (feudal society, industrial society, etc.): as we have alreadyindicated, the concept of society itself is new in the European thought. This proves that it isonly since recently that large communities in various countries consider themselves societies.Supposing that the evolution of societies and social consciousness goes hand in hand with thedestruction of traditional communities and community identities, it is not surprising that thenineteenth and twentieth century societies are to be considered alienated ones. The majorcause is that loss and change in values has contributed to the spread of oppressed societies. 2. Nationalised society (national socialist society, socialist society, etc.): As one ofthe Hungarian poets put it: „where there is dictatorship, there is dictatorship”. From this versefollows that where there is dictatorship, there is no society. This statement, however, does notrefute the fact that none of the dictatorships is powerful enough to be able to definitelydestroy the structure of society. Moreover, every dictatorship is forced to keep up theappearance of an existing society and within to it is obliged to construct superficialcommunities, which certain social groups or strata might even identify with. In such a societyneither the individual nor the community has any real voice or decision-making power;paradoxically, that is also the case when system welcomes the participation of the individualand is part of the organisational system of dictatorship. 3. Democratic society (civic society, post-socialist society, new capitalist society,information society, etc.): This society model combines a wide variety of forms, systems andoperational modes, all of which share the view that regardless of the political system it doesnot consider the individual as enemy. On the contrary, the individual is supported and is urgedto act within the state system. The evolution of this state model went hand in hand with thepolitical suffrage of the adult population; its heyday being in those decades when economicand social welfare was established while in line with the rules of representative democracy italso guaranteed the individual freedom of social movement. 4. Community society (national society, community society, sacred society): In thehistory of civilisation numerous types of community societies existed, although with greatdiscrepancies between them. In ages long gone traditional societies prevailed and in fact evennation states have been deeply connected to the traditions of any given country and culture.(For lack of space we cannot go into detail about the evolution of societies beyond the bordersof Europe, especially those in Asia.) In the modernised and individualised periods of Europethere has been considerable aversion towards community societies. Currently, however, thetrend has been reversed and once again the community society as a model has started gainingground as a consequence of extreme individualism. The new type of community societynecessarily acknowledges individual freedom and right to autonomy while all the while theautonomy of the community is pronounced. 5. Intelligent civil society (knowledge society, knowledge-centred society, etc.): It ishighly difficult to predict what sort of societal models is humankind going to experience inthe coming fifty to hundred years. That much is, however, clearly foreseeable that one of theprevailing models will be the knowledge- and innovation-centred, creative society, which isessentially connected to the post-modern, mediatised infocommunication networks andservices. These will not alter to a great extent. Naturally, in the twenty-first century centurynew types of social models are likely to evolve, but the development of which, however doesnot constitute the topic of this book. The five reviewed state, citizen and societal models are very closely linked to oneanother, while at the same time each and every one of them will become increasinglyindependent. This type of structuring makes only for a superficial analysis. However, for thepurpose of highlighting the most elementary connection, it has been sufficient. 49
  • 2.7. Historical analysis – the basic model of three periods The five models presented above are independent of both time and spatial constraints,thus in the next phase we need to analyse the five models in a more detailed way, this time bytaking into account the limitations of time and space. The history of the last 150 years ismodeled as well as it is describable by several types of concepts. One of the options is to usethe concepts of modernisation, post-modernisation and post-post-modernisation; another is todiscuss a period by pointing to its constituting characteristics as well as analysing the type ofeconomy and society. We have chosen this latter option: that of the industrial age, the socialistage and the information age which we consider the most important European periods. The model of the Industrial Age We needn’t analyse the long history of the European industrialisation andcapitalisation, which evolved in the first part of the twentieth century. The central point of theindustrial age is its economy-centredness, what more, a particular type of economy called theindustrial economy. We should not forget that the industrial society came into existence as aconsequence of industrial economy while both of them were created and steered by theindustrial-centred way of thinking. Civil democracy as well as the multi-party parliamentary rotation system, includingthe parliamentary state, had matured and became sufficiently developed by the industrial age.Even though the individual was merely considered a wage labourer for quite some time in theindustrial age, individual rights for freedom were gradually recognised and extended as adirect result of liberal ideas. Moreover, this was the period when civil society was born. We could highlight numerous theories from the literature on civil society24.According to Ralf Dahrendorf25, for instance, we can speak of civil society only when thecitizens actively take part in the life of society, and feel responsible for those events that donot directly touch upon their private lives. In his work entitled The structural transformation of public sphere Jürgen Habermaswrites that the institutional roots of civil society are based on voluntary, non-state and non-economic collaborations26. In his view, the civil sphere is the "power-free space ofcommunication” that inherently opposes the state, especially when the predominant ambitionof the state is to annex these "lifeworlds”.2724 Helmut Anheier et al. (eds.) (2001): Global Civil Society 2001. Centre for Civil Society and Centre for theStudy of Global Governance. London School of Economics and Political Science. Oxford University Press,Oxford; In Hungarian: H. Anheier, M. Glasius, M. Kaldor (2004) Globális Civil Társadalom 1. (Global CivilSociety 1; H. Anheier, M. Glasius, M. Kaldor (2004) Globális Civil Társadalom 2. (Global civil society 2)Tipotext Elektronikus Könyvkiadó, Budapest; Ferenc Csefkó - Csaba Horváth (eds.) (1999) Európai és magyarcivil társadalom (European and Hungarian civil society) FES, Pécs.25 Ralf Dahrendorf (1973) Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society. Stanford Univ. Press, Stanford; (1987)Fragmente eines neuen Liberalismus. DVA, Stuttgart; (2006) Versuchungen der Unfreiheit. Die Intellektuellenin Zeiten der Prüfung . München;26 Jürgen Habermas (2002): A társadalmi nyilvánosság szerkezetváltozása (The Structural Transformation of thePublic Sphere) Osiris, Budapest.27 Jürgen Habermas: A kommunikatív cselekvés elmélete I-II (The Theory of Communicative Action I-II.)Manuscript. ELTE, Budapest. 50
  • According to Michael Walzer28, civil society is built upon active and committedcitizens who take part in matters of state, economy, nation and religion. Péter Kende definescivil society as the network of relationships which evolves and operates independently of thestate. Iván Szelényi29 showed at the beginning of the ’90s that civil society as a school ofthought is a critique of orderly power structures. Civil society is based on the supreme powerof the people, where citizens organise themselves into unions that regulate the conditions ofsocial order and are in symmetrical relationship with one another, - at least from a legal pointof view. In class societies the source of legislation is the monarch who is not accountable tosociety.In the Industrial AgeInstead of individual – state – society– democracyCitizen – (industrial) state – civil society – representational democracy As far as Erzsébet Szalai30 is concerned, power-free communication is an illusion. Theappearance of civil society concept shows that neither the "free market", nor the politicalpublicity fills in the roles of classic democratic functions, therefore the individuals search fornew, independent spaces, forums and arm-twisting (pressure) practices. According to the White Book published by the European Council, civil society is noneother than trade unions and employer’s unions, non-governmental organisations, professional,relief and base organisations, those associations that help citizens to take part in local life, aswell as, if citizens consent to them, religious and faith-based communities. The conceptual characteristics of civil society are frequently condensed into fourpoints in the literature: civil society is the network of individuals and organisations, as well asother independent organisations, which operate incongruously to other social institutions.While there is a direct link between them, they do not equal the state, nor the private sector.The ideological basis of its existence is the success of human and citizen’s rights, or to put itin other words, constitutionality. The purpose of civil society is, by providing publicity and the articulation of interests,to confront the state with the values, pursuits and practice it represents. According to GordonWhite31, a British political scientist concluded that with regards to its role in thedemocratisation processes, civil society could also be summarised in four points: .28 Michael Walzer (1992): Civil Society and American Democracy. Selected essays in German, Rotbuch Verlag;(1995) Toward a Global Civil Society, Berghahn Books.29 Iván Szelényi (1988) Socialist Entrepreneurs. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press (InHungarian: Harmadik út? Polgárosodás a vidéki Magyarországon. Académiai Kiadó, 1992, Budapest); (2002)Poverty, ethnicty, and gender in transitional societies, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest;30 Erzsébet Szalai (1999) Post Socialism and Globalization, Új Mandátum, Budapest; (2000) Turn of MilleniumDilemmas in Hungary, Új Mandátum, Budapest; etc.31 See also: H. Anheier, M. Glasius, M. Kaldor (2004); Csefkó Ferenc-Horváth Csaba (ed.) (1999) . 51
  • “1. Civil society changes the balance of power between the state and society to theadvantage of the latter. 2. Civil society controls and supervises the state by publically evaluating thejustification of political decisions and the public morals. 3. Civil society can have an important mediating role between the state and society. 4. Civil society in itself increases the amount of those processes and institutions,which may contribute to democratical institutions and processes so that they can meet the newchallenges in a legitimate and foreseeable manner.” Having explained all these, I suggest that we did not turn back to define localcommunities of ancient and medieval times. It is, however, useful to systematically interpretcivil society types and approaches that have come into existence from an economic, social,and common knowledge point of view in the industrial age. This is why The Institute forStrategic Research based on the research carried out on the Hungarian civil society and basedon the foregoing approaches, has come up with the following theoretical summary anddistinguished between the following seven categories: Interpreting the concept of civil society concept in the Industrial Age 1st Relationship networks of active, committed citizens: local citizens who undertake community responsibilities; those citizens whom are not committed should not be included in this category; 2nd Political society: the institutions of liberal democracy, open society, counter- balancing politics and power, etc. 3rd Individual and organisational associations, independent social organisations: civil institutionalised pursuits, citizens who organise themselves, independent organisations and movements, trade unions, monitoring agency, non-profit sector, etc. 4th Economic society: the institution of the market, spontaneous local markets and their enterprises, the frame of economic relations, etc. 5th Mediating space between state and society: the medium of social relationships, the space of private actions, active voluntary mediating sector, etc. 6th Power-free space of communication: state, communal communication system that is not influenced by economy, etc. 7th Normative images, image of the future: the normative projection of the future of civil society, liberal social image, representative of community norms, etc. Table 7 : The civil society of the Industrial Age (Csaba Varga, 2005) In conclusion, we should emphasize that in the Industrial Age civil society is basicallyestablished as a sort of antithesis of burocracy and the regime in power. Only when thecitizens are willing to make sacrificies for community interests as well as they are able toenforce and defend individual interests can civil society operate in an adequate manner.Today the question is primarily whether in the new type of global-local world these foregoinginterpretations still hold true. To what extent did social developments in Hungary and Europeof the last two decades change local civil societies and thus to what extent do we need tocome up with a new definition? 52
  • We can therefore conclude that the industrial thought and liberal ideology made theindustrial age a crystallised and universal model. This was characterized by the developmentof the industrial economy, industrial society, civil democracy and thus the civil-liberal state.The model of the Socialist Age Precisely because of the unsustainability of the industrial-capitalist age could thecommunist-socialist alternative appear on the agenda in the post-World War II context. It iswidely known that this model has evolved in East and Central Europe, which by then hadalready belonged to the less developed part of Europe. Intellectual historians are going toanalyse the ways the new political model drastically denied its own ideas and the reasons andfashions it reached out to obsolete and old-fashioned ideas and dictatoric tools in the process.In hindsight it is impossible to tell whether dictatorship went hand in hand with theestablishment of the socialist model or whether it would have been imaginable that thesocialist model does not tread on but rather continues the democratic pursuits of humankind. The socialist period is readily called the state socialist model by many. However, thiscomplex catagory is not totally precise because in those times it was not the state thatexcercised dictatorial powers but the political party elite, which on its part has only used thestate to be able to implement drastic measures. This period therefore should be rather calledsocialist party state or, as many people named it, the state capitalist model, because in thishistorical formation it was the centrallised party state that owned all property. Erzsébet Szalai characterizes this period as follows: „The economic-social system thathad been „eaten up” by the state party or party state necessarily disintegrated, and with it theSoviet Empire. In brief, this happened on the one hand because the power structure was notpolitically legimitate and therefore its legimitacy in the sociological sense came from thecontinuous and permanent increase, as long as it lasted of „popular” consumption. On theother hand, the „encouraged” consumption opened the frame of integrationist mechanism,especially in view that the system was characterized by low productivity.” A party state entry states: „A mild form of Stalinist dictatorship and post-Stalinistmodel of authoritative leadership evolved in one part of East Central Europe in the 1960s and70s as a result of limited economic reforms.” This system was no different from its predecessor in its foundations: the party statesurvived just the same by a leading „state party”, which had absorbed all functions of theparty, state, society, military and culture. State institutions continued to be a formality, peopleelected candidates from a people’s front list while the composition of the parliament wasdecided at the communist party headquarters. So much the activities of the parliament as theexecution of laws and the representational system was fully controlled by the party.Governing was no longer founded on individual dictatorship, although personal „authority”stayed paramount, although it had broadened to include the top party elite called the PoliticalCommity (the members mirrored the party state: the PC was made up by leaders of the party,state and social institutions). This power model turned out to be more stable than former ones. That was so becausea certain standard of living could be maintained and slightly increased by having implementedlimited reforms and was supported by heavy foreign loans. No citizen identification was 53
  • required, the system contented itself with political apathy on the part of its citizens. Thegovernance was supported by huge bureaucracies as well as the apparatus of party, state,social and economic leaders. The primary requirement of leadership position was politicalreliability (if this requirement was met, then the position was very stable indeed). In thissystem positional mobility did not exist, instead there was total stiffness, and the shereimpossibility of change. The system did not allow for the smallest of changes.”In the Socialist (state socialist) AgeInstead of the individual – state – society– democracyCitizen/nationalised citizen – party state– nationalised society– socialist„democracy” In the state capitalist model thus such a European state and social paradigm evolvedthat even in the age of mild dictatorship it was primarily concerned with the day to dayinterests of the centralised party state. This is why we can legitimately claim that in this ageand in these decades the ruling party elite did not only nationalise the state by controlling theinstitutional system, but so much the individual and society was nationalised. Even in the lastdecades of the socialist party state system, civil society was not allowed to functionindependently because even at that point the fear of the second economy and the secondsociety had been prevalent. It is thus not surprising, that in these decades local governments,that is communal and city councils as well as district and county councils were regarded asthe implementing bodies of the centralised state, although to a lesser extent. All the same, thedevelopment of local administration slowly became more self-reliant in the 1980s. Even in hindshight, marrying the concept of the Socialist Age with the „socialistdemocracy” is astounding. This latter notion is the product of state and social schizophrenia.With the creation of this category they obviously intended to proclaim that socialistdemocracy was ideologically superior to civil democracy, in reality socialist democracy wasincomparably underdeveloped to the state system of civil democracies. The Socialist Age iswell characterised thus by the fact that even the democracy model did not bring to it neitherresounding nor small-scale change.The model fo the Information Age Some are of the opinion that the Information Age commenced in the 1950s, othersthink that it began in the 1970s. In our understanding the basic concept of information societycan be summed up as follows: information society is the society where signs are transmittedby manufactured instruments and has the potential of knowledge society.32 Certain ideologistsand scientists of information society have already claimed the end of this age. Just as NicholasNegroponte they already talk about the age of post-information when discussing broaderconcepts such as post-postmodernisation. Knowledge society model is the only possible positive future prospect for the comingtwo decades. In such a context, what does knowledge mean and in what form does it exist andcarries weight? Naturally, we might want include personal knowledge, or even religiousknowledge. If we use such categories one thing becomes apparent: knowledge cannot be32 Csaba Varga (2003): Új elmélethorizontok előtt (Towards New Theory Horisons), Tertia Könyvkiadó,Budapest. 54
  • defined using such definitions. We should attain to a complex theory of knowledge, one thatintegrates basic theories of previous centuries but which also goes beyond these approaches.Once again we can ascertain the lack: without the application of a comprehensive, complexmeta theory 33 new knowledge theories that compete with one another will not come to light. Prior and after the turn of millenium the industrial age has transformed to aninformation age to a growing and deepening degree. The inner structure and operation of localsocieties is revolutionised. The development of network societies is all the more characteristicof the new age. Francis Fukuyama characterizes this process as follows: „Network is thegroup of those people who act individually, who share certain informal norms and values wellbeyond the ones necessary for the usual market transactions.”34 We will use as a basis the recognitions of the last two decades35to put forward thefollowing new set of definitions: 1. In the new glocal world civil soicety is extended and structured. We candistinguish firstly between global and European, secondly between national and in-country,thirdly between regional (big and small regions), fourthly between settlement civil societiesand in bigger communities even between partial civil societies. 2. Civil society by today has become primarily a society in many respects, althoughnot without its limitations, it is independent from the state, economy, national levels and it islocal society. Everyone is part of it, so much the active as the passive citizens. It is a newphenomenon that a settlement seriously has started to develop its civil organisations; thesechanges are few and far between, yet civil society in Hungary has strengthened so much fromthe point of view of changing internal conditions as to the development of self-awareness.What follows from this argument is that civil society is not exclusively a mediating elementbut an independent and particular life world. 3. Since today in Hungary we can only distinguish between complex structuredregional or settlement civil society that also includes post-feudal, early capitalist, capitalist,post-socialist, new capitalist and information society elements as well as social groups, themost important recognition of all is though that in spite of its complexity the dominantelements are already those social groups who represent the new social interests and values. 4. Under the influence of new technology, services and institutions of the InformationAge, civil society is not simply a communication community any longer, but an intelligentcivil society, a new information, communication and community space. From this follows anew phenomenon that the real, tangible settlement society has duplicated and a virtual civilsociety is in formation, which is neither identical with the old, nor with the new local orcommunity consciousness. 5. In the new civil society community consciousness is a determining factor, but thisconcept is not identical with the prior consciousness roles, which completely filled or laterruled the consciousness, thought, mentality of local citizens. The consciousness structure oftoday’s civil society is complex, it is so much global as partial at the same time, it is based onthe individualised consciousness and emphasised state of consciousness qualities; the content33 Steve Talbott puts forward the following in his article called The Magic of Complexity: „In the past couple ofyears complex systems as well as complexity analysis has been widely perceived as revolutionary. With thisrevolution holistic approaches have gained new terrain and such notions have become increasingly popular asself-organisation, complexity and chaos” Információs Társadalom, 2002/2.)34 Francis Fukuyama (2000): A nagy szétbomlás: az emberi természet és a társadalmi rend újjászervezése (TheGreat Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order) Európa Könyvkiadó, 2000, Budapest.35 The analysis is based on an essay by Csaba Varga (New civil society conception, 2004). 55
  • of local citizen consciousnesses and consciousness forms is being extensively influenced bythe civil public consciousness. 6. The characteristics of intelligent civil society is that directly or indirectly it does notattempt to implement the democracy model of the industrial age. It is a space that has left thetraditional, central/state political framework behind, it is an autonomous space. It looks for anew philosophy and methodology of new democracy, and since it does not find anythingresembling and because it does not evaluate the forms of traditional representative democracyadequate, change is inhibited by being perplexed, by not knowing what to do. Its only supportis that e-public administration will commence soon in Hungary, and as a consequence e-democracy will develop, which is already a step forward towards participatory democracy.In the Information (and innovation-centred) AgeInstead of the individual – state – society – democracyNetwork citizen – digital state – intelligent society – e-democracy Our approach is supported by numerous interpretations, in which civil societies areanalysed and follow the industrial age. Such is the category, which interprets global civilsociety as „the stage of images, values, institutions, organisations, networks and individualsamong the family, the state and the market, which functions at the border of national societies,political regimes and economies.”36 Here is the following definition: local civil society is an intelligent civil society, to alarger degree in reality, to a lesser one potentially, which in its existance and actions is anindependent, specific and partially autonomous. It mediates on the one hand between thefamily, state and economy; on the other hand, it integrates them. Moreover, it also creates anindipendent lifeworld, and lastly, civil society is not exclusively of socio-economic nature, noris it only an institutional system, but a specific consciousness/ common knowledge network. To sum up, we conclude that the information age model so far has shown closerelations to the modern & post-modern age. To put it otherwise: the information age is theconcluding period of the industrial age and a partial post-industrial model. It thereforerepresents another temporary model, just as the socialist model did, but hopefully it is goingto end on a more positive note. The information age is a radical paradigm change so muchintellectually as practically: in its potentials it far exceeds the systems of the industrial andsocialist period, while in its purpose it prepares for the so-called knowledge age, whichperhaps will fill a few of humanity’s dreams. Comparing to North America and South-EastAsia, Europe is lagging behind in the creation of knowledge age. The new age is not merelythe period of new technologies and new infomration services, but it also brings a qualitativelydifferent world model. The arrangements so far have partial, both from the intellectual andsocial perspective.2.8. Democracy – before the new democracy is established36 Helmut Anheier, Marlies Glasius & Mary Kaldor (2004) p. 30 56
  • If we are to interpret and think through modern public administration or its newestversion, e-public administration, then must descibe the existing democracy models. As it iswell deducable from the last subdivisions, the four elements of citizen, state, society,democracy are in mutual relationship systems. Democracy is on the one hand basically a method, a method of decisionmaking andaction. On the other hand, it is a compound and complex spatial system model, which maycreate a comprehensive scope of movement (both in space and time). This is the reasonbehind the phenonemon that in the last two hundred years political democracy has necessarilybecome the most important cateogory of political ideas and political practice. However, thisconcept originally means the rule of people, and later on, it became the topic of heateddebates as to what we should mean by people and community. The classic approach to democracy is based upon the starting-point that every singlevoter by practicing their right to suffrage should jointly decide as a people who should be theparliamentary and local government representative. By today democracy has reached such adevelopmental stage that is simultaneously a crisis situation, where the political system, theselection system and the question of people who were considered for a long time anundistinguishable masshave becom the centre of heated debates. The universal democracy model has developed very different democratic systems andtypes in the world. One of the characteristics is that numerous new democracies came intoexistance in previously non-democratic economies and societies, and therefore it partiallyadjusted itself to big structures of the opposite line, while partially it forced the political,economic and state models to gradually change. The other characteristics is, which mainlyoccurs in the developed West European states, that non-democratic or partially democraticpolitical-economic groups found loopholes in the matured framework and regulations ofdemocracy models and have stealthily introduced previous political and state models in thedecision-making process. The third characteristics is that in the last hundred to hundred andfifty years the bourgeoisie and the post-bourgeoisie considerably strengthened and by now itwants to put forward its interests and values in the democratic institutions in a more effectiveand direct way. In the last two-three decades we have encountered a number of preparatory images ofnew democracy models, its ideal organisation types. These are already preparations of theparadigm change and new endeavours, independently whether we call it participatorydemocracy, e-democracy or direct democracy. The confidence of Manual Castells in ideallyfar from being negative: „We expected from the internet to become the ideal tool ofdemocracy, and so it happened.”372.9. The functional theories of e-public administration The primarily task for e-public administration experts is to come up with a definitionof e-public administration theory. To prepare for the theory we necessarily had to interpret thereality system and the philosophical framework, in which e-public administration isinterpreatable at all. This is why we briefly looked at state and social theories. Havingprovided for such an introduction, we can now put forward the fundamental theses of e-publicadministration:37 Manuel Castells (2000) p. 158. 57
  • I. E-public administration is not merely the technologically modernised form ofpublic administration. II. E-public administration is not merely a public administration system in theavailable public administration model. III. E-public administration at least presupposes the third level of state, society andembourgeoisement. From this it follows that e-public administration cannot exist in dictatorialstates, neither in strong, centralised states, nor in empty, quasi-democracies. This, however,does not exclude regrettably, that certain totalitarian systems or half-democracies disguised indemocracies would not use the specific tools and/or services of e-public administration. IV. E-public administration, as generally all sorts of public administrations consistsof the local government and state administration. This is why e-public administration is inaddition e-local government and e-state administration. V. The requirement and simultaneously, the result of e-public administration is thecomprehensive transformation of the state, or to put it differently, the e-state and e-publicadministration mutually presuppose each other. VI. E-public administration is on the one hand a new knowledge on publicadministration matters, which does not only mean new technological knowledge or newservices, but also that the European civilisation makes the most of all sorts of new knowledgein the public administration domain. VII. E-public administration is the result and at the same time the improvement ofglobal, national and local infomration societies. If information society does not exist, e-publicadministration remains but a technological novelty. VIII. E-public administration is also the preparer as well as the high level result of e-democracy, which means the further democratisation process of civil society and therelationship between state and citizen. IX. The central functional goal of e-public administration is the co-operation,simplification, acceleration and growth in efficiency of administration and action betweencitizen/community citizen and the state/ community state. Online administration is thuspartially an administrative reform, partially it makes a new sort of relationship possible withthe clients, partially it makes for a more dynamic self-administration and self-development oflocal communities. X. The central substantial goal of public-administration is the restoration of balancebetween state and its citizens while it brings the relationship to a higher level. It follows fromthe argument that the pressure-group of e-public administration is the intelligent civil society.This group will also promote the creation of civil bourgeoisie and the construction of a wide,direct e-democracy. XI. E-democracy could be signifantly promoted in the coming decades so that e-politics would become reality. Secondly, this way the political elite will once again be linkedto its voters. Thirdly, according to the perspective of direct e-democracy practically everysingle voter could become a virtual representative. XII. E-public administration is created by new types of global and local powerstruggles and negotitations, or to put it more precisely, it is created and made operational bysuch types of agreements, in which every interested party could equally be the real winner. XIII. E-public administration represents new knowledge, new consciousness, or ifinterepreted in a more complex way: it is new culture. E-public administration is new publicknowledge, as a side effect of new culture it adopts and utilises the new knowledge of theinformation age. XIV. The introduction of e-public administration presupposes the weight increase oflocal bourgeoisie as well as the the intensive increase in the needed skills and practices. 58
  • XV. E-public administration can bring only partial results without the activities oflocal citizens and community-public administration. E-public administration thus onlymotivates and requires the increase of knowledge and consciousness of local citizens. Solution to the Hungarian public administration model: Opening of individual-family e-gateway, local society e-gateway, government and (local) public administration e-gateway, knowledge of public administration e-gateway, by means of landline and mobile infocommunication networks 8. diagram. The Hungarian public administration model (Csaba Varga) Summary: E-public administration by means of the technology of the e-era and newknowledge is firstly the internal administrative-operational service providing publicadministration; secondly, it is the relationship between state and citizen; thirdly, it ispotentially the reform of intelligent civil society. The three procedures induced by publicadministration could jointly begin the paradigm changes of traditional political and power-ledstate. Once again we shall quote Castells who writes: „From the mid-1980s to the end of the1990s a mass of local communities appeared on the internet all around the world. In manycases they formed close ties with local institutions and settlement local governments, and theyestablished democracy in cyberspace where civil actions are initiated from bottom to top.”38 With the theoretical and practical requirements structured in bulletpoints wish tocomprehensively sum up those questions, which could be the outstanding elements of thetheory of e-public administration. The theory of e-public administration could simultaneouslybe global, continental (thus European), and Hungarian theory. The global theory already inthe last ten years put significant emphasis on general modernisation which prepares as well asembodies e-public administration, with special emphasis on the establishment of e-government. The theory of European e-public administration has as a curiosity that it isstrongly linked to the development of economy. It is based on the idea, on the one hand, thate-public administration necessarily supports and helps the competiteveness of localeconomies. On the other hand, e-public administration in itself is an economic andenterpreneurial activity if not for other reason but because numeorous local administrative andpublic administrative activities are taken care of by market and/or local actors. (In Hungarysuch an approach is made impossible by the legislation governing public administration.) In Hungary there is no widely accepted theory of e-public administration although somuch in the governmental sector as in professional workshops serious research is taking placeresulting in theoretical works. One of the characteristics of the Hungarian e-publicadministration model is that it attempts to adopt the ideas of European e-public administration38 Manuel Castells (2000) p.147. 59
  • developments and simultaneously it links the Hungarian service-providing local governmentwith the vision of public administration both in theory and practice. The second characteristicof the model that it puts special emphasis on the theory of mobile public administration anddetails the tasks that lie ahead of its introduction. A later development is that in the 2002-2006governmental cycle serious attempts have been made by the Miniszterelnöki Hivatal, IHMand BM to introduce it and new legislation was passed for the sake of the cause. As far as we are concerned, we defined the Hungarian pubic administration model ashaving four poles: the local citizen, local society, public administration system, publicadministration knowledge. This system already at its genesis includes the link between e-society, e-government and e-democracy. All the same or independently of the abovementioned, it remains to be seen what developmental course will the Hungarian e-publicadministration take in reality. If we are to analyse a local region, the introduction of e-government and e-publicadministration would have the following functions and services: 1. In small regions the building of infocommunication networks would be in a stage ofdevelopment that ideally reached the majority of the population, the enterpreneurs as well asthe local government institutions. The secondary question is whether this network is atelephone network, cabel tv network or an indipendent computer network-based system. 2. In the mayor’s office work is done via internet linked computer network (whetherexternal or internal), or the possibility and practice of e-administration has become reality onevery settlement and among settlements. 3. The local government and public administration, on the one hand, is present onevery single settlement, on the other hand, it can be reached in small regions (county or largerregions) through e-public administration portals, and so it will provide information, locallegislation as well e-administration and among others the regional portal will become thestrengthening institution of regional identity. 4. In line with the European requirements, the development of every single settlementand small region e-public administration should reach a stage where it does not only provideinformation for the citizen or the citizen does not only download the forms to doadministrative business, but that all their mundane problems could be solved through theinternet at the mayor’s office, which implies that because of the need of a digital signatureevery document would be certified. 5. With the help of directory software, e-democracy could be established on asettlement, whether town or village, and small regions by individual, family and communityinfocommunication ends. Amongst others, e-democracy would bring e-participation toparliamentary and local government elections and could initiate small region e-referenda. 6. It is an important element of e-public administration that at the local and smallregional level the administration could be done electronically with secondary publicadministration levels and institutions. Moreover, contact could be kept with the help of thenon-public e-public administration network with governmental levels and institutions. 7. From other additional possible functions we only highlight that e-publicadministration does not only include the ability of every single local representative to receivemotions electronically but that the representatives could vote in spite of their absence andcould keep video conference negotiations, too. 60
  • Taking into account the unpredictability of the future in Hungary already for thecoming five years (until 2010), it is too early to predict whether local government regionsand/or small regions will exist as well as whether small regional local governments willdevelop in reality from the multipurpose small regional formations. It is already clear,however, that in lack of parliamentary agreements decision-making is prolonged, which couldeven provide us with advantages with regards to possible changes. Based on the ideas andtechnology of the information age the multipurpose small regional formations and/or smallregional government could fundamentally develop in a different manner, as for instancepresent-day county local government did indeed. This by and large shows that small region public administration task should not becentralised into one settlement or one institution, since in the world of the internet anysettlement of a small region could provide with one or more state administrative function. Thecitizen could anyway manage his/her daily business on the same small regional e-publicadministration (centralised) portal. Not to even mention that for small regional decision-making is not necessary by all means to construct real-life and symbolic buildings if themajority of smaller or bigger decisions had been made within the framework of e-localgovernment. This, however, does not imply that from time to time there would be no need forreal or quasi- „small regional parliament” sessions. The information age cannot be possibly ornecessarily blamed for the amalgamation of small settlement local governments in the nameof institutional modernisation and rationalisation since the new age will bring thestrengthening of democracy development alternative. In the new age every single local citizenwill become potentially a virtual representative next to the local government representative,whose role in an e-democracy is not only to prepare decision-making or to be part of it, butalso to become a more active executive of it. In today’s public administration way of thinking it is neither totally understood noraccepted that a public administration institution should exist exclusively in the virtual space.The legislative bodies of local governments and public administration institutions so far haveonly existed by being linked to buildings existing in reality and have been made operationalby flesh and blood institutional administrators. One of the big novelties of the society in theinformation age is that the tangible, physically reachable is left behind with the help of theinternet and institutions and services are created by virtual means. This results in theduplication of the actual local government and mayor’s office: on every single computermonitor of individual citizens and communities, regardless of the size the local governmentbody will be instantaneously reachable in a digital form. So it will be the office itself, with allthe activities and every administrator. The citizen therefore does not go about their daily business that they need to go intothe mayor’s office to contact a particular administrator and according to the outcome theywould need to hand in a written request and would receive a written decision. We might needto add, however, that already the written request has a virtual aspect to itself, although thepersonal contact could make the indirectness of the procedure be forgotten. Now, however,we will reach a phase that there is no (need for a) personal relationship between anadministrator and a citizen. To put it more precisely, the illusion of personal contact could bemaintained if the information request or administrative procedure is done through videotelephone. If the citizen hands in their proposal, request, document with their certifiedsignature on the internet, the administrator or the mayor will send their response or decision inthe same way, then public administration belongs unambiguously and definitively to thevirtual world. 61
  • Even if by today’s standards this sounds rather unconventional, in the coming five toten years a higher level virtualisation will take place: it will first concern routine business.During routine procedures the documents sent in by the client will be received by thecomputer and with the help of artificial intelligence a decision, resolution or any otherdocument will be formulated and sent away without the intervention or even knowledge of theadministrator or mayor. The advantage of this is undoubtedly that there will be no 30 daywaiting time and as long as the application was submitted as it was required, the decision willnot be influenced for individual or political or any other reasons. On the other hand, in thenew professional procedures the personal contacts will become secondary while theprogramming of artificial intelligence will become a key issue. The contentual and formalcriteria of programming could be proceededby wide-ranging, although virtual socialharmonisation. In this respect thus local government and office administration matters will necessarilybecome virtualised, what more, it will become totally natural that the small region as well asevery single public administration level will be duplicated and on the internet a digital publicadministration will be established that (may) function far more effectively than the real one. All these could make the small regional or regional electronic demos a reality withinone decade, and from a quantitative democracy we might proceed toward a qualitativedemocracy. To put it differently, the e-extension to the rigth to vote is made possible by theknowledge development of voters and voter groups and the practice of electronic directparticipation. 62
  • Chapter Three: State, governing, democracy within theconcepts of liberal democracy and in practice3.1. The historical formation and definition of the modern state The state is a human community living within the well-defined borders of ageographical area, ideologically based on the nation while structurally it is supported by thelaw and order embodied by the institutions. The modern state is a characteristically Europeandevelopment and it is closely linked by the development of nation-states. One of the starting points was the following: „...one of the primary and most importantof principles on which the state and legislation are consecrated is that its temporary ownersand beneficiaries do not pretend to forget what they have received from their ancestors andwhat they owe to their offsprings...” (E. Burke39)Problems with the nation-state and its birth The nation is an imagined community and this implies that within an appointedterritory a community lives which is made up by a multitude of individuals who do not knoweach other. This community is defined both in space and time.40 Community is made up somuch by the living as the dead, the latter one representing traditions and experiences, as wellas the generation not yet born, since the actions of the community are always futureoriented.41 The other two defining characteristics of the nation is sovereinty and encompassment.This presupposes that the nation is surrounded by other nations. This is why one of the keysymbols of the 19th century was the coloured picture of nation-states. The approach of space and time goes back to the period of Enlightenment; itshistorical importance being the division of the previously determining concept of „religiouscommunity” from „national community”. This created a philosophical basis for revolutionsthat smashed whole empires built on class hierarchy and universal principles into pieces.While power has gradually lost its previous transcedent character guaranteed by religion,power struggles and governing became a central point of political activity. Due to theprocesses wherein the political domain has become autonomous while simultaneously powerstruggles for national sovereignty were taking place, the concept of national community hasbecome identical to the concept of political community. A. De Tocqueville has summed thisup as follows: „ ... nowadays it is easy to come to the conviction that the struggle againstreligion was only one of the incidents of the great revolution, it was a salient but transitoryphenomenon, yet not its real mentality, but the transitional consequence of those ideas that39 Edmund Burke (1990): Töprengések a francia forradalomról (Reflections on the French Revolution), AtlantiszKönyvkiadó, p. 188.40 Benedict.Anderson (1991): Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism,Revised Edition ed. London – New York, Verso, p. 5-7.41 Edmund Burke (1990) p. 190. 63
  • prepared and preceeded the revolution, of passions and individual events.” „Christianity didnot stir unbridled hatred as a religious doctrine, but as a political institution.”42 The stake inthe division between state and church was thus not the belief as a religious conviction but thestatus of religion after the reorganisation of society and political power. To put it differently:the main question is to ensure the autonomoy of modern society and politics. By exilingreligion to the private sphere simultaneously resulted in the „adaption of belief to the modernrequirements of social life”, which took shape in the „vision of the unity of the social body”(the nation). The new belief framed the dynamic operation of civil society built on pluralismand it became the cohesive force behind modern democracy (republic).43 The ideological basis of the nation-state is the belief that tradition holds thecommunity together. Its role is important for a number of reasons. One the one hand, as thepreserved and inherited preference system of the community it serves as a basis for theestablishment of institutions that regulate the relations between the members of a givencommunity (constitution, laws, regulating systems, etc)44. On the other hand, tradition showsitself as a culture, which is regarded by its members as shared and homogeneous (nationalculture), and as such it ensures the previous role of religion: authority of the state. This role ofthis authority is universal, corresponding to religion.45 It was already A. de Toqueville who pointed out that the establishment of the newbourgeois order and state shows precisely the same picture as a religious revolution: „TheFrench revolution is such a political revolution, which has run its course in the manner ofreligions revolutions and assumed their characteristics.”46 Its most important trait was thatindependently of countries, people and periods it researched and defined the rights and dutiesof humans as political actors (please refer to the Human Rights Manifesto). Beyond thelimitations of a region, it formulated universal principles and as such it created a newideology for the modern state organisation. The universal principle in itself is only suitable todemolish the ancient order, but lacks all particular values on the basis of which thereorganisation of society can take place. Particularities present themselves on local traditions(localisations). The critique of E. Burke attracted attention to this fact while discussing theevents of the French revolution. To link the concepts of nation, state, culture ensured a solid ground to the realisation ofa stable governance. Nevertheless, for the sake of political stability and homogenuous statecultural diversity was sacrificed, something that is so essential and necessary in our presentday and from the point of view of information society. During the establishement of nation-state, local traditions and specific values are atleast as important as the identification with one or more principles. Due to the dual characterof the modern state, the state is simultaneously „national”, thus it is to be understood in itsuniqueness and universality as far as it appeals to the universal and natural human rights42 Alexis de Tocqueville (1994): A régi rend és a forradalom (The old regime and the revolution), Atlantisz, p. 47-48.43 Marcel Gauchet (1998): La religion dans la démocratie. Parcours de la laïcité, Gallimard (Coll. "Le débat")Paris, p. 29.44 Edmund.Burke (1990) p. 188.45 Please refer to the etimology of the words culture and cult - Edmund.Burke (1990) p. 183-185. - Alexis deTocqueville (1994) p. 47-54.46 Alexis de Tocqueville (1994) p. 53. 64
  • (human dignity, human rights). To use an fashionable phrase, the modern state was born at thejunction of global and local values and as a result of globalisation and fragmentation.The inconsistencies of nation-state We cannot emphasize enough the importance of culture in the establishment andoperation of the nation-state. In present-day society, when we are debating the role of state ininformation society and its new operational principles, an increasing number of individualsare of the opinion that one of the requirements of the nation-state to become information state(e-state) is to separate culture from the political state. The developmental dynamics ofinformation society is determined by the rate of cultural diversity and this cannot be achievedwithin the limitations of a homogenising state.47 It is in the nature of nation-states that it aimsfor totality. The idea of nation-state (and republic) hides serious inconsistencies from aphilosophical point of view: 1. The primary task of the state within the framework of a nation-state is not thedefence of particular cultural identites, but the maintenance of the universal law. Its operationthus contains such principles and political tools that shift specific values towards the general(universal). As Lévy finds out, the state should be defined as the „coherent unity of universallaws”.48 (This is how for instance „jurisdiction” becomes „administration of justice”, directdemocracy is replaced by representational democracy, the fiction of national identificationdominates local identities.) 2. The state as a political entity operates within a defined territory. It projects theentity based on territoral principal and political unity on the cultural identity of localcommunities living within its boundaries and that is unified in a nationalist ideology. Theessential inconsistency arises from the tendency with which it limits „the multi-dimensionalvirtual space” of culture into a two dimensional space. These inconsistencies are not only limited to systematic outbreaks of crisis situations(nationalism, totalitarian dictatorship, discrimination, world wars, etc.) but culture wasstripped away by it multi-dimensional and virtual essence (oppression) without whichknowledge-based society and economy cannot come into being. The division of culture andstate is a social and economic necessity in the 21st century.3.2. Democratic deficit or the post-totalitarian system Numbering republics is a characteristically French custom in the history of nationstates. It is based on the recognition that the institution of democracy cannot be detached fromits originating social context, and so it develops paralelly with it. To maintain itsoperationability, it needs smaller adjustments from time time, while other times profundchanges need to be inititated. Numbering therefore includes the future: the possibility of a47 One of the most outstanding representative of this approach is Pierre Lévy (2001) in his book called Laséparation de la culture et de l’Etat. Intervir, 2001/12. – Emese Ugrin (1997) A kultúratársadalom és atranszkontinentalizmus korszaka, in: A mai világ és a jövő forgatókönyvei (The Age of Culture Society andCulture Continentalism) (eds.: Csaba Varga and Timea Tibori) HÉA Institute for Strategic Research, MTASociological Institute, Hungarian Gate Foundation).48 P.Lévy (2001) 65
  • fourth, fifth, etc. republic. The sine qua non of democracy maintainance is the allignment withthe changes, the prevailing sensitive and constructive update.49 The critique of the current democratic operability of the republic or the thought of anew, fourth, fifth, etc. republic thus is by no means the subvertion of the republic.Nevertheless it unequivocally implies that the changed social, economic relations, presentlythe internal and external circumstances induced by globalisation and localisation as well asnew technologies require essentail changes, which do not point at democracy as afundamental but rather toward its operative principle. Democratic deficits appear simultaneously at a number of levels: 1. At a regional or local level: it is primarily within the framework of nation-states thatthe social basis of democracy has changed significantly. The available system of politicaltools in itself is inadequate when it comes to ensuring what public politics needs for a healthyoperation: wide citizen participation and taking personal responsibility. 2. At the local government or lower local level: the most important obstacle to ademocracy-based participation and partnership is rooted in the nature of local governementsbeing solely the mirror images of national level representational democracies. This does notonly make specific problem-solving more difficult, but it also limits citizen participation andresponsibility. 3. At a continental level: the effective co-operation of nation-states to keep their globalcompetitiveness requires surrendering the principle of national sovereignty (or to put itdifferently, surrendering the rights rooted in the principle of territoriality and culturalhomogeneity of nation-states) in place of the previous loose international co-operations(internationalism). Theoretically speaking, we would need a pan-European (transnational)system of democratic institutions, which is today still hampered by the specific value systemsof nation-states. The failure of acceptance of a European constitution also points to the factthat the models of nation-state democracy and state at continental levels are just asforedoomed to failure as they are at local levels. The establishment of a democracy model ofthe Eureopan Union is all the more urgent because it impacts the competitive power of thecontinent.50 4. The global (transcontinental) level that aggregates the whole of Westerncivilisation: Although hardly anyone comments on this level, we must understand that theglobal competition today does not take place between the USA, Japan, Europe but the FarEast (China, Japan, India, South Korea) and the Western civilisation (USA, Europe, Canada,Australia), which will neccessitate a new type of co-operation based on new principles andvisions.5149 The lack of actualisation is to be found in the nature of nation state when it attempts totalitarianism, wheninstead of trying to meet real social and economic challenges, the answer is cultural homogenisation in nearly allinstances. The most tragic historical events are, however, without any exception rooted in the operational deficitsof nation states. Dictatorships, whether facsist or communist, have always popped up from the idea of nationstates and their ideological premise has always been the rejection of diversity. In this sense the numbers remindus the historical failures of modern republics.50 Without a unified action and governance the collapse of the union is nearly expected. The defeciencies of co-operation has been already pointed out by the re-consideration of the Lisabon strategy. In the Kok report nationstates are heavily criticised because they are self-interested, lack of partner relationship, lack of active integrationof social and economic actors as well as European institutions (parliaments).51 This is not an illusion but an existing necessity. We should only think about the USA, widely regaded as thegreat powers of the world is also the most endebted country in the world, its budgetary deficit is financed by thedynamically developing states of the Far East, - China, India and South Korea. Since global competition isintensifying the remaining question is only about the timing of the bill. In order to bypass a possiblechatastrophy will by all means necessitate a new type of co-operation in the Western part of the world. Europe isonly going to be an alternative if it has established its own operaitonal model. 66
  • We shall review in the following paragraphs the democratic deficit levels of thenation-state, placed in between globalisation and localisation.Legitimacy Questions of legitimacy have recently become a topic of heated debates. According tothe logic of modern republic, legitimacy is the result of the majority will declared throughelections. It is a single licence of limited time, which is re-evaluated at the next elections. Thislicence is by today a questioned legitimacy. The traditional civil democracy or representational democracy was establishedaccording to the needs of capitalism. Political parties were established to represent differentsocial classes/ layers. One of the positive returns of market economy and its result, the well-fare society was to dissolve the differences between social classes. Dynamising economybased on growth required expansion of markets and demand. This was a good opportunity forthe state to shape a new type of social politics. Wellfare systems are no longer the institutionsof social solidarity, but rather the tool of consumerist policies guaranteeing economic growth.As a consequence of social mobility, even if to different degrees, all of us has becomeconsumers. Our social place is not determined by property but by consumer spending. Bytoday this process has reached the stage that according to the logic of economy it is notaccumulation (saving) what counts, but increase in consumer spending. However, withoutadequate reserves only few can stabilise their place on the consumer ladder. We will,however, have to individually live through the uncertainty of a constantly changing marketand employement situation and the every-day problems that accompany the changes of socialstatus based on consumerism. There are no real stabile social layers or classes, if we are not toconsider those numerous people as such who have been definitively squeezed out of theconsumer ladder and those tiny groups that have serious wealth reserves (from a sociologicalpoint of view they are called big consumers or spenders). Generally speaking, in a consumersociety only mobile and immobile individuals (families, micro-communities) exist.52 Startingfrom the second part of the 1970s an odd situation has come to light: the single layer groupwith a secure consumer power are the pensioners.They are those who have a stable income,even if that is not too significant, their consumer needs can be accounted for in advance andtheir status can be taken away only in the event of their death. We cannot see it as accidentarychange that the political power of pensioners has grown in the last decades. 53 But as we allknow it, this stable consumer layer is being currently swept away by history and the winds of„active ageing”.52 Even families can be regarded as consumer communities since their role as a unit that „creates and mediatessocial values” has been slowly washed away. Values are defined by society and community. If largecommunities disintegrate – such as the middle classes, the proletariat or the peasantry, - the victims of consumermobility will be the cultural scenes where social norms are created one of them being the families.53 In developed Western societies where the basis of pensions are guaranteed by long-term investments made usbelieve that pensioners would stay the most secure pillar of consumer soicety. In the development of tertiary,quartiery and quintiary sectors of economy (such as the services, healthcare, culture and turism) this layer ofsociety was of utmost importance. From the 1990’s, however, besides the growth in intensity of capital marketsit has become a general tendency that shorter term transactions have a negative impact on long term investments,- private and state initiatives alike. 67
  • Mobility does not favour the establishment of other interest groups either. Lobbygroups have become „phantom organisations”: even if they represent important social oreconomic interests, their representation can be permanently questioned, because the „masses”they are supposed to represent is not tangible and changes permanently. It is not by accident that traditional trade union movements weaken all around theglobe, and as far as defence of interests is concerend other civil organisation do not exceleither. To put it precisely, only those civil society organisations show real results who aim atthe problems of immobile social groups. A completely new type of civil organisation is in theprocess of birth, which mobilizes on the Internet. Its efficiency is due to the informationtechnology systems that provide the opportunity to adjust themselves to the continuallychanging situations when it comes to providing information, the definition of goals as well asall concerns of the „changing membership”. Another great advantage of such a forum is that itdoes not require a single and definitive commitment on the side of the citizens, but they canposition themselves according to their actual social situations and interests. The agreed manner of social dialogue in civil democracies between employers,employees and the state is not really operational any longer either. The dialogue betweenthese three actors is but a fiction today. The side of employers and employees is in acontinuous move, while the state only represents its own interest due to the fall in its socialrole and economic influence. Agreements such as the minimum salary, minimum pensiondoes not require to assume a real obligation from the sides. (An exception to the rule is theamount of contributions and taxes which are legally protected calculations.) The reason is tobe found in the strong contrastbetween the global and local economy. The companies that takepart in the global competition and those small and middle-size enterprises who primarily liveoff local markets have an entirely different function in national economies. While the firstprovides economic growth, the latter en masse employement, thus it guarantees consumerspending and as such it fills a social function. This, however, means that there are seriousconflict of interests already on the employer side. The amount of minimum salary and growthof contributions is a cost-of-living problem for a large number of employers and it has notconstituted for a long time now a question of competitive power. In such a situation how canwe expect the solidarity principle to be realised?Stabilisation vs. mobilisation The situation is not a shade better in the scene of politics either. The new basicquestion in this social subsystem is how to prevent the consumer ladder to become a slide. Toput it differently: is it possible to keep the consumer power in a two-way motion and if so,how? The newly repeated magic term is creation of jobs. The problem is that jobs are notcreated by the state, but by economic actors. Politics therefore increasingly serves the interestsof the economic sphere rather than of society. Social politics of political parties andgovernments aim exclusively at maintaining the consumer masses. In a situation where thesocial and economic relationships are built on consumerism „stabilisation” appropriatelyentails the ensuring of „mobilisation”. How come nevertheless that all political forces mentions „stabilisation”? In our viewthe answer is that mobility is a double-edged sword. The continuous movement of economicand social environment, the political sphere that had developed in the organised and stabilecontext of civil democracy forces it to constantly adapt and mobilise. Mobility, however, 68
  • shakes up representational democracy at its root, which manifests itself in a predictable andwell measurable loss of trust. For the current political organisations it represents a problemthat while they talk about those social group(s) that they are supposed to represent, theythemselves cannot precisely tell who they really represent: the citizen, who during electionshad a certain consumer power, will judge the offered programmes from a totally differentsocial position in a matter of days, weeks or months if/when his/her consumer powerdiminishes or perhaps disappears altogether and thus his/her social status weakens. This ofcourse holds true inversely, too... Becoming a people’s party is essentially a reaction to such insecurity factors. Sincebeyond the registered member (primarily those who are ideologically committed) no party cantell who they really represent, the only option for survival is the strategy to simplify thoserepresented to two categories: those who slide downwards, and those who climb upwards. Asfar as they are concerned, it is none of their business to define differences and specificproblems between the two categories. The formula of political struggle for power is thefollowing: if you say white, i say black. This game has two roles. There is no place for minorroles. National colours fade away in the contrast of black and white. The situtationincreasingly reminds us of Bizancium: the member of green and blue party fanatically enthusethe competing carriage-drivers in the hippodrom, citizens who either slide down or climb upthe social ladder. Those politicians who identify with the ones that are in climbing talk about„well-functioning economy”, those who support the sliders they adopt the slogan of „we areworse off today”. While the first catchword always belongs to those who happen to be inpower (and who want to stay in power), because in a positive catchphrase they refer to asuccessful government while the second group is made up of those who happen to be inopposition and whose legitimacy comes from those social groups who slide down on thesocial ladder. It is an interesting, although not accidental fact that nobody appeals to the group ofpeople who have become immobile definitely or for a long time. These people are immobiliedue to either their health, age, out-dated professional skills or disadvantageous regional and/orsocio-cultural environment. The answers given to them are in every single case general andpolitically empty promises. To answer their problems one can give only singular andparticular answers, while representational democracy based on the homogenising logic of thenation-state is capable of dealing only with general situations. If, however, on the politicalpalette suddenly such forces appear who want to deal with particularities they are necessarilyranked among the extreme categories. The management of specific problems is to be dealtwith civil society and local government. For such capabilities the strengthening of localdemocracy would be needed and the essentially new type of co-operation among localsociety, in which the active participation of social members would dominate. In the presentcircumstances, however, when local government is but the mirror image of representationaldemocracy at local level, finding solutions to specific problems is a limited option. The real danger of a bipartisan system is that we grow more and more lazy. It does notmotivate us to formulate real alternatives to create new political or social concepts. Thestrength of the political party is determined not so much by its professional competence andcreativity but to be able to put forward a „leader”.5454 Bipartisanship is an efficient system in a country where the territorial structure of the state is organised on theprinciple of subsidiarity, eg. the independent (politically legitimate) federation of states, cantons or regions thathave governmental powers. In these countries the internal differentiation of parties – with regards to movements,programs and even leader behaviour – is defined by the territorial units. Internal debates, negotations, 69
  • In such a simplified political environment the only actors who exist are thegovernment and the opposition. Why cannot they agree with each other? They can. The onlyobstacle to their agreement is that the economic actors whom are interested in maintenance ofthe consumerist world have conflict of interests, market wars among themselves. To beassociated with opposing parties is capable of polarising politics, at least temporarily. Whydoes economy have such power over politics? We should think over what are theconsequences that the multi-party democracy based on social layers and classes has lost itssocial basis. It could survive in the wellfare state, as long as it could ensure consumermobilisation through the wellfare system. By today, however, the intensity of mobilisation hasspeeded up to such a degree that it can hardly be followed, intervention is simplyunimaginable. This situation is further corrupted by functional globalisation which primarilyappears in the economic sphere. The state, and as a consequence, the political sphere has noinfluence upon the global economy. Since its political priority is to maintain the consumeristsociety of the given state, it would do anything to win the actors of global market over. Andwho they come up against? Those who can survive in the local markets exclusively. This is how the conflict of global and local economies becomes a political issue: thegovernment in power, thus the governing party(ies) necessarily give priority to theinternational capital as the repository of competitive power55, while the current oppositionrefers to national or local economy. It is true, however, that the local (national) economy hasa very low share in the production of GDP. Nevertheless, this enterpreneurial circle ensure themajority employement of the country.56 Theoretically speaking, the fundamental interest ofthe state should be supported by the national small and medium-size companies for the sakeof job creation, and thus maintenance of social consumer power. Why doesn’t the state leanupon the small and middle-size enterpreneurs nevertheless? It cannot, because it risks itsglobal economic competitive power. If this situation were to be translated to the politicallingo, we would have to theoretically claim that big international companies (supra-nationalfirms) belong to the competitive power sector while the small and medium-size entreprisespresent on the local market represent the social sphere. While the right wing parties lean oninternational companies, left wing parties are supported by small and medium-size companies.This type of division, however, is only true at the moment of elections. Since we live in theage of economy and society that is consumerism- and growth-oriented, the real politicalcategory is that of the government while the opposition is in a vacuum. In representational democracies it is no longer a question what we chose but who weempower. Not the election programmes but political personalities can be distinguished fromone another. To put it very simplified: we do not chose the direction but the king. Instead ofrepresenational democracy there is delegate democray.3.3. Minimal democratic procedures have been emptied of theircontent Orthodox analysts frequently sum up procedural minimums when describing the defacto functioning democracies because they believe that democratic procedures are essentialcompromises are about real problems and interests which are synthetised into country representations at everyelections although only in those questions that do not touch upon or hurt the self-governance of particularinterests of regional units.55 80% of the GDP in Hungary is produced by them.56 The enterpreneurial circle employes 50-60% of the people in Hungary. 70
  • or especially important to the operation of democracies. They don’t deny, however, that theexistence of procedural rules in themselves does not guarantee a functioning democracy. It was Robert A. Dahl who put together the minimum democracy procedures based onthe analysis on US democracy and this was further amended by Philippe C. Schmitter ésTerry Lynn Karl.57 We list the nine conditions in a way that within brackets and in italics weindicate how and why did the procedural minimum become empty of its contents. „1. The supervision of governmental political decisions is constitutionally appointedto civil servants. (If its in their political interests most governments outwit the supervisionover their political decisions, mostly with legal means.) 2. Chosen civil servants are selected during frequent and clear elections which are freeof pressure in the majority of cases. (It is long since clear elections free of all types of grossor mild, direct or indirect pressure opportunities do not exist due to e.g. false governmentprogramme, false statements aimed at discrediting the opponents, misleading mediacampaigns, etc.) 3. Practically every single adult has the right to vote for their civil servant. (Thisprocedural minimum is a valid one. However, if it serves their interests, increasing number ofpolitical forces are disposed to adopt a campaign that aims at keeping a part of voters off.) 4. Practically every single adult has the right to compete for a governmental function.(This statement holds true from a legal point of view. In practice, however, this rule iscontinuously damaged because the social, material, political and cultural conditions are farfrom being given to everyone in an equal measure.) 5. Citizens have the right to freedom of speech without the danger of seriousprosecution on broadly interpreted political issues. (This right is possibly valid everywhere.Hidden threats and polished menaces to material well-being push citizens on more than oneoccassion to keep their mouths shut.) 6. Citizens have the right to look for alternative information means. Moreover,alternative information means exist and they are protected by law. (Theoretically speakingalternative information resources and access means exist. However, mass media is influencedby power groups and that constitutes an information disadvantage for the majority ofcitizens.) 7. Citizens have the right to freely assemble and create associations includingindependent political parties and interest groups. (The right in this case is not worth a lot,because on the one hand today no independent political parties exist, on the other hand,without the material, social and intellectual conditions it is even impossible to createrelatively independent political parties.) 8. Civil servants elected by the population will have to practice their constitutionalpowers without (even if informal) oppositions that invalidate their regulations by the non-elected civil servants. (Elected civil servants do not usually have to fear the elected civilservants because they do not depend materially on them. However, the external economic,social and clutural force groups and their speakers are or might be in numerous dependencypositions.) 9. Public administration should be localised. It should act independently of limitationsposed by another, centralised political system. (Local government elections as well as local57 See: Robert A. Dahl (1989): Democracy and its Critics, Yale University Press; Philippe C. Schmitter és TerryLynn Karl (2001): ’What Democray Is – and Is Not’, in: Larry Diamond & Mark F. Plattner (eds): The GlobalResurgence of Democracy (Jonhs Hopkins Universíty Press, 1993); Laurence Whitehead (2001):Democratization: Theory and Experience, XXI. Century Institute, 2001. 71
  • government representatives and the local government decisions often cannot be independentof state political system power groups.)”58 The procedural regulations of democracy are correct, in most democratic countriesthey were codified but the legal regulations in the modern political is bystepped by thosepolitical actors in power in a rough or refined manner. It is therefore a basic mistake toassume that the legal, legislative defence of democratic rules of the game are in themselfsufficient because there are numerous ways and tools (sometimes even state tools) with whichthe law can be evaded. The following comment is thus totally justified: „By interpreting themanner broadly in which practically every state is increasingly limited by the dence networkof legal, institutional, economic and social dependencies, it is a question whether localgovernment without shackles can be elected at all even in the best encircled states.”59 As a summary we can conclude that the democratic deficit is so extensive andmultidimensional, that this form of democracy is nothing but a post-totalitarian system.Democracy doubles back and it gets closer to the characteristics of a totalitarian system thanto the principles of classic democracy. That all these are so, and that they are indisputedly so, then it cannot be denied that thedeformed practice of the existing democracy the democratic principles and methods needrethinking. In addition, not only the changes in democracy model are needed, but a sociallyactive, not defenceless, thinking and responsible citizens (public citizens) fundamentally lack,and with it there are no civil community with real independence.3.4. The repositioning of state after the division of politics fromsociety The contentual emptying of democracy can only be partially explained by theinconsistencies of globalisation and localisation. As we have referred to it already above,modern state is loaded with numerous internal inconsistencies, too. According to Marcel Gauchet, who identifies modernity with democracy, the historyof modern state was characterised by the search for balance between individual claims and thesimitations imposed by power that broadly speaking lasted between the last third of the 19thcentury up to the mid-20th century. The outcome was the successful realisation of society-centred democracy (démocratie sociale) built on the trade-offs of Keynes.60 The state hasbecome the institution that guarantees and maintains the social equillibrium, which could,however, only temporarily resolve the conflict between economic productivity and socialjustice. The wellfare state, while claiming responsibility towards its citizens it roughlyintervened in the delicate texture that links human communities together and it rendered eventhe co-operative systems rooted in natural solidarity unviable. One of the grandest paradoxesof society-oriented democracy is that while it was created for the sake of public interest andpublic good, it destroyed the very internal cohesional forces that keep communities togethergiving ample way to individualisation and social fragmentation. In this repect there is no bigdifference between socialist state and state socialism. While the methods of the latter were58 Laurence Whitehead (2001) p. 11.59 Laurence Whitehead (2001) p.12.60 Marcel Gauchet (2002): La démocratie contre elle-même, Gallimard (Coll. Tel) Paris. 72
  • more agressive, less sophisticated and anti-democratic, but both structures essentially bringabout the „privatization”/nationalization of society. From the 1970s onwards the repeatedly appearing economic crises that resulted inunresolved social problems such as unemployment, dropping behind of societal groups,regional inbalances, etc. lead to the crisis and the gradual change of social democracy andwellfare state. The post-modern state lost nothing of its totalitarian nature. Just as long-agothe division of state and church ensured the autonomy of the state, so could we witness fromthe mid-1970s on the Europe-wide process of division between society and politics. It is atthis time that the totalitarian state attempts to keep its political autonomy against and/or abovethe society which disintegrated into individuals. The relationship between state and citizens isincreasingly of a legislative nature. Contemporary democracy is characterised by MarcelGauchet as „the democracy of the law”, which is nothing but the slow erosion of belonging tocommunities (to the nation, to the state).61 The shift from nation-state to state under the ruleof law simultaneously constitutes the disintegration of modern state: by emptying the socio-cultural essentials of citizen identity disrupts the unity of nation-state-culture so neccessaryfor stabile governance. The modern state devoured its own children. In the solitude of totalitarian state democracy is simply a formality. It is not theconflict of community interests but of individuals that takes place. The institutions that arethere to ensure dialogue and provide the dynamics of democracy (such as the political parties,social organisations, economic and professional associations, etc.) are of ad hoc nature or areformality. The solidarity principle of wellfare institutions that were created to maintain thesocial balance have become part of tools of exercising power. The value of solidarity has beenreplaced by a category that has legal interpretation, that of „state responsibilty”. By doing sothe political state power can solely define and enforce the nature and measure of „wellfare”(happiness) compulsory to everyone. The arrogance of political power manifests itself mostclearly today in the very institutions that are based in social solidarity. These institutions wereat first requalified as distributing system, later degraded to „charity” organisations. In thelogic of a democracy directed in the legal world social action is impossible, because in aconstitutional state it is always the individual that is up against the power branches posing forlegal guardians. The concepts of governing and government shift into one another, and thisresults in the concentration of power against the continually desintegrating society. „Thepower aims at denying all legitimacy of positions that are not his.” 62The paradox of thedemocracy directed to a legal world is that while the source of power from a legal point ofview is the society (the people), the operational state isolates the individual socially and assuch it prevents him/her from the possibility of participation. The state of post-moderndemocracy can be compared to a snake biting into its own tail: it has become a closed system,which is not only incapable of managing internal conflicts as such (because it polarisesconflicts), but it is also incapable of adequately answering the challenges coming from theoutside, of globalisation without surrendering this closed system, itself. What follows from allthis is that for the totalitarian state that oppresses and devours everything in its way itperceives the new opportunities presented by the information age exclusively as tools and theycannot thus be interepreted as a new state and democracy quality. According to the long-ago predictions of A. de Tocqueville63, the two most importantdangers to democracy are individualism and despotism. While the first category was61 Marcel Gauchet (2002)62 Jean-Pierre Le Goff (2002): La démocratie post-totalitaire, La Découverte, Paris, p. 37.63 Alexis de Tocqueville (1993) 73
  • interpreted as the indifference of citizens towards politics, the latter was seen as theconcentration of powers, the exaggerated dependance of citizens from the state as well as thetyranny of the majority, which strangles and destroys the natural dynamics of the internationaloperation of society. For Tocqueville democracy is not exlusively a form of governing, but itis the state-creating society (État social), in which democracy ensures identical (equal)conditions for every citizen, it is a sort of frame for the social and economic relationshipsystems taking shape. In this logic democracy is a force that makes society dynamic, and thefunction of the state is limited to maintenance of this dynamics (condition), thus theprevention that the society (state) should become a closed system.3.5. The possible road of change: the e-state and civilised country Nearly all member-states within Europe question the established civil democracysystem. It, however. remains a grave question that in the age of networks on what values andhow can the state, deprived of its authority ensured by the area it covered and its culture, re-organise itself into a new type of republic and e-state? Following the logic of Pierre Lévy64the „territoriality” of the future state will berealised in cyberspace. Cyberspace itself, however, is the linguistic, cultural realisation andobjectivisation of virtual space while at the same time it is the source of diversity. Everysingle type of realisation is the manifestation of culture. In the virtual space differences/separations are defined by the semantic distance (that replaces spatial-time distances), thedistance between the semantic content of thing, which in itself belongs to the category ofculture, it is a cognitive phenomenon. From this perspective the goal of division between theconcepts of state and culture is to „free” cultural in the virtual space so that countless „local”communities could be established, which are organised not so much on the grounds ofphysical proximity, rather than cultural identity. The proximity between communities is asemantic and socio-cultural link, which becomes objectified in the e-state. Theoretically whatfollows is that the organisational structure (institutions) and operation of the e-state as well asits dimensions can be exclusively interpreted via culture that retrieved its multi-dimensionalnature. Thus e-state can be most adequately defined as a civilised country. In this way ofthinking civilised country presupposes that the virtually organised communities are strongspecific value creating communities, which are characterised by the multi-dimensionality andinternal dynamics as well as network nature of culture (network is defined as free„movement” in this context = change /diversity/innovation), or to use a contemporary term,they behave as „civil society” does. The concept of „civil” in the age of information has anincreasing semantic connotation. In a civilised state „civil” presupposes a new identity andsociety organisation linked to virtual space. In this cotext the state is no longer of anoppressive nature (power), but it fits to civil organisations and its differenty variations. It isthus no longer hierarchic (which in itself is impossible in a multidimensional virtual space),but has a horisontal relationship with society. The horisontal link is realised in a semanticspace. There are countless concepts in use today to describe the age of information. Everysingle designation highlights another aspect of the new period, whether they called it64 Pierre Lévy (2001): La séparation de la culture et de l’Etat. Intervir, 2001/12 74
  • information society and economy, knowledge-based economy and knowledge society,innovative economy and innovative society, cultura society (the concept of culture economyis used in a more limited fashion: it refers to the economic potential of the cultural sphere, andit’s becoming an independent economic branch). Behind the abundance of designations, however, hides the complexity and multi-dimensionality of the age of information. As far as we are concerned, the most adequateadjective is that of „culture” (civilised country, culture society) The nexus of the age of information and culture is the following: all phenomena whichpotentially define the new period belong to the virtual reality of culture. As such, they shouldbe regarded as the various objectifications of culture. Which one will become the primarydetermining factor of the social and economic processes of the future is to be seen (if that willhappen at all), but noone can deny that information/knowledge, the determining (strategic)resources of the information age primarily belong to the category of culture. The state is inseparable from society, because it is the source of its existance. The stateis the manifestation of the social capacity of action, and as such, it belongs to the category ofculture. For all the above mentioned reasons, it is not easy to comprehend the present state ofaffairs. And that is so because time is not a huge current that flows into one direction: „futureexists paralelly to the past” (Einstein). Chatastrophic situations can evolve only when thebalance between past and future is broken, when the structure of the past representing securityis upset, while the establishement of new formations is still far ahead or hardly to be seen andrecognised. The other important factor next to time is to territorially limit the changes, whichdefine the management options of problems that accompany changes. History proves thatevery single major period change had to struggle with the problem, that concepts based in thepast were confronted with such a world, which questions in its shape and movements theprevious basic assumptions and evaluations of the past. In the ages of period changes enforced by grand social and economic changes, the roleof culture and complex interpretation is valued once again. Culture, as the general attribute ofsocial co-existence is not only a linguistic, religious, ethical, customary, social organisation,limited to the intellectual and spiritual means, as well as the arts, sciences and traditions, but itis the single, specific adjustment system of tools in the struggle for human survival. Culture isthe self-knowledge of humans and their communities: the knowledge of weakness andhandicaps, as well as it is at the same time the manifestation of perfection, overall knowledgeand happiness. The question arises though: in the age of globalisation and information societyhow does the role and function of culture change? What is the relationship betweeninformation, knowledge and culture? All in all, we live in the transitionary period of big disintegrations and re-organisations. If we are to follow the classic division of history we could claim thathumankind has reached a totally new historical period, where the civilisation of the future willtakes shape after rivers, seas and ocean along the coasts of continents far away from eachother, while exchange relations will be virtually organised by the up-to-date tools ofinformation technology, on the endless roads of ether. 75
  • We have no reason to believe that history has come to an end or that the state has lostits raison d’etre, although it does not mean that the state will survie in its present form. Lifeand the eternal competition will continue, only the frame, the forms (and of course: thecontents) will be changed. What Jean Piaget, the famous psychologist formulated, holds to inthe present day, too: „unlike other animal species, which cannot change themselves withoutchanging their species, humans successeeded in changing themselves by means that accordingto a timeless predestination it simply accepts the changes coming from the external or internalworld.”3.6. Governance and the disfunctional government Based on the tradition of liberal democracies, the concept of governance refers to theinteraction between the state and society in Western societies. The cooperation betweenprivate sector as well as public sector actors is based on a sort of coalition tie system.Governance is nothing else but the co-ordination of social actors’ deeds based on divided anddifferent interests. The legitimacy of governance is the result of a political process, whichallows for the following of the changes occurring in the networks of social actors. From the point of view of governance, politics does not only legitimate actions but italso orientates those deeds. Within the alternating liberal democracies it is the governmentwhose legitimacy is based on elections that also functions as the major institution of the state.The all-time governance is thus practiced along the predetermined priorities and aims, whilethe frameworks and functional system of any given state are defined by the institutionalisedtraditions ensuring state sovereignty. Thanks to this duality the state represents thesimultaneous stability and change for a community. Changes materialise mostly due to thereforms initiated by internal pressure (social changes). The reform makes the emergingproblems timely while respecting and taking into account the existing traditions. Because ofthe institutionalised traditions, however, the state is never or just rarely capable of initiatingsweeping changes. Namely, because the balance between the political will (government) andthe co-ordination of action between social actors (governance) is disrupted in such cases,which ultimately leads to the total dysfunction of the state (dysfunctionality).3.7. The institutional and administrative nature of the state In the definition of Max Weber the state is primarily an institution.65 The institution isa behavioural form that has become a rule, a ruling principle in the life of a given community(law). The insitution is at the same time the entirity of practices, too, and as such it connectsthe members of society (e.g. the institution of marriage). The state as an institution is made upitself of a multitude of institutions (government, parliament, local governments, wellfare andadministrative institutions, etc.). Their number and function is in direct relation to theproportion of state intervention and duties. According to Weber, the development of the modern state is characterised by thecumulative burocratisation besides the numerical and proportional increase of theseorganisations. This, however, goes hand in hand with the division of labour being based onexpertise, a hierarchical organisational form and regulation (a precise regulatory system), the65 Max Weber (1919): Le savant et le politique (http://bibliotheque.uqac.uquebec.ca/index.htm) 76
  • development of written documents and storage of the documentation as well as impersonalcontact. 66Every single institution disposes of a particular and specific organisational culture, practicesand skills. The state therefore cannot be described as a single and standard organisation. Itshould be rather regarded as a framework organisation, in which different cultures andinstitutional logics mix, develop and frequently are in conflict with one another. The state thusfrom an institutional or organisational sociology perspective is the institution of institutionspermanently interacting with one other. The management of the state is elected on a political basis (government, self-government) and is lead by the appointed expert bodies (civil servant wing). This latter groupensures the stability and permanancy of the existing link between government and the subjectsof government (society). In the alternating politics of liberal democracies their role isespecially important. The administrative system of the state thus in liberal democracies has atthe same time a political and administrative nature. As a consequence, the defining networksystem of the state is a hierarchic building comparable to a pyramid: on the top of it there arethe political institutions, on the bottom of it the multitude of citizens. The numerousinstitutions ensure the stability of the state, functionality and its links as well as they are theorigins of the administrative nature of a given country.3.8. The struggle of the service providing state and the weakcommunication The concepts of government and governance often blend into one another in theliterature. The two words are often used as synonyms. This adequately shows that the politicaland administrative function of the state is increasingly mixed. This is even more characteristicof general way of thinking. Our positive or negative evaluation of the state is dependent onthe primarily administrive institutions and our opinion of public administration, since thecitizen is in direct contact with the state through these institutions. This relationship has twomajor parts: interaction and communication. While the first one refers to the servicesprovided by the state, the latter to the flow of information. In the modern state it is throughpublic institutions (administrative institutions included) that both elements are realised. „The concept of service-providing state is frequently merged with the establishment ofe-government, although the two concepts are not identical. The reform processes that lead tothe service providing state are of authoritarian nature, practices based on the outwardappearance of power and a bureaucratic mentality which is gradually replaced by a citizen-centred, open-minded public sphere, in which the state provides real services to its citizens.The question, however, remains whether the service providing program of the state, withwhich we can only agree with, can be successfully achieved if the interaction between thestate is weak, and the communication is often antagonistic. The two procedures take place paralelly in time, and the opportunities provided bynew technologies for the e-government strengthen the demands for changes in bureaucratic66 Burocracy is a French word which literally means to sit at the desk and it refers to a social group that just as thearistrocarcy it tended to isolate itself and was prone to become an oligarchy, - and of course it also refers tooverzelaous proliferation of documents in offices. 77
  • procedures. The joint realisation of the service-providing state and the e-government is therecognition that this democratic process makes the state more profitable.”67E-government isnot only a technological modernisation, but a hidden experiment to restore the partnershipbetween society and the state. In the modern state service-providing is nothing but the execution of state duties in asystematic, more or less efficient way. The citizens who make use of the particular service canexert their influence exclusively in a political way (representative democracy), but have noright for direct intervention. Public administration institutions have decision rights that fallonly under their own jurisdiction. In the exercise of governance they primarily fill in anexecutionary role. In an optimal scenario they also have a communiational mediating rolebetween the goverment and society. The flow of information in the modern state is characteristically a one way process,and due to the hierarchic structure and the evolved decision making mechanisms, it is alsoslow. The reaction time of the state is inversely proportional to the quick changes resulting insocial demands. This however, draws our attention to the lack of interactive communication,while on the other hand to the outdated functioning of the state. This all documents that afterthe separation of politics and society, disfunctionalism is in a chronic state. The future and success rate of the service-providing state depends to a large extent onhow we define services, and what place is ensured to them in the democratic functioning ofthe state. To put it differently: what is the relation between the concepts of governance andservice? In the context of the post-modern totalitarian state, where the political andadministrative nature of the state has been mixed up as a consequence of the legislativedomain where democracy has been directed, service providing aims towards a more efficientand cheaper state rather than providing qualitatively new framework for the functioning of thestate. The direct interactive communication between the citizen and state institutions namelydoes not resolve but instead further strengthens the anti-democratic processes of thepostmodern state, that is individualisation and the exaggerated dependence on the state. The service-centred democracy creates a new paradox. On the one hand, within thecontext of citizen and state relationship it liquidates the remaining self-governance of peoplefor good as introduces stealthily the logics of coorporation management efficiency andtechnics into governance. Theoretically speaking this leads to the fulfillment of totalitarianstate, the solidification of the power structure of the political state as well as the winding up ofthe social body of the state (État social). On the other hand, however, the service providingstate will be well received only on the condition that it will be able to meet the singular,particular needs/interests of the individuals to the largest degree possible. The serviceproviding state therefore will inevitably move into the direction of marketisation of statefunctions (as the sevices are the defining economic term of the 21st century). New info-communication technologies do not only strengthen this process, but they also generate it. Themarket induces structures that are alien to the operating principle of the modern state and havea global effect. First it loosens, then it breaks up the state based on territoriality, it sweepsaway the model of cultural homogeneity for good and thus it shatters those insitutions thatwere established according to institutionalised traditions and within the territory of the statethey enjoyed monopoly and as such they serve as the pillars of the political state. Service- 67 e-Kormányzat Stratégia és Programterv (E-governance Strategy and Programme) MEH, 2003, p. 6. 78
  • centred democracy theoretically speaking also implies the destruction of the last bastions ofthe modern state. Does the state devour itself!? This possibility, however, is far from being certainty. If we come back to the originaldefinition of democracy, and contrary to the definition provided by Marcel Gauchet, weidentify democracy not so much with the modern state but society, as for instance Tocquevilledid, then we have to admit that it is not the state as a coietal formation but post-totalitarianstate rooted in modernity and linked to the nation-state is disappearing. The formation ofdemocracy in the information age basically depends on the ways we define those conditions,which are equally important to all members of a given community (society), which providesafety and which could be identified with (thus form a basis for identities). As the effects ofglobalisation are to be felt in a different way and degree in different parts of the world, wemust say that the state of the information age at a local level look very different from oneanother. To focus on the present though, we cannot withhold the fact that the service-providingstate is not the only and non-evadable alternative nowadays. The most frequent criticism withregards to the service-providing state is that the state regards the ensuring of citizenscompetitiveness, thus the adjustment to the challenges of global economy as its primary taskrather than defending society from the negative effects of globalisation. Contrary to theneoliberal concept of the service-providing state, the concept of „social investment-centredstate” (État-investissement social)68is based on the principle that the state does not necessarilyhave to serve globalisation, even though globalisation cannot be evaded and joining the globaleconomy as well as the wide application of info-communicational technologies areelementary necessities. The social investment type of state, however, interpretescompetitiveness broadly. Its task is thus the liquidation of imbalances that originate in society,which could be the obstacles to the competiveness of a given community or region: poverty,education, health and environmental situation, deviance and crime, discrimination, etc.69 Thestate is responsible for every single citizen, but contrary to the wellfare and service-providingstate it does not focus on the invidiual but rather on the quality of life of communities byproviding „well fare” investments and thus ensuring equal conditions. The state that focuseson social investments aims not only for a balance between the global economy and socialpeace, but it also struggles to protect the unity of society, state, democracy. The concept ofnation is consciously replaced by the concept of communities, which on the one hand respectsthe cultural diversity of local worlds, on the other hand it promotes the internal dynamics oflocal societies. All in all, the concept of social investment-centred state is one of the alternatives ofkeeping a balance between the local and global, where the state serves as the loose co-ordinator of local spatial structures. It does not lead them, but it orientates the ever changingrelationships of the information age. The services provided to the citizens and theircommunities are thus not only of public interest and serve as investments aiming at equalizingsociety and its cohesion, which do not integrate market mechanisms into social structures, butalso guarantee and ensure the balance between society and economy. In this context thenatural solidarity between localities, while in the relationship to the state it is the subsidiarity68 David Cameron– Janice Gross Stein (2000): Mondialisation, culture et société: La place de l’État au seind’espaces changeants, Canadian Public Policy – Analyse dePolitiques, vol. XXVI Supplement/Numéro Spécial2/2000. 16. p. 36.69 David Cameron– Janice Gross Stein (2000): p. 29. 79
  • principle that prevails. In this logic the state is not a power concentrating institution, but apartner. 80
  • Chapter Four: In the current of new paradigms4.1. The paradigm that looks back from the future and paradigmchange Paradigm is the totality of those coherent theoretical systems that interpret adetermined a set of problems from a specific point of view in a structural way. As Einstein’sfamous theorem goes, the trouble, however, always remains the same: a problem can never besolved with the same way of thinking as what had generated it in the first place. Within the context of natural sciences, more than one theoretical system (paradim)exists side by side, yet independently from each other. The essentials of the paradigm alwaysconsist as novel ways of raising questions and finding solutions that re-interpret objectivereality (e.g.: mechanics as understood by Newton, the theory of relativity by Einstein,geometry by Euclid, geometry by Bólyai). The basis of social scientific thinking is recognition, thus the analysis of the objectivefactors valid everywhere which have an impact on the functioning of society. Paradigmchange means that humans start thinking about themselves, their relationship to the world inan essentially different manner, and as such they create a new reality for themselves byregulating their social relationships in a new light. The paradigm of social sciences is such atheoretical system, which intereprets and coherently describes as well as conceptualises thefundamentals of change, discloses the reasons of change and its consequences. The changes and the birth of a new paradigm do not necessarily go hand in hand intime. The development of paradigm can either preceed or follow the changes.70 Both in timeand space these are sequences of minuscule changes which are structurally linked to oneanother as they all attempt to give answers to a set of problems that occurs in a determinedhistorical situation (anomalies). The paradigm shifts of major era changes are characterised bythe multiplication of anomalies; as a consequence of anomalies that had previously been onlyindirectly connected, paradigms slide into one another. In the overview of the age of information we will focus on the determiningconnections of the new era rather than its historical development. The logic we chose to buildthe chapter upon aims at understanding those social, economic, cultural trends of past andpresent which are pressurising force in the changes of the state of the age of information withregards to its function, tasks and operation. We should stress it, however, in advance: no other era has been so much characterisedby continuous paradigm change than the current one. This brings about a curious situation: thereality of the future is possible to foresee and the paradigm that looks back on us from thefuture can be deduced and it examines us from the presence.70 On the paradigm perception of natural sciences and social sciences refer to the works of T. S Kuhn and K.Popper (See: Thomas S. Kuhn (1984): A tudományos forradalmak szerkezete (The Structure of ScientificRevolutions) Gondolat Könyvkiadó, Budapest; Karl Popper (1998): Test és elme (Knowledge and the Mind-Body Problem: In Defence of Interactionism, Typotex Kiadó, Budapest 81
  • 4.2. The accepted paradigm of sustainable development Starting from the third part of the twentieth century the world has had to face threegrave problems that defined the social and economic changes of the world: overpopulation,the explosive growth in consumption and the depletion of natural resources. These threeparadigms individually are already capable of inducing grave changes. Their collective globalappearance and the sliding of paradigms into one another, however, have questioned ourprevious world view at its fundaments.The anomalies of growth trends in the industrial society By the turn of the millenium the population of the world surpassed the six billionmark. This raises a number of new, global economic and social problems because questionsarise not only about how many people can the world sustain, but also about unequaldistribution, age and composition of the population as well as disproportionate difference inthe economic development.71 While two thirds of the population is concentrated outside of thedeveloped North, primarily on the Asian continent, and they deal with subsistence problemsdue to the dynamic growth, Western countries face problems originating in the decrease andrapid aging of their in population. While on the one side the growing poverty and the counter-balancing „ruinous exploitation”causes grave crises, on the other side the economic growthand overproduction as well as the unsustainability of wellfare societies have a similardevastating impact. Tension has increased between North and South, for one is poor and theother rich – while specific economic, social and cultural elements have contributed to aworsening situation. In economics, energy resources so indispensable to the growth of industrial economyare on the wane. The potential quaries are mostly in the third world. The basis of economicgrowth is efficiency; the principle is large production - cheap cost. To realise this principleexpenses should necessarily decrease so much at the level of production of raw materials(exploitation, processing, transportation) as at the level of manufacturing and sale of products.The logical consequence of production effeciency and growth is on the one hand that thecentre of gravity of industrial production is slipping towards the thirld world. As aconsequence, we may notice an increase in the unemployment rate, disappearance oftraditional professions which result in increased migration while respectively the aging ofsociety overloads the welfare system in the developed North. This last process is wellillustrated state debts, a phenomenon observed in the most developed countries. The globalcrisis has become unmanagable at the local level. If the state strictly regulated migration, thewelfare system would collapse due to the aging population (e.g. France, Germany). If itallowed unlimited migration, although this would result in the preservation of the balance ofage composition, nevertheless it would also lead to grave social and political conflicts rootedin cultural problems (e.g. UK). To manage these problems the state needs to create newinstitutions, thus the expenses don’t decrease, but further grow.71 In the last fifty years world population increased from 2.5 billion to 6 billion people. According to presentcalculations of the UN, world population rise to 8-9 billion. According to the report released by WWF,humankind transgressed the biological carrying capacities of the Earth in 1999. The present surfeit is 120%while according to the calculations of William Rees that could reach 180-200 at present-day consumption levels.We thus need one or more “Earths” for humankind to survive. William Rees: Planète vivante, Rapport, 2000;Rapport planète Vivante 2002. http://www.wwf.fr/pdf 82
  • The situation is not easier in the countries of the thirld world either, where cheaplabour and raw materials, overpopulation and destruction of natural resources make itimpossible to end poverty. Next to social problems it is the cultural conflict between traditionand modernisation as well as the exploited natural environment that make difficultiesinsurmountable (Islamic countries, the poor countries of Africa, Asia and South America).One of the repercussions is that states run up debts and will eventually stop being operational. Another group of problems originate in the „consumption” linked to the functioning ofeconomy. Traditional industry is based on the inexhaustibility and the free interchangability ofnatural resources. The one and only limitation of transportation of raw materials andmanufactured products as well as production of waste is the efficiency of production andcompetitiveness rather than the reasonable management of raw materials. The explosive growth in consumption led to the drastic pollution of the environment.In this consumption food represents only a small proportion, which means that growingdemands are no longer propelled by sustenance; rather the economic activity in its outdatedextravagant form and the „ideology” of over-consumption built on social prestige, whichplays down needs. While the biggest danger lies in the pollution of the environment, allelements are present; their weight depends on particular geographical regions and economicdevelopment. The changed environment has started to impact our everyday lives, too. Whowould have thought that there are 500 chemicals in the human body that weren’t there at thebeginning of the twentieth century (resulting in allergies and the general weakening of theimmune system). The other great danger is posed by the radical decrease in the amount ofdrinking water.72 Biodiversity is gradually eroding. Land clearing does not only lead to theextinction of species, but also the absence in photosynthesis, which results in the decreasedoxygen content of the air. Social problems are comparable to environmental pollution in terms of quantifiabledanger: the discrepancy between material needs, study opportunities, access to health care,human longevity are all on the increase. Since demands are led by human desires rather than needs, a new element of socialproblems is linked to running up debts, which touches so much upon individuals as on states.It is a specifically new phenomenon that the borrowing is linked to „consumption”:creditworthiness is judged by heating and lighting charges as well as telephone bills by banks.Consumption thus does not lead to equal social opportunities, as it was thought in the 1960sand 70s; on the contrary, it only strengthens social levels.Globalisation vs. Localisation in the 1990s Functional globalisation primarily developed in the economic sphere, based upon thelogics of growth. Appropriately, taking into account the current growing rate, 30 percent ofthe world’s total output in terms of GDP is made up by a hundred multinational companies.This proportion could reach 50 percent by 2030. The measure in the increase of economicgrowth can be most notably seen on money-markets: while in 1990 on a yearly basis 2572 The decrease is so radical that many experts believe that the major wars of the 21st century will be fought fordrinking water rather than oil. 83
  • percent of the world production was exchanged on capitalist markets, this proportion was 184percent by 2000. From the point of view of sustainable development it is an especiallynegative phenomenon that increasingly it is the short-term transactions that enjoy priority.73Easy enrichment, sure profit does not favour such investments as environmental protection orthe development of welfare systems, where long-term goals need to be realised. It is not bychance the biggest problems in European countries are in these domains. The disinterest of the private sector in social distribution systems has resulted in statedebts, cuts in wellfare services and the increase of taxes on the population. Ultimately, it leadsto the erosion of social market economy both as an idea and institution. Another fact isorganically linked to this inequality: namely, the technological innovation centres arespecifically limited to the OECD countries. 90% of patents come to light in these states, andthe access and application of these new technologies is mostly limited the Northernhemisphere (82,5% of advantage). This does not only mean that those modern technologiesthat are environmental friendly are applied only to a very limited degree in the poor countrieswhich make up most of the world, but it also implies that due to the increasingimpoverishment and technological backwardness, the environmental pollution as a risk factorthat endangers the whole world has increased, too. The problem is ever the graver if we takeinto account the current population growth in the thirld world further diminishes Earth’scarrying capacities. The detrimental effects of the liberal economic model based on growth can be bestobserved at the local level. It used to be a generally accepted view that the prosperity of theWestern world could not be undermined. The reality, however, was that social divisionsstarted already in the 1980s and 90s. While the standard of living, life expactancy andeducation rate have all strongly increased according to statistics, society has becomeincreasingly unequal. One of the paradoxes of development is that the amount of people livingon social benefits and those homeless are in direct ratio with the increase. In the UK thenumber of poor people has doubled in the last twenty years. Similar tendencies are observedin other countries of Europe, too. Another characteristic of new poverty is that there is astrong inequality in terms of standard of living, but especially in terms of quality of life not somuch at a continental level, but rather at a country or regional level. There is a general trendnoticeable in the Western world: namely, since the beginning of the 1980s a significantincrease of GDP per person went hand in hand with a lag in the indicators of economicwelfare.74 Presently, the economy based on growth functions on a self-inducing basis whichhas no regard to social requirements. The appearance of new poverty makes us concentrate on the fact that the presentlyapplied indicators of economic development are not suitable to measure the real scale ofdevelopment because they do not take into account such factors of human welfare (well-fare)as quality of life, the state of the environmental milieu, life expectancy at birth, individual andcommunity solidarity and co-operation ability, the physical and moral state of citizens, as wellas political stability. Between the functional globality and locality there is often an73 While in 1990 a business transaction generally required 19 months, by 2000 the amount of time neededdecreased to 6 months.74 While GDP growth per capita was around 30% in the USA between 1980 and 1997, economic welfareindicators increased only by 4%. In the UK, 10% increase in welfare indicators went hand in hand with 40% ofGDP growth per capital. Although with significant difference, similar tendencies are observed in France,Belgium and Canada, too. See: Lars Osberg – Andrew Sharpe: International Comparisons of Trends inEconomic Well-being, in Social Indicators Research vol. 58, Nos 1-3, 2002, 349-382.o.http://myweb.dal.ca/osberg/cv.htm 84
  • irreconcilable conflict: while economic growth takes place at a global level, social problemsoccur at a local level. It results in increased state debts, discredited political and socialinstitutions, as well corruption and social discontent.75The state has become a bone of contention between functionalglobalisation and localisation In the last half century the dominant point of view has been that only economic growthmakes permanent social welfare possible. „The best of policies is good economic policy”- isechoed everywhere. This, however, has all but become an empty catchphrase within the 21stcentury context; people do not take responsibility for one another. Global economy is often„blind” when it comes to social sensitivities76, while the state is incapacitated against theeconomy. The biggest danger in the conflict between functional global (economy) and local(society) is for the state whose defencelessness increases to both sides.4.3. Is a new „ideology” born on how to continue? It is the basic document of sustainable development, the Brundtland report that pointsto the fact that the Earth as biosphere is a unity, which on the long run does not tolerate thedivision based exclusively on economic competition. The authors of the report started fromthe optimist assumption that world production can be increased five to tenfold without anygrave consequences to the ecosystem of the Earth. This growth is then sufficient to eliminatearrears and especially poverty all around the globe on the condition that international political,economic and social actors join forces and think responsibly.77 The realisation of sustainabledevelopment is based primarily on the moral commitment for the future of political, economicand social actors. Some fifteen years later, before Rio and Johannesburg, however, Mme Brundtland, theformer president of the committee openly expressed the following: „Each and every one of ushas to share in the responsibility to eliminate poverty, fear and injustice. The passport we holdhas no significance; we are all citizens of the world. Being a world citizen makes us haverights and priviledges, but also responsibilities, too. (...) This means that we continuouslyhave to control our actions and the manner we live so that we can cut down our ecologicalimprints and that we could create a liveable world for all of us.” The world’s ecological conservation thus has become a moral question, and that hasnew and defining consequences for the state. Finding a solution to environmental problemshas become a global issue, it cannot be any longer managed within geographical limitations.However, it is in every segment of social and economic life that these measures have to beimplemented. While on the one hand the co-operation of nations is needed, on the other hand,at a local level, it requires the implementation of complex measures. Lifting ecological75 See the papers in the volume Les nouveaux utopistes de développement durable - dir. Anne-Marie Ducroux(Autrement, collection Mutation no 216, Paris, 2002): Sylvain Côté: Rechercher autre chose, mesurer autrement,p. 40-47. – Daniel Dommel: Corruption et développement durable: deux notions antinomiques, p.145-149. – Cequi n’est pas mesuré n’est pas géré (entretien avec Jacqueline Aloisi de Larderel), 216.o. – Luc Ferry: Le progrèsen est-il un? p. 250-259.76 Dominique Bourg: Les fondements du développement durable: la limite et les fins. idem. p. 244-249.77 Our Common Futur, 1987 85
  • movements into the domain of politics and public life function as an ideology, just as cultureand religion does (see eco-social market economy). This has a major impact on stateresponsibility and organisation. International co-operation required the multitude of supra-national organisations,which do not only weaken state competence but they also narrow the framework of nationalsouverenity. To solve and manage issues at a local level, new institutions were needed to co-ordinate the new state organisations and institutions. Proliferating bureaucracy results in a topheavy state and increased state budgets.4.4. How does the theory of sustainable development develop? The concept and practice of sustainable development has significantly changed bytoday. The pursuit that originally privileged but ecological considerations has in the meantimegrown into a global movement. After the careful examination of the complex relationshipbetween humans and nature, it concluded that against our best intentions the human-createdworld in its present form cannot be harmonised with the natural capacities of the earth. Thedevelopmental model based on economic growth has become so widespread that even whenstrictly regulated it cannot impede environmental pollution while these limitations furtherincrease the poverty in the third world.78 The tensions between North and South are not only the root causes of insecurity ininternational politics and real wars, but also endanger whole continents. One of the biggestrecognitions of the past half century is that Earth and within it, humankind form a unity.Globalisation and localisation can only be examined within this context.79 According to the definition provided by the economist Ignacy Sachs, and this alreadyrepresents a new model, sustainable development has five dimensions, namely: Society (growth, vision), Economy (distribution, resource distribution, management and effectiveness ofresources), Protection of the environment ( minimalisation of human intervention), Space structure/ regionalism (relaxation of differences between cities andprovinces, regional development), Culture (increase in the plurality of local solutions in order to respect culturalcontinuity) What does sustainable development mean today after all? The answer is relativelysimple: “it is the search for a new developmental model”. To put it differently, behind themovement lies the global vision of the future, whose raison d’etre consists of dangers that arecontinuously generated everywhere in the world, which do not only endanger our presentworld but also the existence of human societies and civilisations. Although the majority ofscientists see the problem only as a side question, the view that sustainable development is notexclusively an economic and/or environmental issue has gained terrain. Even economistswhom are most sensitive to ecological issues have to admit that sustainability is a multi-78 Anne-Marie Ducroux: 10 questions-réponses, p.13-18. Rééquilibrer le plus, le mieux, le moins, p. 19-25 –Dominique Bourg: Les fondements du développement durable: la limite et les fins, p. 244-249.79 Ignacy Sachs (1997): L’écodéveloppement, stratégie pour le XXIe siècle, Paris (éd. Syros / Alternativeséconomiques) 86
  • dimensional problem which has at least four or five projections. The fundamentals ofsustainable development are factors no longer in hierarchic relationship with one another as itwas projected in previous developmental models, but carry identical weight in the formationof the foundation of the future world. In the new model the global and the local are in closesymbiosis.80 Meeting the social, economic and cultural requirements at the local level after allserve the realisation of a global sustainable development. The vision of knowledge-based society and economy drew attention to thedetermining role of culture. Next to education and continuous studies that bridge through alifetime, it has become ever clearer that for the realisation of the developmental model basedon innovation and applicable knowledge, innovative milieu and innovative potential at locallevel are essential pre-requisites. The competitive power of the information age is thus asmuch an economic and social question as it is a cultural issue. Culture and social patterns thatare fed by it are at the same time defining the rationalisation of consumption. At the Johannesburg summit of 2002 the relationship between culture andenvironmental protection has received a special colour. In the countries where cultural andlinguistic diversity is at its highest such as in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, India, Australia,Mexico, Brazil, Congo, the Philippines, USA, China, Peru, Columbia, etc, biodiversity is alsoat its greatest.81 It is especially interesting that the highest number of languages used byindigenous population, the richer the local biodiversity. Studies have shown that local cultureshave always shaped their specific symbiosis with their natural environment. However, thedramatic contradiction is that among these countries we find the poorest 25 countries in thewhole world.Sustainable state as a new state theory Ecological problems have increasingly made it obvious that the question cannot besolved by itself. The recommendations of the Club of Rome are the following as far assustainable economy is concerned: 1. Future production should be organised in a way that similarly to the naturalacclimatisation processes are a closed process. To put it differently, during the processes oftransformation, transportation, use and destruction of raw materials one should aim atproducing the minimum of non-recycable waste (industrial metabolism). 2. During production we should aim at reduction of physical raw materials. Inprocessing we should emphasise the added value and intangible assets such as software. 3. In a dematerialised economy the role of services grows and due to computerapplications the material and energy use can be optimalised (intelligent equipment). 4. By using energy and raw material resources optimally, we use them to the highestefficiency (nano-technology, usage of renewable energy resources, need-based consumersavings).80 The document of the European Union states: “Locality plays an essential role in the realisation, politics andstrategy of sustainable development.”, Vers un développement durable (1993-2000) 87
  • As the Club of Rome pointed out, the indispensable requirement for sustainableeconomic development is technological development which presupposes the development ofhuman factor production. This, however, is a complex task because the developmentalrequirement of human knowledge (intellectual capital) presupposes the redistribution of suchquality values as tradition, creativity, knowledge and healthy environment. The interaction ofthe two new values, the technological and human factors of production, induces a change inthe relationship between the individual and community as well as citizen and state. To put itotherwise, it goes hand in hand with the re-evaluation of role of the state and its functioning. When we speak of state and governance reform, we should not simplify this problemto a smaller and cheaper state, because the essentials of change lie in fundamentally newrelationships characterised by growth in globalisation and localisation, technical andtechnological development and intellectual capital as well as decrease of over-regulatoryability on society. The question arises, however: can a sustainable state model be created? Although theparadigms that induced change are tangible, there is no answer to that so far. Finding asolution is all the more difficult because globalisation and localisation as well as the types ofstate and way of functioning are in constant shift. A consequence of functional globalisation is that economy frequently by-passesnational frameworks as such. Its independence is nevertheless hindered by the economic rolesof the state. All in all, we can sum up the defining paradigms of sustainable state as follows: • The intellectual capital plays a central role when it comes to mixing tradition andcreativity in an objective manner, in itself a result of the multidimensional relations betweenthe individual and community. The usable knowledge and capacities infiltrate economicprocesses as intellectual property. Gaining, developing and using capacities and knowledgeare essentially different from one another, and this increases the autonomy of the individualfrom the state while the relationship between the individual and community, the place wherethe information and knowledge is gathered (as tradition and creativity is information since itis acquired knowledge), is further strengthened. • The “functioning” of intellectual capital/property presupposes co-operativestrategies among individuals. These take place on the following grounds: 1. socialisation(acquired norms) and individual creative action; 2. economy (where intellectual capitalproduces profit); 3. community and democracy (ensuring the requirements of creativebackground) • The community made up of individuals can either be local (built on direct humanrelationships) or due to info-communication technologies global and virtual in nature.Communal identity transgresses the frame given by traditional nation states (e.g. virtualidentity). The relationship between the individual and the state loosens, as much as the impactof the state on community weakens, too. • As problems are global and highly complex in their nature, finding solutions is notpossible within the framework of nation states. Sustainable development presupposes co-operation and participation so much between individual units as economy, society – within itthe geographically definable community or virtual communities (jointly called civil society) –and the state. 88
  • Chapter Five: New dimensions of general and enigmaticdevelopment5.1. Space and time dimensions of changes In the comparative table provided by Daniel Bell, information is a means of changeand a resource that induces in itself while knowledge appears as a strategic resource as far asthe content and quality of change is concerned. Information and its content (= knowledge) canbe distinguished not only with regards to their function but also in time. Although the future-oriented and strategic resources that induce change and thus already function in the presentpresuppose each other, are not identical with one another. The well-definable relativeindependence of resources both refers to the spatial dimension of paradigm change, namely tothe linking of information to technological tools (data transfer) and its global nature as welltime dimension, which allows for historic approaches. From a historical perspective two if notthree developmental stages can be distinguished: • The information stage which is infrastructurally defined (computer andinformation economy and society) • The content-oriented and knowledge-producing stage (which is still partiallyinformation and mostly knowledge society) • The developmental stage that is defined by intellectual technology (its specificname is yet to be defined). Its direction, however, is definitely tangible: it is the symbiosisbetween those technical tools that are at this stage still separate from one another.82 Manuel Castells83 expressly speaks of information technological revolution. In hisopinion the new age basically originates in technologies and it gains its meaning through it,too. In his analysis of the information age he indicates that the first stage of the technologicalrevolution evolved in the first part of the 1970’s, in a time when industrial economy was at itsrock bottom as a consequence of traditional production methods. He goes on to explain thatthere was a discrepancy in between technological developments and their application.Technologies need time to be soaked up by economy and society, before they becomegenerally used and elements of civilisation. The fact that the processes of post-industrial paradigm change and developmentalstages are possible to foresee and traced well before their actualisation is exclusively basedupon its unparalleled characteristics of the new being future-oriented and so designable. Information hence carries all-important defining features of the age of post-industrialsociety. Namely, the concept of information appropriately describes the new age ofcivilisation. From this perspective information society and knowledge society are united andpresuppose if not convey the essence of technological unfolding built on human intelligence.Separating the information age to étaps is from a theoretical point of view is an artificialendeavour and it is indeed artificial in reality, too. Its significance is rather based on the82 It is this period that Csaba Varga calls the age of „consciousness society” (Csaba Varga: The Culture of theGlobolocal World, eWorld, August 2006, p. 2-10.)83 Manuel Castells (2002): Az internet-galaxis, Network TwentyOne; M. Castells (2005): A hálózati társadalomkialakulása (The Rise of the Network Society, The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture), Gondolat-Infónia, Budapest. 89
  • understanding of a possible future and the delineation of “possible future images” rather thanutopias (thus trends and perspectives) as well as from a sociological perspective. While thefirst serves as the recognition and understanding of the nature of information age, the secondas social adaptation, the practical realisation of the new civilisation age as well as portrayal ofthe relationship between humans, tools and content. These two possible approaches are linkedby the definiteness of humans within space and time, his/her historic reality. While it isunquestionably true that space and time is given a widely new, distended frame byglobalisation and communication globalisation, nothing entitles us to deny the embedednessof humans in historic time.5.2. The cognitive nature of information and its consequences Due to the historical approach a new possibility opens up, namely, that informationand knowledge can be examined as sharply separate entities from oneother, thus informationsociety and knowledge society can be analysed independently in their specific reality. Thisexamination is, however, only possible in theory, it serves nothing but to describe theemerging knowledge societies and that involve them in the planning process. In reality nevertheless separating information and knowledge as knowledge contentcarried by information is not such a simple matter. The reason is rooted in the nature ofinformation. This type of complexity is already referred by the Latin concept of information,informatio, informationis. That is, idea, concept, the image of things, the imprint that it leavesbehind in the consciousness, it is an idea. The concept can be traced back to the verb informo,-are and denotes the action of creation, molding, in a figurative sense, that we create an imageof something. As we will prove it subsequently, information is not a simple data and it is not limitedonly to the data transfer ensured by technological tools. In the shaping of information theimage and the sound plays at least an identical role to the written text. Information thus isalready complex in its visible form which unequivocally refers to the data message andcomplexity of content inherent in information, and even more in the set of data. The textual,image and sound visualisation make it possible for the user to loosen the parts from this set.These parts in themselves are capable of carrying singular, applicable information. The concept of information includes “historicity”: namely, the gathering of data, theirlinking into sets, their storage and transfer and the opening up of sets. With this the processdoes not come to an end, since it restarts in a self-inducing way. Information can beunderstood exclusively if in the interminable process we regarded it as an “elementaryprocess”, its energy coming from the knowledge that information is made up of. The singleexchange of information is visualisation of an image in which human intelligence manifestsitself in its entirety. Information is part of a communication process and thus is not a productwhich “yields to knowledge”.84 It is also not simply a “data processing in the broadest senseof the word (storage, achievement, processing of knowledge).85 Information is far broaderthan these definitions. Information society answers the basic cognitive needs of people.84 Opinions are far from being identical when it comes to information. Thus for instance Dretske, an Americanphilosopher regards information as mere merchandise which has knowledge output. See also: Fred I. Dretske(1981) Knowledge and the Flow of Information, Cambridge, Mass. The MIT Press.85 Daniel Bell (1999) 90
  • Due to the multidimensional formal appearance, information “speaks morelanguages” and these “languages” that are of iconic, sound and textual nature withininformation communicate, strengthen or weaken, explain one another, hidden knowledgeelements may come to the surface, they point to coherence with other knowledge/pieces ofinformation, and imperatively instruct. The user of information latches onto this multilingualcommunication, becomes “active” partaker of it. On the communication network (Internet)information in itself creates a “virtual world”, in between “actors”, and the formal elementsof information belong to this category, thus there is interaction. The more multilingual isinformation, the more perfect the communication, information efficiency. To degrade information to data carries numerous risks. For instance, when a networkof computers started out in the USA as the central program of intelligent development, theearnest goal was to cut back on the country’s paper consumption. What happened in reality,however, was that the paper consumption did not only not decrease, but it grew with 10million tons annually. The studies showed that within paper consumption the printing ofincreased machine data were significant. The phenomenon proves the cultural definiteness ofinformation. The realisers of the program beyond the economic and environmental concernsdid not take into account that the reading habits of “Gutenberg galaxis” generation, theirinterpretational techniques, the visual culture of documentation, systematisation and gatheringof indirect information is closedly linked to the book. The generally used communication waslimited to the written or spoken lanauge. The iconic language use which was dominantly useduntil the end of the Middle Ages was slowly forgotten, and has been exiled to “high culture”. Disregarding the cultural background of society, it will hold in not only thecapitalisation on information but also the innovative processes generated by knowledgecarried by information. As a result, information can only become sterling (efficient) andsociety-shaping resource if it goes together with the development of cultural environment, thesocial environment containing explicit and tacit knowledge. What follows from the above is not simply the necessity to speak foreign languages aspart of the development of information society. Besides the written text, the significance oficonic and spoken language, namely, its use, understanding and interpretation is at least asimportant in the utilization and shaping of information as the knowledge of how to usetechnical tools.86 Lacking multilinguality in its broadest sense of the word, information losesits essence and it will become indeed no more than a data rived off its contexts.5.3. Communication globalisation and information society The information age is not a direct consequence of globalisation, althoughglobalisation cannot be considered a new pheonomenon since human history could bedescribed as the history of globalisation. Nevertheless it is an unequivocal fact that to everytype of globalisation one could assign a technical/technological “element”, which determinesor as it were, gives meaning to globalisation not to mention that in most cases it alsoaccelerates it. In almost every case this technical/technological element is the objectified86 Even beyond IT knowledge there is a sort of abstract „language”, that of programming. 91
  • manifestation of a new scientific discovery. Behind it though lies a whole set of untappedknowledge, which induces innovative processes that have the potential of becoming the motorof a given civilisation. Innovation has an inducing effect both on economy and society as thetechnology created by globalisation and the new discovery generates a continuous flow ofneeds.87 The globalisation of information age is made civilisation sense of by communication. Information society is fundamentally also the paradigm of communicationglobalisation. The triumph of communication technology and communication has thepotential to tangibly interprete knowledge society and information society.88 Knowledge society and the basis, infrastructure and carrier of information society, thatis, communication technology does not only provide a frame but it also generates content.These contents, which carry positive knowledge, can be difficult to define because contentsthat flow within the infocommunicational system are equally valid, thus have an identicalvalue. Or to put it slightly differently, we could also claim that they do not have value incomparison to one another. The datalike nature of information is thus explained in thismanner and so is the phenomenon of how specific functional spheres can exist paralelly onthe global information network. Defining the value of information, qualifying mediated knowledge is a task performedby the user. In the selection and utilization of knowledge the decisive factor is the knowledge,skills and internal motivation of the individual. The role of the individual is thus of utmostimportance. The formations of information society and knowledge society embody such needs thatcan only possibly exists if communication is global. The new need pressurizes society, whilesociety demands gratification in an institutionalised form. It falls on the individual socialpersons to realise this task.5.4. Does knowledge society bring about primordial model change? What follows from the above train of thought is also that information society and thematerialization of knowledge society often almost intertwine. As far as we are concerned thiscan be explained primarily by the idiosyncracies (of knowledge carrier characteristics) ofinformation and infrastructural definiteness. So that in the materialization of information agesocial values and goals (social-puch) should not be treated unfavourably in relation to tehno-puch, it is therefore important to distinguish between the various stages of development. The authors do not believe that the economic and social model of the future containingstrategy of sustainable development and future necessarily has to exclusively acceptknowledge society as such. However, the global, continental, national and local systems of87 The above mentioned are equally valid for antiquity. The dawn of human civilisation and the history ofworking metals is a typical example that globalisation is not determined by civilisation: for the birth of bronzeone would need to know so much the characteristics of metals as metallurgy and would also have to know whereto find copper and tin. The addition of these did not only result in the development of new technology, but it alsofastened globalisation processes since producing bronze required to continuously secure raw materials. All thisboth at globaland local levels led to a new type of labour division, the creation of novel demands. Inconsequence, the innovation process started to permeate all segments of the economy and society.88 Endre Kiss, (2005, 2006) 92
  • knowledge society equally offer positive recognitions and solutions to avert ecologicalcatastrophes, too. The world models of knowledge society, or in the global world the partialknowledge society islands exist only if we take notice of that the future is not exclusively theunchangable consequence of the past and present, but that the future, partially independentlyof the starting conditions, is capable of being shaped. The ideal of knowledge society does notmerely start off with the notion what economic and social innovations are made or not madepossibly by the Central European or Hungarian belated developmental model. Therequirement is strict: knowledge society is an ideal goal, an image of the future, a theory aswell as the existence and quality of a governmental and social program. Knowledge society is an ideal: the separate and joint ideal of knowledge and society.The ideal of knowledge is the concentrated acquirement of new knowledge, theoryknowledge, consciousness knowledge, skill knowledge, spiritual knowledge, actionknowledge; all this put together is new knowledge and new consciousness. The ideal ofsociety is the conscious creation of a new society, a community-based society on every levelof world structure (thus global, continental, national and local), finding a balance betweenglobal and local, not so much a hierarchical but a network-based society. Knowledge +society together is not power or capital-centred, but knowledge-based and knowlege-ledsociety, and it is structured not only on the basis of division of assets and labour, but it israther a horizontal society that makes use of knowledge and creativity. Every society is avirtual (and frightening) labyrinth which more often than not has no exit. Knowledge society,however, contrary to the above described is such a virtual network, although it has nolabyrinth and scary characteristics in which movement is effortless and has numerous exits.The maps of future traffic can be closely defined by the ideal of knowledge society while thedevelopment of traffic is capable of realising 70-80% of this ideal. We do not totally understand knowledge society if we still believe that economy,knowledge – new knowledge, ecology or the state will have nearly the same function as theydo today. In the age of knowledge society economy is no longer a neoliberalist system, anself-centred economic system that spans across nations. Instead, although still market-based itwill be an environment- and society-friendly as well as knowledge-centred solid economy orethical economy which could be called society economy. In the new times the state is nolonger unchanged either and the changes are not limited to e-governance and e-democracy.By means of these changes power is is not a multiple concentrated but just as economy is, it isa network service that is environment- and society-friendly, serving citizens and utilizingknowledge. The role and functioning of nature and environment protection is altogetherdifferent, too, and the new phenomenon is not simplifiable to accepting environment economyas a subsystem of economy, but that economy, building homes, technological development,public administration, education, etc., should all do their bit to keep the ecological balance ofthe Earth and if possible, to further strengthen it. What is going to or could become positively new in knowledge society is that thepresently isolated, torn systems and subsystems of human civilisation and culture could neareach other once again and an organised chaos could come into being, a quantum integrationtype of megasystem that is not of hierarchical nature, thus an element would not dominate therest, but in the new, network system every element would co-operate and mutually controlone another. For the above to happen there is a need for immense knowledge, utilisation ofknowledge and global network organisation – self-organisation that is supported by artificialintelligence. Knowledge society as a global model could partially materialise by the mid-21stcentury. 93
  • Knowledge society is essentially the social dimension of information age. It is that moment inthe course of becoming a civilisation when the technical/technological potentials are utilised,in our case that includes computer science and re-organising society. To put it otherwise, theinformation systems presently more or less used by society, would become the central pillarsof knowledge society through which not only knowledge elements (pieces of information) butalso knowledge flows. Finally, knowledge society most likely brings about primordial modelchange in the history of humanity. In order that we understand the social and economic role of knowledge and define thecapital value of knowledge, we must briefly sum up what we mean by the concept ofknowledge. Knowledge, the information continuum that is supplied by specific organisationalfeatures, which are distributed through computer networks becomes part of social capital,although it is not identical with it.5.5. Redefining knowledge capital and the types of pulling forces ofthe era Frequently “knowledge capital” is equated with knowledge acquired in schools, and iscalled intellectual capital. In reality knowledge is, however, a complex concept, and some ofits elements have capital value, while others do not. The insecurity or risk factor is that thetwo cannot be separated. For want of better we shall claim that for the time being onlyutilisable knowledge has capital value. Such a definition of knowledge is primarily shared byeconomists and it is closedly linked with the concept of innovation. In this context thustheoretical knowledge is not part of the knowledge capital. This approach is contradicted by the fact that information due to its complexitydetailed above, according to which information itself is complex, a knowledge set in whichknowledge elements are compressed. The complex formal appearance of it is capable ofseparating the knowledge elements of information and thus it can be oriented to find newconnections. Therefore it is very difficult to predict that from a knowledge set which singularpieces of information or information elements are going to be subsequently utilised. In the definition provided Daniel Bell we get a precise description of theinfrastructurally defined knowledge concept of the information age. As we have alreadymentioned (see chapter 1.9), we put special emphasis on that part of the definition that claimsthat “new judgements” are part of knowledge; these stand at every pole of the communicationmedium: at the start where knowledge as “an organised set” is born until the point it isutilized. In the creation of judgements there is a subjective element present that cannot bebypassed: the human, who creates, carries, transfers and uses knowledge simultaneously.Knowledge can only be examined jointly with the cognitive person.Personal knowlegde 94
  • The modification of the traditional concept of knowledge was altered by MihályPolányi, who is from Hungarian descent.89 He sets off with the statement: “there is nocognition without a cognitive person”. He denies that the basic requirement of objectiveknowledge is that it should be detached from the cognitive process. On the contrary, it is thesubject which links reality with objective knowledge. Knowledge could be objective, becauseit is through it that we are in touch with reality. For Mihály Polányi the computer and generally artificial intellegicence served as a goodground to refute the rational ideal of knowledge. Computer input and the operation of themachine are formalised knowledge independent of the user (explicit knowledge). At first sightthese suit the requirements of objective ideal of knowledge. However, it is the person whomakes sense of the functioning computer, it is him/her who selected, fed into and definedwhat information should be used from which information supply to solve a defined problem.The result also needs to be interpreted by humans. In his context knowledge does not meanthe mechanical process of the computer but the comprehension that is born in the person’smind who makes the computer function in a specific way. As far as Mihály Polányi isconcerned, information is formated (explicit) knowledge, that comes into existence as theresult of a cognitive processes.Implicit knowledge One part of knowledge can be formated, can be put into words, documentated in anutterance, written or iconic manner. This is explicit knowledge. Knowledge, on the otherhand, also has another layer which is closely related to the personality of knowledge carrier(personal knowledge), it cannot be either separated from it, nor formalised. Personal knowledge includes implicit (tacit) knowledge. This is such type ofknowledge, which can only be acquired through personal contacts and experience and it canonly be further transfered in such manner.90 Skills, excercise, ideas, intuition, forebodingbelong to this category.91 The resources of tacit knowledge are highly diverse and are closedlylinked to the social and cultural definiteness of the knowledge carrier. Implicit knowledge incertain cases is wordless, for example, perceptory. The wordless element is that layer ofhuman knowledge which contains biological-natural embededness and the personalcomponent of knowledge makes it social. The novelty of Mihály Polányi’s train of thought and simultaneously its significance isthat by separating the personal component of knowledge he points to the social momentum(commitment to socially accepted norms, their recognition and acceptance) and byintroducing the wordless element into knowledge he links knowledge to its biological origin.89 Personal Knowledge, the University of Chicago Press, 1958; Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-CriticalPhilosophy (Atlantisz Könyvkiadó), 1992. Vol I. p. 182-218.90 Tacit knowledge is not the opposite and neither is part of explicit knowledge. Their difference lies in theirfunction of the cognitive process. Knowledge depending on its function in one or another cognitive processcould be either explicti or tacit knowledge. For instance, writing or reading is explicit knowledge although theirpractice is already unspoken.91 According to Mihály Polányi, intuition is par of skills because it is rooted in the natural sensitvity of humanpatterns and can be developed through learning processes. 95
  • To strongly simplify it, knowledge has two layers as far as the individual is concerned:explicit knowledge, the formalisable and documentable set of cognition, which can be furthertransfered and made communal by its formatability and on the other hand, tacit knowledge,which could be also calld invisible or hidden knowledge, which is organically related to theindividual, that cannot or hardly be formalised, it cannot be documented although it is presentin the cognitive process and utilisation of knowledge in a defining manner.Knowledge as social capital We can conclude from the above argument that although the value of knowledge(information) depends on the user, the determining factor in the evaluation process is thecultural, social and physical definiteness of the individual. The user utilises such knowledgewhich appear as tacit knowledge. All in all the flow of knowledge, knowledge innovation ortransfer are indispensable resources and should be regarded individually as (human) capital.The utility degree of this capital, however, is different in every individual. The process, however, holds also true reversely. After all in the innovative process ofknowledge new pieces of information come to light. The user of information does not onlyevaluate or utilize knowledge, but by these processes they also create new pieces ofinformation (knowledge), too. These stream back and further enrich the knowledge thatpresents itself as social capital. The use of knowledge thus seems to be an indefinite andmulti-directional process which materializes on more levels and in numerous forms. Thequestion remains whether we can measure knowledge and if so what is the value ofknowledge?Utilized knowledge makes the world off the hinge In the post-industrial age economic life is still defined by productivity and competitivepower. These governing procedures go through fundamental changes. Productivity is thebroadening of the internal resources of innovation and reform while competitive power isdefined by flexibility and adaptation to change. So that a new production function is createdthere are two essential requirements needed: on the one hand, computer sciences asdepositaries of speed and on the other hand, knowledge as innovative capacity. Manuel Castells, who considers that the technological definiteness as fundamental topost-industrialism, believes that knowledge and information is not essential although requiredby the new economic system. This is why he does not use the term knowledge economy butinstead prefers the term knowledge-based economy. “The most important characteristic of thepresent technological revolution is that in the cumulative feedback loops in betweeninnovation and its use, knowlege and information is employed to generate further knowledgeand to create information communication signals.”, - writes Castells.92 In the definition ofCastells the economy of information age is nothing but the employable knowledge productionwhich is created through innovation. By incorporating innovation he essentially makes a sharpdistinction between knowledge and employed (utilised) knowledge.92 Manuel Castells (2005) p. 32. 96
  • The distinction is ever more important because the most essential criteria ofknowledge is that on the one hand it is bound to a period, on the other hand, it can be detectedin a period and finally, it pulls and pushes the period forward. And this is already perpetualinnovation.5.6. The laudation of innovation in the new era As we already noted, innovation, as a concept of economic theory was first used by theNobel price winner, the Austrian economist J. A. Schumpeter who elaborated the theory ofeconomic growth based innovation at the beginning of the 20th century.93 In hisunderstanding, innovation is not so much a technical but rather an economic term. In hisopinion development (which is qualitatively different to the growth that implies continuousaccommodation) takes place through innovations, thus the course of the process changesabruptly as well as the production factors are combined in a new way. These newcombinations prevail either as a new product, in its production, in introducing a new method,acquiring new markets and new resources, by the foundation of a new organisation, etc.94 Thesubstantive innovative process includes the “recycling” processes that have recently come intoprovinence. R+D is the most important unit of knowledge production. Since research isneeded in all phases of innovation, R+D is the permanent collateral and not the prerequisite.The Frascati Reference Book puts special emphasis on that R+D is merely one of theinnovation actions.95Innovation in the knowledge-based economy The developmental measure of modern economies as well as the competitive powerdepend significantly on the human factor, - determined Drucker in the mid-1980s.96 Theauthor points out while examining the economic situation of the USA that the American“entrepreneurial” economy was triggered not by technological rather by social innovations,which are primarily linked to the “new technologies” that made their appearance in the smalland medium-size entreprises. By recognising the significance of social innovations Druckner drew attention to theimportance of innovative behaviour. We mean by innovative behaviour the purposeful searchfor opportunities, following the changes in the organisation as well as outside of it which arenot exclusively limited to the development of a given product or service but incorporate thealternation of technologies, organisational change or any modernisation in other areas. Therecommendations of OECD stress that innovation goes beyond research and development.“Innovation is the transformation of an idea or the marketing of a new or updated product or93 Joseph A. Schumpeter: The Theory of Economic Development, Cambridge, Mass. Harvard UP94 Innovation was not always used in this comprehensive interpreation, but was rather reduced to technologicalinnovations that had no link to the social-economic relations. This approach that determined almost the way ofthinking of the 20th century basically identified the technological object with the „object” while technology wasregarded the collectivity of objects and production/manufacturing processes. The stages of technologicalinnovation are research + developmental + technological design + production – in brief, R+ D (research anddevelopment).95 „What we mean under the concepts of research and experimental development (R + D) is that regular creativework whose goal is to widen knowledge including knowledge on humans, culture and society as well as theapplication of the factual material to develop new applications. R + D consists of three activities: basic research,applied research and experimental development.” (Frascati Manual,p. 29.)96 P.Drucker (1993) 97
  • an operation used in the industry and trade as well as the development of an operation or anew approach toward some social service.”97 By today there is common concensus all over the world that in order that a state shoulddevelop optimally there are three important strategic areas of signifance: education, publichealth and innovation. While the first two areas by ensuring the intellectual and physical well-being of people also create the prerequisites of work capable of reform, innovation is theobjective utilization of this capacity in the economic and social life. This generalisation, however, does not make it comprehensible why has innovationbecome the central question of development. Evaluating the role of innovation and judging itssignificance depends whether we mean the classical industrial economy based on the old,mass production or the new knowledg-based economy. Taking a historical perspective, the economic processes of industrial society arecharacterised by the interchange of “perfection of the known” stage and “revolutionary”inventions stage. At the centre of the industrial society is the rationalisation of productionprocesses/ cutting back on the price of a product and the quantitative increase in production/expansion of markets. The emphasis was on the catchword: “produce extensively butcheaply”. Its results were dwindling outputs, deficit, “stagnation” in the knowledge andspecialised professional skills of participants and production in stabil industries besides theshift in values that have become traditional. The traditional process of innovation is a linearmodel: it starts out with the ideas of developers, goes on with research, development,technological planning, production, sales. Work was unequivocally characterised by the coming into existance of stabileindustries. Once knowledge was acquired (professional skills) that could be utilized andmarketed with slight alterations through a lifetime. On the labour market more value wasattached to how many years one spent in an industry, the experience one acquired and theprofessional loyalty rather than professional mobility. Employment policy was determinedmostly by the low price of labour force, the rationalisation of productivity and its economicconsequences. These circumstances made a relatively stabile education and wellfare politicspossible. Consumer behaviour altered paralelly to the value system of small changes. Contrary to this phenomenon, in the post-industrial age the security was replaced byinsecurity as much as it assumes “the yet unknown but attemptable” knowledge and integratesinto social and economic processes. The dynamics of economy is given by partial exploitationof the not perfectly known but essentially introduced. Innovation is not the knowledge andobjectifisation of a single use of a single product or product group but because the productalways represents only partial knowledge it can continually signify innovation. Knowledge-based economy is supported by the assumption that the new essentially knows more or farmore than its predecessor. It is focuses on novelty and innovation. Economy thus focuses noton mass production, but on qualitative production (in small series), the flexible adaptation tothe changing demands of the market or the technologies that are built into services. While inthe classic industrial society “revolutionary” changes took place infrequently, that wasreplaced by innovations densely following each other and form near continuum.97 OECD, Frascati Manual, p. 19. 98
  • • In the new economy the innovative process itself has changed compared to the pastpractices and perceptions. Market considerations play a primary role, the research that isoriented by adaptation. The market simultaneously provides new stimulating information anddemands, which repeatedly commence innovative processes. Innovation thus takes place as achain reaction with numerous starting and ending points. • In the new economy innovation is knowledge production. The most important unitsof knowledge production are universities and R+D institutions, or to put it otherwise, thoseinstitutions that do basic and applied research. In order to maximize efficiency,enterpreneurial research bases from past times are replaced by permeable knowledge actionswhich by way of network-like linkeage potentials do not only open up an infinite opportunityin between knowledge producers and users but they also give the green light to thoseinstitutions who mediate the flow of knowledge. • Change that has become permanent also concerns the labour market where mobility,fast adaptation skills to changes as well as accumulated and continuously growing knowledgeprove a determining factor. In the new economy the relationship of people to work haschanged in a fundamental manner. Acquiring new knowledge(s) is no longer a pre-requisitebut part of labour. Research shows that within a lifetime a person needs to update theirknowledge or change their professions up to 3 to 4 times, but in the coming decade thatnumber has increased to 5-7 times. This is possible only on the condition that the traditionalwelfare institution system based on stability is going to be altered according to the needs of acontinuously changing world. • Hence in the new economy learning is not a singular affair in a life time but aprocess that takes a lifetime. Education and adult training is not only a social task that aimsto balance social disparities and ensure equal opportunities but education itself is part of theinnovative process because of the role it fills in the knowledge flow. Technological innovation User Innovation in innovation economy Regulatory system Table 9. The phenomenon of multi-dimensional innovation (Emese Ugrin) We can conclude that innovation and knowledge production are a “multi-dimensionalphenomena”. Pre-disposition to novelty and the creation of new values are not only related toall spheres of economy and culture but all sorts of human action and this is why it appears in 99
  • all spheres of economy and culture (Table 9.). This simultaneously entails the reform ofeconomic, social and cultural spheres and those practices that produce and utilize skillswhich materialize in a new or renewed product. The operation efficiency of knowledge-based economy and society is determined bythe intensity of information flow and the quantity of information that is capitalised intoinnovations. This is where the pressure to latch on originates. The state as the umbrellaformation that stands above economic and social processes has to participate. It is aninteresting paradox that by latching on the state does not have to give up its traditionalprolitical status and those actions that rise from its traditional operating mode andresponsibilities that hinders it in taking part in the interactive communication. Traditional innovation is the product of the industrial age, although innovation bytoday is far not limited by technological or technical innovation. Innovation is intellectual,mental or social innovation. The new existence is: general innovation.5.7. Knowledge management in the new economy The new economy is thus fundamentally knowledge production and knowledgeutilization that concentrates on the manufacturing of high-quality intellectual products thatembody values (technologies) and services.98 This latter production sphere is pullingknowledge-based economy.The economic approach – knowledge management On the global “information market” direct relations come into existence in betweeneconomic actors making a more efficient organisation and development of products andtechnologies (innovation) possible. Division and exploitation of knowledge has become abusiness compulsion. Enterprises put huge amounts of resources and time into linkingprofessions, knowledge and scientific fields that traditionally fell far from each other. Themore efficiently is adequate information passed on to the good people and the moreeconomically is knowledge divided and used within the organisation the more fruitful themanagement of the organisation/company is going to be. By today, the management ofinformation and accumulated knowledge is part and parcel of information market (knowledgemanagement=KM) From an economic perspective, knowledge management comprises all those activitieswhose purpose is to research, collect and efficiently distribute all sorts of documented(explict) as well as hidden (tacit) knowledge, professional skills and experience between themembers of an organisation. Knowledge management (KM) includes developing infrastructure (perfection oftechnological tools and search engines, plan communication channels and contact systems),managing knowledge (leadership and managment tasks, decision preparation) and98 The development rythm and competiteveness of modern economies depend to a large extent on human factors– established Drucker by the mid-1980’s. In the analysis of the US economy that author points out that thedevelopment of the “enterpreneurial” economy is not so much part of a technological but rather social innovationwhich primarily manifested itself in small and middle-sized companies related to leading as “new technologies”.P. F. Drucker (1993) 100
  • systematization of knowledge (exploration, research, analysis, modelling of knowledgeheritage). Recognising the significance of social innovations makes us pay special attention tothe importance of innovative behaviour. We mean by innovative behaviour the purposefulsearch of opportunities which does not exclusively focus on following the basic processes ofthe organisation and those outside of it but also includes alteration of technologies,organisational changes and reforms in any other areas.The social perspective: human resource management From a social perspective the complex system of human resource management is notlimited to keeping ever-changing processes, skills and professional knowledge at a level andtheir development. The efficiency and quality of knowlede is defined to a large extent by the phsyical andpsychological state of the individual, his/her social status, recognition and connections. Inother words, it depends on the cultural and social environment in which the individual andhis/her knowledge is embedded into. This medium which is external to the economicorganisation does not only condition the process of knowledge utilization and creation of newknowledge) (knowledge innovation), but it is also an inexhaustible resource of utilizedknowledge. One should also take into account that post-industrialism distributes social capital, andknowledge is one of the most important type of capital, in a different manner as well as itmanages the distribution of capital differently to that of the industrial society. Within the concept of knowledge we should separate the concepts of institutionalisedknowledge and capital-like knowledge. The infrastructural, risk and unlimitedly transferablecapital-like knowledge is not identical to the concept of institutionalised knowledgetraditionally used in education, research and development. The latter is such a sociallyregulated concept of knowledge around which a well definable social need has been built.That, however, cannot be determined what concrete knowledge is becoming activated in theindividual actor. This, on the one hand, means that traditional knowledge types are notidentical to the transferable capital-like knowledge, on the other hand, institutionalisedknowledge is a fundamental requirement for the production of capital knowledge.99 In a knowledge-based society and economy those individuals who are not capable ofgrasping opportunities are in a disadvantaged position (new social stratification and danger ofdisadvantage-creation). This disadvantage, however, can as quickly turn into a definitivebreak away as utilized knowledge changes under the innovative pressure. Correcting thedisproportion is made possible by an efficient distribution that takes into account changes andadapts to individual lives (challenges).99 This is why the post-industrial society cannot give up education. 101
  • Chapter Six: The present is already an intelligentdevelopment The theory of action in the post-industrial age and/or information age is not ready yet.In this chapter we will only deal with the development of the information age. We will definethe goals and schools of systemic strategic planning, detail the complexities and will point outthe most important obstacles, too. Moreover, we will also touch upon the virtual developmentof knowledge society, that is, the correlations between content- and virtual communities aswell as improvement in infrastructure6.1. The comprehensive goals and the directions of intelligentdevelopment As far as we accept the premise that information (knowledge) is part of thecommunicational process we also go along with the statement that knowledge itself isinteraction. A given person or community (social group) simultaneously produces, utilizesand “circulates” (transmits) new pieces of information. The real challenge to knowledgeorganisation within the community and consequently knowledge management is ensuring theresearch, systematization, transfer and convertability of accumulated explicit and tacitknowledge within the organisation, the distribution of old and new knowledge to the broadestpossible audiences in order to increase the competitive power of society. To put it differently,the goal is the promotion and conversion of knowledge as social capital into capitalknowledge. As generally radical or sweeping changes in the history of humanity, informationrevolution goes hand in hand with numerous insecurities and risks. To moderate these and toalter opportunities into real benefits is possible exclusively on the condition thatdevelopments are thought through and are based on a clearly defined image of the future andmaterialize on the basis of systemic strategy. “System” as concept loses its inflexible nature inintelligent development. It no longer entails a universal method and structure applied as astereotype but it is a singular aptitude appearing at the local level and a developmentalmethod that takes into account the demands (expectations) made on the future. The development of knowledge society is closedly linked to the materialization ofintelligent developments of information society with the exception that while the latter aims atdeveloping infocommunication infrastructre and its spectrum, the developmental program ofknowledge society primarily focuses on the content of knowledge, its distribution anddistributive systems as well as the efficient distributive systems of knowledge capitalmaterialised in social capital. The headway of information society is related to the fruition of specific economic,legal and social critieria. For the accessory growth of information economy flexible anddynamic price-, service-, capital- and labour market needs to be present in the economy. 1. A fundamental prerequisite of a successful information society and economy is theadvanced status of the social receptive medium and the social embedness of informationeconomy and infrastructural development. Information society and economy can evolve in the 102
  • event that the majority of society owns the new information and communication technologicaldevices and has the knowledge to use them. It is thus of fundamental importance to: • From an economic perspective, to quantitatively get through to necessary amountof people: so that the new information infrastructure investment should yield returns there acertain amount of demand is quintessential. To reach this, competition alone simply does notsuffice or, if even if it does, it takes a certain amount of time. This is why co-operationbetween competitive rivals should be stimulated to cover a certain size of the market which inreturn would serve public administration and entrepreneurial group for the benefit of servicedevelopment. • From a social perspective, increase equal opportunities. The biggest risk ofinformation society is that society breaks up into those who own the information and thetechnology needed and those whom are deprived of it (digital gap). As much as possibleeverything should be done in order to circulate, popularize new technological knowledge. 2. Create a flexible and dynamic labour market. From the perspective of the citizenthis entails such new requirements and opportunities as to “study through a life time” and bein posession of “the fundamentals of information”. 3. The strategic branch of information economy is content development. From a socialperspective, it includes making national cultural heritage available and renewable; on the longrun it also entails the possibility of widespread old and new knowledge acquisition throughaccess to databases and distance education. 4. (R)employment and training of disadvantaged groups, handicapped and inactivepopulation. From a social perspective, this is drafted into an equal opportunities, socialcohesion and life quality programme. Creating and operating information society is impossible in isolated circumstances.Building up and operating infrastructure in a socially embedded environment is a practicalsolution if the co-ordination of the broader context is also accomplished, that is, at thesettlement, small regional, county and regional level. Harmonizing the simultaneous top-bottom and bottom-top construction in terms of subsidiarity is of strategic importance becauseit is only then that the criterias can be met, namely, the widespread and relatively expensiveinfrastructure, attaining the amount of people necessary for an economical operation, creationof socially useful services, equal access to and social embeddedness of these services. Thewatchwords of information society creation are subsidiarity (amendment), co-operation(collaboration), participation (involvement). All this presupposes such vertical and horizontalregional co-operation where local communities, self-governance of civil organisations invillages and cities are further strengthened and their singularities and differences based ontheir capacities as well as their demands are highlighted.6.2. New approach to planning and the general alteration of thewhole Intelligent development gives a radically new meaning to the concept of “endowment”which becomes measurable not so much through the increased number of instutions but thequalitative and quantitative growth in services offered by them as well as the numbers ofcitizens who make use of them. Quantitative change becomes qualitative alteration if servicesare able to meet the singular and specific demands of the population.100100. Due to intelligent regional development the boundaries between cities and village are going to dissolve.New criterias of city creation are going to be established which partially depend on the elaboration of 103
  • Today intelligent development is still closedly linked to the territorial definiteness ofsociety. It is, however, an unequivocal fact that infocommunication technology that generatesdevelopments loosens although does not completely dissolve the territorial principle of themodern state. It is not by chance that the concept is primarily used among regionaldevelopers. Intelligent regional development, however, restricts the concept by applying itexclusively to the present social and economic relations. In the broad sense of the wordintelligent development means the accentuated development of virtual space of knowledgesociety. In this respect its essentials could be grasped in content development (production andtransmission of information), knowledge management (organising knowledge) anddevelopment of virtual communities (socially objectified knowledge). Virtual communities appear as alternatives (semantic) spacial structures as opposedto the traditionally rigid political and social structures. These alternative communities are notonly freeer in terms of freedom of speech, aggregation, lobbying due to their network nature,but also larger social prestige, flexibility and new identities. As a result not only newmodalities appear for the citizen but also in the relation between the state and the citizen inwhich the traditional institutions of representational democracy are reformed or in extremecases are totally displaced. The general spread of the internet thus in a generative mannerinduces the complex development of democratic institution structure as such and theadministrative institutions that ensure the operation of the state which besides the creation oftechnical/technological conditions also include the skills of application. Moreover, specialskills such as digital culture, human resource development as well as the creation of legalframework that guarantees the operationability by providing data protection and security aswell as the continual actualisation of the process. Intelligent development after all aims at thealteration of the state and society as such, although intelligent development does not or hardlysteps across the development of functional reality.6.3. Tangible limitations of intelligent development The elemental criteria of the complex execution of intelligent development are that allparticipating actors should agree and co-operate in the development. Conflict among themcould have grave consequences. A society that does not acquire digital culture or refuses itwould make all modernising efforts worthless. But the contrary also holds true. As long as thepolitical power considers alternative virtual communities a danger that could potentiallyweaken its influence rather than offering new forms of co-operation, intelligent developmentcould become conflict ridden or it might become a tool of manifest power. Numerousexamples exist of such political experiments (e.g. China, Afghanistan under the Talib regime) In case new virtual identities were not accepted, that could be another source ofconflict that would hinder intelligent development. Although this question has not yet comeinto the focus of attention, we should still count on the multiplying individual and communityidentities in the virtual space which over the long run would have identical value in the virtualspace (e.g. multiple memberships in virtual communities). The state should face the fact thatnext to the citizens’ identity based on the territorial, national or linguistic principle, endlessinfocommunication technologies, their wide application, the intensity of the links to the global social structure aswell as high quality supply of the population (life quality). This also implies that villages and settlements wouldhave the choice of becoming „intelligent cities” while cities could easily lose their present status for lack ofsettlement development. 104
  • numbers of identities with identical values are going to appear which will weaken the politicalhegemony of the state over the social sphere. These fears tacitly already exist or at least areimplied by the fact that the intelligent development strategies serving the realisation ofinformation society mention the service-providing state as an improver in the relationshipbetween the government and its citizens. Development is the modernisation of the presentstate through “reforms” embodied by technological applications. But even those strategiesthat are part of the long term vision of the future do not mention the total alteration of therelationship between the state and society.6.4. Content management: the future branch of the age Content in its forms is the basic substance of the information age. In the general senseof the word this notion means the data transmitted through infocommunication networksthrough sets, texts, voices, images and their multimedia combinations. All kinds of contentcan be distributed through the global information network. • Everyone can create content: individuals, government bodies, institutions, non-profit organisation, companies, etc. • Content is always createdwith a distributive goal and uses the opportunitiesoffered by the global communication network which reaches wide audiences. • The purpose of content is generating communication, and thus the notionnecessarily entails interactivity. The pulling branch of the information-innovation society of the EU is contentdevelopment (the official term being: e-content). Investment, technology, e-economy or e-environmental protection and e-education and as a result e-governance has no value withoutnew knowledge, new content and the development of these. What follows from this is that the the message and formal appearance of content onthe web defines not only the quality of the transmitted information but also the quality andeffectiveness of communication because in the communication process every user is not only aconsumer but also a producer of content. This also means that we cannot talk about fruitfulintelligent development without effective content development. Global infocommunication networks give huge opportunities to content diversity. It isnot by chance that the issue of content develoment has become a central question on thenetworks at the spreading of infocommunication use and infrastructure developments. Theinformation age has thus reached content, although mostly only the development of appliedknowledge, but its competence necessarily ends here. It has brought a breakthrough but hasnot become a new discovery.6.5. The infocommunicational public service system and thebusiness type processing model The foundation, infrastructure and carrier of information (and knowledge) society iscommunication technology which does not only provide a frame but it also generates content. 105
  • Thanks to this characteristics, the formations of information society and knowledgesociety embody such needs which are made feasible exclusively by global communication.Put it differently, the infrastructure that ensures the flow of information and communicationand all the technologies required have become the fundamental public service system of thenew age. New needs put pressure on society, which in turn demand the institutional satisfactionof those demands. The model of service-providing state and the programme of e-governancecome to the forefront. The task of realization is put on social actors and among them the statewhich is most responsible for the well-being of society and self-governments that ensure theprovisions of the population. All of these make the state and the public sphere face new tasks.The planned swerve, however, stays within the neo-liberal programme while the privatisationof public administration is one of the first steps that limit the totalitarian character of the state. The model of the public administration process In order to create the general business type process model of public adminsitration weneed to clarify certain elementary relationships. First of all, we need to develop what wemean by the business type process model within public administration and e-publicadministration and how this model changes if and when e-public administration is introduced.Secondly, one should think it over to what extent should the process model be given prioritywithin the public as well as how can the process model be integrated into the publicadministration model. Thirdly, when defining the business type process model categoryshould be alloted content and the business concept which once applied in the publicadministration could be regarded as an industrial production and/or organisational-operationalprocess. Table 10. The European integrated e-governance model101101 Capgemini: Online availability of public services: how is Europe progressing? Web Based survey onelectronic public services (Report oth the fifth Measurement, October 2004) 106
  • It would be very important to arrive at an integrated e-governance and e-publicadminstration model. In the international literature, however, the demarkation lines of basicconcepts (e-governance, e-public administration, e-self governance, e-democracy) are part ofheated arguments. An integrated model does not only unify the sides of back office with frontoffice. (The e-governance basic models is going to be discussed in Appendix 1). We suggestsuch models that basically apply the American (Canadian, English, etc.) business model but isalso harmonised with the European model that considers services not according to the needsof the state or some other centralised institutional system but essentially from the points ofview of the user (civilians, civil communities). This simultaneously makes the compulsoryunification and voluntary co-operation possible.Levels Governance, public institutions, type of local administration organisations services governanceUpper level e-governance e-public Central Electronic business administration Service-providing System and Public Service CentreMid level e-governance and e-public Regional – small business(regional and e-local administration and e- regional e-centres (e-small regional) governance local public houses); the integrated administration settlement services are linked to them, tooLower level e-local Local governance e- Individualised business and(settlement, governance public administration settlement-district e- communitydistrict) and public public administration administration services (local e- (modernisation of houses) offices, etc.)Citizen level e-citizen, e- public administration e-public administration business and community e-public services civil organisations community Table 11. The multi-layered integrated model of e-governance and e-public administration (Csaba Varga) It is well discernable from the above table that we have separated e-governance and e-public administration. E-public administration does not end at the high (government) levelbecause the regional/county public administration offices are part of state publicadministration. If regional e-centres could also integrate the small regional e-centres from acomputer science point of view then we would only have to deal with settlement e-selfgovernance and e-public administration at lower levels. The institutional system of the Hungarian public administration system comprises thesubsystems of state public administration and self-governance. We should now take a look atthe definition of public administration process model that incorporated both subsystems. 107
  • Experts distinguish between centralised, structure-centred, process-oriented e-publicadministration in the same manner. We could add to the above that in practice there is a sharp division between e-publicstrategies and projects, whether they are computer science-centred, administration (or withslight exaggeration: public administration) centred or public administration knowledgedevelopment-oriented or e-democracy-centred. All in all, process-oriented developments canbe characterised in the following manner: • Rethinking, optimising tasks and responsibilities, • Planning and employing new processes and systems of administrative processes, • Minimalisation of administrative process steps with regard to data flows withinself-government and between self-governments and other institutions, • Generating parallels between administrative process parts, • Minimalisation of the necessary and used documents and data, its transperancyand easy usage, • etc. What does this all imply? One of the experts sums it up as follows: “The majority ofbusinesses are tipifiable, work processes can be determined in advance. These types of affairsare enumerated and analysed. The processes of the affairs contain many identical “elementaryadministrative steps”, some of which can be executed in an automatic fashion without humanintervention, while some of which necessitate the intevention and co-operation of theadministrator.” It is currently feasible to apply artificial intelligence at the automatic steps.The process models that are conceptualised in this way makes it possible to regard the publicadministration process as a business type process. It should be noted, however, that the process model does not solve every single publicadministration method or administration problem in itself and a post-market type of integratedmodel should be worked out in a strategyic model, which beside the process model shouldalso contain functional and substantial (contentual) models, too. The concept of business process management (BPM) is also well known: “Nowadaysbesides the traditional integration application model that is basically an infrastructuralapproach, increasingly, new approaches come to the forefront. It is called business processmanagement, which meet the new challenges. With the increase in business processapplications and their operational frequency, demands have progressively followed that callfor the automatization of numerous processes supported by applications, their continuousfollow-up and optimalisation, phasing out and registration of manual steps. The management of business processes realises the uniform management of businesstransactions at company level. The operation of business process is done by the processcontrol system based on the process model (what shall be done?) using computerinfrastructure (how shall it be done?) toucing upon the the company organisation and actors(who shall do it?) These three approaches make up the three dimensions of processmanagement. Just as conductors do, process management systems make the monitoring andcontrol of operating processes possible.” The question that arises from a public administration approach is whether the businessprocess management used by companies is applicable and if yes, how so. The answer is not so 108
  • hard to find primarily becase the majority of public administration systems is systematicallyregulated, frequently an overregulated work process that makes use of the computerinfrastructure and as such a great number of affairs are made possible because they operateautomatically, independently of any human intervention. The public administration processmanagement is also three dimensional. The simulteanous reparation of operational efficacyand the so-called user experience is achieved by at least the partial automatisation ofprocesses. We should not forget, however, that the public administration work process is notlimited to the administration processes in offices, but it is also an economic-social relationshipand so public administration and e-democracy should be also included in the notion. Publicadministration is also greatly helped by the internet because it is used so much for datatransfer as management of business/ public administration in the broad sense of the term. It is not by chance that the document “Changing public services” published by theMinisterial E-Governance Conference (Manchaster, 24.11.2005) is worded as follows:“Public administration systems might make use of the innovative application of ICT (e.g. therationalisation of various ICT service-providing processes decreases the operational costs ofpublic administration systems). Public administration is more expeditous, efficient and moretransparent and by creating companies whose operational costs are reduced offers seriousmacro-economic advantages.” New approaches, however, do not only focus on the reductionof financial costs. While the OECD project called “Business planning of e-Governance” atfirst only highlighted the direct financial advantages, the new additional project also takesinto account the indirect economic and direct-indirect social advantages, too. The current key element of public administration process model is called digitaldecision-making. When companies conclude that IT can be employed beyond routine businessautomatisation processes to promote decision-making, the term used is business intelligence.The decision-making process is only one of the many business processes, but itscharacteristics is that it builds on the aggregation of data furnished by other businessprocesses. It is not by chance that the partial digitalisation of governance/ self-governancedecision-making is the most important strategic goal. Despite the extensive business experience, the are no ripe answers given to (e-)publicadministration dilemmas neither in the international nor in the Hungarian literature. Onereason is that in the planning of (e-)public administration market or business concerns,processes and methods are only of secondary significance. Nevertheless, e-publicadministration developments that are integrated with e-economic developments already exist,which significantly enhance the efficiency, return and sustainability of e-public administrationinvestments. It is important to note though that the notion of e-economy is not clarified in theeconomic literature and opinions are split whether e-economy (and e-public administration asone form of the new e-economy) still belong to classic market economy or are already part ofpost-market economy. This is of interest to us because business type processes arefundamentally and necessarily interpreted differently in a post-market ecomomy than in atraditional market economy – information economy does not belong to latter concept, either. 109
  • Table 12. The stages of the European Union e-public administration There is no unanimity when it comes to the interpretation of EU recommendations.Professional public opinion has taken over the most important recommendations in theirinvitations for applications, primarily by applying the requirement system established by theCommon List of Public Services (CLBPC). As it is well known, CLBPC defines fourelectronic service levels: the level of providing information, the level of one-directionalinteraction,the level of two dimensional interaction and finally the service level that makes thewhole online administration process feasible. In the past one and half years newrecommendations came to light such as the i2010 E-Governmental Action Plan in April 2006.Starting from 2007 one level will be added to the already establised four service level system;a level that it is so much goal-oriented as it makes proactive, automatized services viable. Thefifth level is called the key dimension. The principles of e-state state that automatised publicadministration services circulate because of the of the detailed regulations and high levelquality.102 This makes quality control of public administration feasible. What follows from allthis is that the higher levels of technology (see: the gradual introduction of artificialintelligence), while legally speaking the objective is the establishment of real, controlledservice-providing public services. Nevertheless not even the indicators of e-public administration developments are wellknown in Hungary. Even though the four electronic service development levels can beseparated to e-governmental, e-public administration developments, their qualification shouldbe done on the basis of the following indicators: E-Europe 2005: Benchmark indicators: e-government Public authority indicators: 1. the number of basic public services are offered onlinei102 Please refer to: János Czeglédi (2006): The United Gordian Knot, Prelude to an Investment Figue (Institutefor Strategic Research, Hungary) 110
  • Additional statistical indicators: 2. the percentage of the population using the internet to keep contact with authorities The division is goal-dependent: gathering and procurement of information, sending out filledforms back. 3. is the percentage of entreprises using the internet to keep contact with authoritiesThe division is goal-dependent: gathering of information and procurement of information,sending out filled forms. 4. the percentage of online public services that have digitally integrated officeprocedures 5. the percentage of exlusive online public procurement is done exclusively online(thus, it is electronically integrated) 6. the percentage of authorities making use of open resource sofware All this entails that already in 2005 European indicators have clearly showed thatbesides introducing twenty public srvices it is also very important that they are socially-economically embedded, thus how many and to what purpose is e-public administration usedby citizens and enterprises. We are not able to give a professional answer, amongst others, because we do not havea comprehenisve view or at least it is not widely known what the development level of theHungarian public administration and e-public administration is and what actual and strategictasks are required by the present state of affairs. By examining the Hungarian case, we distinguish at least between three or fourdevelopmental stages: The first phase is a partially spontaneous and partially planned process (from the1990s onwards). The Hungarian public administration starts the long process of providingservices; they acquire computers for local-governments as well as public administrationauthorities and institutions. Most of the second phase is a planned process with somespontaneous elements occuring (the phase took place from 2002 to 2007); thanks primarily toIHM tenders and the successful tenders of the first national development plan, thegovernmental and island-like local-government developments changes were initiated, -although they are not at all times citizen-centred public administration. The third phase isessentially going to be a planned process (from 2007 to 2010-2013). In this stage therealisation of e-public democracy and e-democracy practiced by the majority of thepopulation should be completed at least in one third, maximum in two thirds of the country orperhaps even in the whole country. In our study we elaborated a feasible, operational,affordable alternative for the realisation of the third phase.103 (The plan of the fourth phasecannot be part of our present study.) It is not our task either to introduce the three developmental stages at length, and so atpresent we are going to draft the public administration situation to the extent that is requiredfor the interpretational framework of the businnes type process model. The partial success of the second phase is to be explained with a number of reasons: 1.There was no governmental will to develop a more dynamic, widespread and conceptualpublic administration and e-public administration. 2. Those developments stand out from the103 Csaba Varga (2005): Az e-közigazgatás távlatai I-III (Perspectives on e- public adminsitration I-III.) IneWorld 2005/10-11-12 111
  • public administration improvements that focused on small regions and their modelexperiments. At this level e-public administration primarily meant the develoment ofinfrastructure although nobody could realistically expect a roaring success from that alone. 3.In the last parliamentary cycle 100 billion forints were spent on the development of publicadministration/e-public administration. Those who shape mainstream opinions view thisamount of money as relatively significant. As far as we are concerned, however, this budgetis modest to support limited to the existence and realisation of more widespread and efficientprojects. 4. The social acceptance of e-public administration and necessarily that of publicadministration has considerably increased lately (as it was either zero previously and therewere many who rejected the notion straight away). The announcement of the first nationaldevelopmental plan tenders, however, did not contain the components to strengtheneducational and social acceptance. Thus the most important obstacle for the realisation ofprojects was that neither the employees of public administration institutions, nor citizens oflocal societies, nor the enterprises were adequately prepared for changes. And the matterconcerns far more than the spread that of digital literacy, a highly significant goal in itself.The Pannon University, for instance, developed thirteen subjects of e-public administrationtraining and thus e-public administration (even as distance learning) training could be widelystarted. On the basis of this brief historic overview, the summary of the second and thirddevelopmental phase is as follows. In the past years the second e-governmental and e-public administrationdevelopmental phase were characterised by the following indicators: • broadening access (this, however makes only partial and limitedinfocommunication public services development possible) • the development of the internal network of local-governmental publicadministration offices and the introduction of e-administration (the developments supportedby tenders had mixed results, were at very different technological levels and in most cases thedevelopment did not go together with other public administration modernisations) • reaching the four levels of electronic services in Europe (only the the first threelayers are more or less thought through and a merely a handful of public services are online -out of around twenty) • sustainability of e-public administration developments and projects (this isquestionable because of the tightness of governmental and self-governmental resources andbecause the projects did not adequately take into account sustainability) • etc. The indicators of the coming, third developmental phase could be summed up for theshort term as follows: 1. it is a European basic requirement to realize comprehensive access (we cannotspeak of e-government, e-public administration as long as there is no comprehensive access toit, - at the least on the sights of development projects) 2. making all public services online 3. introducing the business type public administration model that could be furtherexpanded to the economic and social contact systems of public administration as well as e-democracy 112
  • 4. completing the realization of an electronic pubic administration service and itsinstitutional system 5. total development initially of regional and small regional e-public administratione-houses (e-centres) (based on the business type process model) 6. strengthening subsidies and sustainability of e-public administration development 7. starting a second e-public administration model experiment (because even underthe National Development Plan II. there are not going to be sufficient resources for the self-governmental and public administration system development as a whole, thus the only optionis to concentrate resources onto different priority models). 8. The end goal nevertheless is not to begin model experiments but the totalrealisation of the plans. What sort of actual model experiments should there be? a.) the joint development of e-public administration and e-economy; b.) e-democracy type of e-public administation; c.)social development-centred e-public administration; d.) e-public administration modelbetween regions (agglomeration); e.) public administration knowledge development andprioritising e-public administration developments; f.) etc. such a model expirement could bethe realisation of regional/small regional e-centres and, without saying, the common point ofall the projects are the high quality launching of service providing e-public administration. The present strategic goal of the Hungarian e-public administration development isthus the development of process models that make use of economic-business principles andpublic administration process models and their professional introduction into institutions atdifferent levels of public administration. The interpretational framework allows for anincreased effeciency in the new public administration processes and development plans. If we are to generalise the Hungarian example, we could assume that in other memberstates of the European Union similar e-governmental and e-public administration changes aretaking place. We repeatedly emphasize that for the European states e-government and thebusiness type process models constitute a major breakthrough. In this manner the state opensup unnoticedly and functions following the logic of the market and it pays more attention towhom it provides services to. The covered closeness and independence of the state fromsociety decreases with leaps and bounds. However, the cold superiority of the state and thearrogance of power is currently still present. The online state can’t choose but build bridges. 113
  • Chapter Seven: The new paradigm of governance – theservice providing state We are going to examine the interaction beween the service providing state and theinformation governance with special emphasis on the infrastructural definiteness and thechanges of spatial structure. In this chapter we are going to touch upon the coherence betweenspace and cyber space.7.1. The service providing state and its various interpretations The globalising economy of the millennium changes at a high pace and radically.Global economy, as we have noted it previously, is in a shift from an industrial societytowards a new, knowledge-based economy. It is essentially characterised by, on the side of theproducer, the free production and trade of information and knowledge, while on the consumerside, by a never before experienced widening of access. As a first attempt, we may phrase theessence of globalisation as a comprehensively global and total victory of liberal economy.This interpretation, however, is represents a mere simplification of the changes taking place inthe 21st century because this characterisation is one-dimensional, that is, it is a broadenedglobal space structure and it excludes the effect of the increasingly accelerating timedimension induced by the info-communicational revolution. The latter is characterised by the explosive technological development that has shakenindustrial society in the second part of the 20th century, international division of labour anddeveloment of integration and not least by the recurring energy crises. The attributes ofindustrial production have also changed with the introduction of automatisation, and the majorrole of IT, knowledge and communication. Contrary to the formal characteristics of industrialsociety, the most important indicators of the defining paradigm change of the 21st century areinformation and knowledge. We should consider these new connections from a newperspective.The economic perspective Services have become the pulling sector of economy. This in itself should beconsidered as revolutionary change since services were previously not regarded as aproducing activity according to classical economics.104 As post-industrial economy andsociety are no longer linked to industrial production, a new type of division of labour hasevolved and this has an integrating impact on society as a whole. In the 21st century,information is a resource that contains and induces change, while knowledge is the strategicresource that impacts both the content of change and its quality.104 The authors of „Cyberspace and the „American dream” showed the impracticality of this approach whendistinguishing three basically different fields of economic production. While in the first one the main resource isground and agriculture, in the second one the machines and heavy industry, in the third one applied knowledge isthe most important. – Esther Dyson – Georg Gilder – Georg Keyworth – Alvin Toffler (1997): A „kibertér” és az„amerikai álom”: Magna Charta a Tudás korához („Cbyerspace” and the „American dream”: Magna Charta forthe Knowledge Age), in Replika 26. June 1997. 114
  • Industrial society Post-industrial society Manufacturing Processing, recycling Mode of production Economic sector Secondary (Services) (commodity Tertiary105 production) Quaternarily106 Quinary107 Resources that bring Produced energy Information carrier, about change Data transfer108 Strategic resource Financial capital Knowledge Central reource Machines, heavy Appliedknoweldge Központi industry erőforrás Technology Machine Intellectual technology technology Knowledge basis Engineer, semi- Scientist, technological skilled worker and professional occupations Methodology Empiricism, Theoretical models, experimenting simulation, system- and decision making theory Time perspective Ad hoc Future orientation: adaptability, planning, forecast experimenting Planning Games against Games in between artificial future people Guiding principle Economic growth Codification of theoretical knowledge Table 13. Characteristics of industrial and post-industrial society Thanks to the pecularity of the new age, the re-evaluation of knowledge capital,production and consumption slips together both in time and space: the flow of knowledgecarrier information does not only accelarate but due to the cognitive nature of information the105 Services: transport, public services106 Trade, finances, insurance, property107 Education, healthcare, research, relaxation, governance108 Computer, data-transfering devices 115
  • production and use of information intertwine inseparably from one another. In knowledge-based economy efficiency is determined by the intensity of interconnections betweenproduction and consumption. The traditional mediating role of trade is ensured by info-communication infrastructure that makes unlimited relations and communication feasiblebetween the producer and consumer both in time and space, which in itself is a generatingforce that has an impact on the production and flow of information (knowledge, content) andinnovatively affects the production and consumption processes. Knowledge carried byinformation is utilized as innovation and becomes a measurable added value. Frequent contact between production and consumption is ensured nowadays by a newservice providing-sector where information flows called information trade (quaternarysector). This sector divides itself into a number of service providing units: • Information producers: content developers • Information service providers: information gather and transfering services • Services ensuring the technological and technical requirements of infrastructure: ITpersonnel, developers, maintainers, operators Forwarding Website network information Content developer Search for information Search engine User IP IP Table 14. The modern model of information flow (Emese Ugrin) As a result of technical and technological development (see media convergence) aswell as the characteristics of information and innovation examined in previous chapters, as faras we are concerned, our information producer and user models are identical to serviceproviders in indicating that in our innovation chain the user is the producer of newinformation, too. Information economy confronts the state with a new situation. From an informationtrade point of view, the state is merely one production unit. The “produced goods” of the stateare of consumer nature: one the one hand, they are meant for the actors of economy andsociety, on the other hand, for the decision-making, executive and controlling oragnisations,institutions that ensure the functioning of the state.109 Analoguously to the economy, the109 The state is thus merely a producer, manufacturer and organiser as well as consumer of information. 116
  • intensity of information flow beween producer and consumer defines the efficacy of thewhole system.110 Adapting infocommunication technology cannot be evaded, what more, it isa coercive factor when it comes to reforming the government. It should also be regarded as a coercive factor that among all other informationproducers and transmitters the state owns the biggest information public asset organisationtoday. The efficacy of how assets are utilised is, however, extremely low in the flow ofinformation there is no integration. That is so because the recycling options of data assets arelimited which, however, has a retardative impact not only the internal operation of publicadministration but on the totality of information economy since it is recycling that inducesinnovation. To put it othewise, inasmuch as the circle of information flow is somewherebroken (production – transfer – usage/ production – transfer – usage, etc.), that is going toimpact the operation of the whole system. The economic interpretation of the service-providing state is rooted in the compulsion to latch onto the information flow. We should not forget, however, that the service providing state in itself is not yet anew type of state; it is “only” the careful correction of the industrial age state. The neweconomy of the information age, information economy, however, cannot be satisfied with thislimited “modernisation”. The service-providing factor simply recorded as tertiary sector is the pulling andmobilising branch of information economy. Proportionately to its increasing significance, theamount of independent branches that determine the activities of the new economy are also onthe growth. This is how a new development, that of the appearance of a quaternary andquinary sector occurs. The latter sector is made up of those services that are indispensable forthe information society. These also replace the traditional redistributive role of the state andcomprise those so-called social services that determine the function of information economy,namely education, health, free time, governance (the relationship between the citizen and thestate as well as the relationship with the institutions of the state). Thus all those activities areincluded which serve the increase in the wellbeing, life quality and competence of society. Asthe social and economic paradigm gradually slide into each other, the social services of thefirst sector should also be considered economic services. Thus they should both serve theintegration of citizens in the labour market, latching onto the economic and social innovation(human resource management) and the amelioration of everyday life quality and theinstitutional system of democracy. Citizens step into the labour market and innovation as individuals. This also meansthat the services, which support them in the competition, are also determined by theirindividual situation and demands. From the point of view of the state this also has widerimplications: besides the principles of general, social, mutual agreement increasinglyparticular interests need to be taken into account. This, however, is achievable exclusively by110 The reaction of the new economy adequately mirrors the cumbersome operation mechansims of thetraditional state, the slowness of information flow and the low innovation potentional that aims at meetingcontinuously produced new demand; that is, among the market services those services have become prominentwhich were created as an addition to state owned institutions. By today, so much education as insurance,research, culture and free time as well as governance have grown into quaternary and quinary sectors ofeconomy. By the adaptation and spread of info-communication technologies, they are expected to become thebasic pillars of sustainable economy. To ameliorate the relationship between „producer and consumer” theinformation trade service-providers have achieved prominent roles such as lobby firms, printed and electronicmedia, tender alert networks, etc. 117
  • means of direct communication between the citizen and the state embodied by the servicesadapted to individual situations and individualised needs. The relationship between the state and the citizen is thus increasingly determined bythe mediating role of the multi-layered market. This presents the organisation of the state inthe information age with an essentially new situation. While in the industrial age the statecould step up as the authority of a high political power that was sanctified by society, and sothe state could be a market-regulating force, in the information age the state itself has becomepart of the multi-layered market because the paradigms of the state and economy have slippedinto each other. This finally has made possible that the state can be influenced so much fromthe top as from the bottom.New social perspective The system of virtual community portrays society as a higher level virtual community.It is in itself a very exciting issue how society can be characterised as a virtual space.According to Csaba Varga “(...) society as a merged space structure or as a space –timestructure can be defined in two ways: on the one hand, it is the third natural space created byhumans and in this case civilisation is fundamentally interpreted as the new environmentalspacial dimension. On the other hand, as a virtual space that from the very start has separateditelf from its environmental space and thus society is the first and typcial virtual space. That isonly a secondary consequence that “virtual space” relates back to the environment and this isembodied in concret physical buildings and institutions. It also follows from this that societyhad been primarily a virtual space, a space time before the information age.”111” In this perspective knowledge society is “only” a higher level spatial dimension. Wecan only speak of knowledge society if we are able to realise a new, more just and efficientsociety that goes beyond the development of infrastructure and routine technologicalapplications. This also implies that in the information age the service-providing state is not agoal but an indispensable tool in the new social processes. To put it differently, in betweenthe communities of society and the public institutions co-operation and dynamic interactionbecomes complete, which cannot be interpreted differently but that the virtual space and theinstitutional crisis of the virtual space opens up a possibility that the state could be sociallycontrolled. The basis of the 19-20th century state is the territorial and institutionalised traditions,the state is thus defined in space and time. The principle of territoriality is that the statefunctions within clearcut geographical limitations. The time coordinate means that a humancommunity living in a given territory is organised into a uniform society by the cohesive forceof common culture and historic traditions that are perceived as common past. As aconsequence of information age and globalisation, by the 21st century both space and time asdimension have changed significantly. This does not include that as a consequence ofglobalisation distances dwindle among people and cultures that live far apart from each other(by means of transportation & media), but it also means that in the age of networks proximityand distance as well as difference receive primarily a semantic interpretation.111 Csaba Varga (2006) Új állam modell és közigazgatás elmélet (New State Model and Theory of PublicAdministration) p.10. 118
  • On the information highway the distance between pieces of information has shortenedto a few clicks. The number between clicks is defined by the semantic distance betweenpieces of information. (the density between connections of sites, the numbers of joint keyterms that are applied at the definition of information, etc.) The other element that definessemantic distance is the knowledge, interest, linguistic and social competence of theindividual, all in all his/her personal culture (virtual identity). The loosening of space and time dimension has presented the state with a newsituation. We should face the structural changes that follow the new type of territorialintegration (continental organisation) and fragmentation (regionalism, localism) that followsfrom globalisation. On the other hand, there should be new solutions to manage “virtualspace”, “space unit” that is increasingly becoming reality and further expands by the spread ofinfocommunication technology. The latter one is no longer held together by territorialintegrity, but by common interests and the jointly developed/used info-communicationnetwork structure. Defining the concept of “interest”, which is a common denominator of virtualcommunity, points beyond the present competence of the state. It is based on the sovereigntyof community members as individuals (self-control, self-limitation), which is vitalised, carriedand operated by the info-communication highway. The generative impact of infrastructure isalso noticable here: the fast and continuous information flow (communication) does not onlymake it possible, but it also neccesitates social interests that link the community together aswell as regenerate virtual communities on the basis of a continuous questioning andcomposition of those values. Problems around managing the state, which originate in thisphenomenon, are further complicated by the fact that virtual communities do not only overlapbut their “multiple memberships” could become irreversible, similarly to civil societyorganisations. The community and more broadly speaking society organises itselfindependently of space and time (state, governments). This signficantly increases the latitudeof a given community (mobility) and its interest vindication capacities while it also cuts backon the efficiency of traditional governmental and institutional techniques as well as on theprevious balancing and mediating role of the state. The weakened state in its competence andits authority in extreme cases could become the reason of ongoing conflict. This is why in theinformation age new approaches to the role and operation of state are indispensable.7.2. Differences between virtual space and cyber space When we speak of the information age we tend to think that the new age is not onlynew but is also rootless in our civilisation. Many share the opinion that with the onset of thenew age history will stop to exist. As F. Fukuyama sums it up: “the 20th century made all ofus extremely pessimistic about history”.112 The question arises, whether do we really live in arootless world? Does rootlesness go hand in hand with the idea that society in the end orperhaps primarily is a virtual space?112 Francis Fukuyama (1994): A történelem vége és az utolsó ember (The End of History and the Last Man)Európa Könyvkiadó, Budapest. According to him history will end when parallel though contrasting alternativesof possible development would come to an end and humankind is going to advance into one direction. If liberaldemocracy becomes global that would essentially mean the end of the internal dialectic of history. 119
  • 113 Pierre Lévy, who is often cited as the philosopher of cyber space , makes adifference between virtual space and cyber space. In his understanding cyber space is thelinguistic and cultural realisation of virtual space, the objectifisation of the potential (thevirtual, see Latin: virtus), becoming of semantic space. In the information age physical spacemelts into semantic space. Difference and distance beget new semantic meaning. Accordingto Lévy, the real meaning of cyber space is opened up by semantic distance, which might bereflected in the minimal number of hyper-connections, a density of linking websites together,the number of joint key terms (search words) while describing documents or information,closeness of answers in between those given by the search engine, etc. In the system of PierreLévy what constitutes a novelty is essentially the definition between the difference of thepotential (thus virtual) and the objectified (cyber space) which allows for the adaptation of hisconcept system in the scientific domain. According to Charles Bourget114, in the history of arts there is semantic coherencebetween gothic architecture of medieval times and the virtual space of the present; while theroots of modernity are founded in antiquity, the roots of the virtual space of the 21st centuryare in the traditions of symbolic thinking that characterised the Middle ages. Spiritual world Gods Heros People World that exists in Plants Animals time Inanimate substance People Animals Plants Substance Antiquity Christianity Table 15. The uniform, hierarchy of the Cosmos and the dual world model of the Christian Middle ages (inspired by Ch.Bourget, Ugrin Emese)113 Scientific literature took over the classical sci-fi novel of William Gibson who calls the „objectifisation ofsemantic space” cyberspace. See: Lemnos, André idem.Pierre Lévy (1995): Qu’est-ce que le virtuel? La Découverte, Paris; (1994) L’intelligence collective. Pour uneanthropologie du cyberespace, La Découverte, Paris; Cyberespace et cyberculture (lecture, Barcelona), Revistadigital d’humanitats http://www.uoc.edu/web/esp/articles/digitum-pierre-levy-fr.html114 Charles Bourget (2004): La virtualité médiévale inversée. Le cyberespace face à l’architecture gothique.http://www.chairetmetal.com/cm04/cybermed.htm 120
  • Antiquity and modernity lifts the potencial into the objectively existing natural world,thus it does not differentiate between the material (perceptible) reality and immaterial realityof the virtual; this feature made it the object of cognition, scientific examination and artisticcreation. We could also claim that the infinity has been lifted into finity through and so itbecomes measurable and depictable. In the antique civilisations the ideas of the cosmos weredepicted in myths. In the mythic model there was no need to differentiate between theobjective and virtual world.115 It is not by chance that for the person of antiquity the conceptof infinity was not interpretable. Contrary to this, in the middle ages the dual world viewbased on new platonism sharply distinguished between the tangible and the spiritual world notcomprehensible in a sensory manner. An ontological relationship exists between the twospheres of entity. Modern science and materialistic approach attempt to restore the lost unity of theworld model by following antique traditions. Mythic thinking is replaced by the otherextreme: rationalism. In this system the individual, nature and science is all part of objectivereality. The potential entity is nothing but a set of things/ phenomena not yet examined,unknown yet cognisable which according to science is part of objective reality. As a result ofthis approach, antique civilisations carved from gods humans, while modernity made humansinto “gods”. (The task of a possible meta-theory is to rethink and recreate the unity of scienceand religion.) Human Science Intellect Spirit Rational reality Feeling Body Science Living world Substance Human Nature Nature Animals Plants Inanimate substance Table 16. The rational world model of modernity (inspired by Ch.Bourget, Ugrin Emese)115 Let us only think about creation stories. One of the common denominators of anthique myths that gods anddemigods are themselves created, just like humans are. 121
  • In the perception of Christian Middle ages the nature of humans is defined by threeprinciples: 1. the body that changes in time and space (corpus), 2. the spirit that sustains thebody (anima), 3. the spirit that is linked to the idea of God (spiritus). The latter is one(spiritus) is also a creation, and similarly to the substance its existence and value is defined bythe share (emanation) in godly intellect (Wisdom – Sophia). To put it differently: middle agethinking denies the objectivity of objective reality so important to antiquity and modernity. There is an essence of things, but the “essence” is not in the things but somewhere else(dualism). The essence for the middle ages, that is, objective reality is only the spiritual worldwhich is beyond physical perception, while earthly reality is merely an illusion, a virtuallyexisting world. In the philosophy of St August creation is a momentary act in which one candistinguish between two phases: 1. Creation of unformed matter that is hardly different to nothing. There is potentialexistence in between nothing and something, the entity seeds (semina seminum) needed forthe substance to be formed in which numbers hide as ideal energies; 2. The birth of formed matter. To be formed as matter means to step over from onestate into another, thus form contains the fact of change. This change can be caught withinspace, but it becomes measurable in time. Change is thus movement itself. “I heard it from asort of scientist that the movement of the sun, moon, stars is time itself. I did not agree withthis view. Why is not movement of all bodies time?” (Confess.XI.xxiii,29). Middle ages Information age OBJEJTIVE REALITY VIRTUAL REALITY Spiritual reality Cyberspace Belief Science Human Nature Human Nature Substance VIRTUAL REALITY OBJECTIVE REALITY Table 17. The relationship between objective and virtual reality (Resource: Ch. Bourget) 122
  • The corner stone of augustine metaphysics that ruled up until the 13th century is thetheorem of participatio. This states: 1. Created things only resemble the eternal ideas of Godbut they are not identical to them; 2. The changes in human existence result in theadvancement to a higher level of existence (movement); 3. As this movement is realized intime, it presupposes change which is regulated by determined laws. What follows from this isthat cognition in this system of thought is indirect because laws can be deduced by thechanging phenomenon of the changing world. The road towards total knowledge is throughbelief which is directed toward the contemplation of the spiritual world. The essential difference between the middle ages and the information age is in thepositive and negative approach to the virtual. For many thinkers of the middle ages and thoseof today objective reality is nothing but the result of the emanation of the supernatural (God).The information age, or more precisely, knowledge age views the virtual as somethingpositive. This means that the reference of the virtual world is objective reality: humans, natureand science is projected onto the virtual world. All in all, this is also a type of emanation,although it is of an inverse nature because those phenomena that cannot be perceived with oursensory organs are described on the basis of the perceptible world (illustration). According tothe new approach, the virtual is thus the material world interpreted by humans, theconsequence of human emancipation. It is, however, a common feature of both that the link between the virtual and objectiveworld is created by knowledge-creating intelligence. In the perception of the middle ages thisknowledge is Divine Wisdom, Logos (the divine intellect that cannot be perceived by thesenses) realised through creation and manifested partially. In this view human intelligencecarries the divine essence to a certain extent, but it is not identical with it. Logos/ Knowledgepreserves the spiritual essence. “As great a distance between the ray of light and the onefurnished with beams, so does the creator differ from created wisdom”.116 The generating force of knowledge age is human intelligence which creates theabundance of information that jointly carry knowlege. Pieces of information that flow withincyber space, although partial, have the potential of becoming knowledge. That happens whenthey meet human intelligence. Information, as a potential (virtual) entity is objectified incyber space but its shape is formed when it is used (realisation). Realisation is thus changeitself (innovation) because the utilization of information also means the creation of one ormore new pieces of information (knowledge) which are assigned virtual existence in cyberspace. As we have already referred to it, Pierre Lévy distinctively distinguishes between thevirtual space and its linguistic, cultural realisation, objectifisation, that is, cyber space. Thequestion arises: what filled the role of cyber space in the middle ages? It is Bourget who directed the attention in the quoted study to the fact that gothiccathedrals essentially procreate a symbolic space through which communication is madepossible between the sacred and the secular, the physical and spiritual sphere for the believer.The three layers of communication, the unity of the spoken, the written, iconic was one in themiddle ages.117 The book was an “audiovisual medium”. Illustrations (illuminations) did not116 Confess.XII.15,20117 Ivan Illich (1991): Du lisible au visible: la naissance du texte. Un Commentaire de Diascalion de Hugues deSaint-Victor (trad. Jacques Mignon) éd. Du Cerf, Paris, p. 35-41. 123
  • only help interpreting the text118, but they also represented an important part on the roadtowards meditation. Its function was not so much the organisation and interpretation of“knowledge” detailed in the text, rather the symbolic essence of meditation, the direction ofmeditation was thus represented. The thought in movement which does not allow the reader tostick merely to the text but it inspires the reader to be fascinated by the essence of divinemistery. The image itself is an imperative just as by following the illustrations of the nave incathedrals, the sanctuary is reached in a sort of unconscious way. Reading, closely linked tolearning by heart, was always done aloud. As Hugues de Saint-Victor (around 1128) pointsout on the arts of reading, memory preceeds writing and it belongs to the category of the oral/spoken. The written text is only a tool for the “pious reader” to hand himself/herself over tospeech. Abstract text materialises and is emboded by speech (the movement of the mouth).1197.3. Cyber-space is the scene of collective intelligence In spite of their common features, it goes without saying that there are very significantdifferences between the conceptualisation of the middle ages and knowledge age; namely, thedirection of “permeability” between the virtual and objective reality. This determined thequality of the connection. While in the first the defining factor is the individual relationship ofhuman intelligence, in the cyber-space individual intelligence communicates with oneanother, and so they add up into a collective intelligence. Communication is continuous andinteractive, and presupposes an ongoing presence. I suggest we examine a possible definition of virtual space closely: “virtual space... isthe joint presence of ideas and signs created by human culture as well as the set of infiniteorganisational methods. The intelligence of authors, readers, navigators joins in cyber-spaceand they create and realise virtual space together. (Pierre Lévy)120 What follows from this isthat the self-development of partially the information age, but especially of the knowledge agepoints into the direction that the tangible reality behind the state and society expands, virtualand cyber space is recreated and human intelligence becomes a strong organisational force.The virtual community Virtual communities are de-facto re-born. In the study written by André Lemos onvirtual communities121 two aspects of cyber-space are distinguished: IT networks and virtualreality. The first formation of cyber-space is the “projection of the subject” into the network.This is a specifically new way of taking part in a community. This community is linked by thevirtual network. Neither distance/proximity, nor the dimension of time plays a role in thephysical sense of the word. In this spacial time the members of the community arecontinuously present. Their presence is objectified through information. Thus we can speak ofpresence also when the person who sends out information is not present on the network inreality. To put it differently, virtual reality simulates another, unreal reality by deceiving thephysical sensors of humans. Cyber space thus potentially contains the possibility of becominga community space. In this space “I” is dissolved, it is hardly linked to physical reality in the118 The „degradation” of illustrations took place much later, with the spread of the Gutenberg galaxy.119 Ivan Illich (1991) p.68.120 Authors, readers, navigators = producers, users and organisers of information121 André Lemos (1994): Les Communautés Virtuelles, in Société, no 45, 1994. ps. 253-261 124
  • sense of social class, body, age, gender identity. Our virtual identity is first and foremostlinked to our knowledge, interests, social and linguistic competence. Our information “body”(our virtual existence) is determined by the relationships and co-operation in the semanticspace.122 What follows from the above is that virtual communities are the socio-culturalgrouping of human realations in cyber space.123 It is characterised by the phenomenon thatindividuals, social relations, group interests are embedded into a dynamically flowing processover a certain period of time. The information that flows on the internet cannot be manipulated nor regulated by oneinstitution. The task of making an order and regulation falls on virtual communities (self-regulation). Adhering and making others adhere to the regulations accepted by the communityforms the basis of community life. Those who “resist” are immediately expelled by thecommunity. Although regulations are just as independent from the regulatory system of theobjective reality as well as other virtual communities (in this sense of the word there is realchaos on the internet). The organisation of virtual communities is built on serious ethicalprinciples. The community spirit and solidarity, which set off real “virtual movements” in the lastdecade, clearly show that the internet has the potential of becoming the scene of political andsocial movement not only at the local but also at global level. “Virtual space” is able tomobilise millions of people from all around the world (and we should add that most of themare young people already in posession of digital culture). It does not only generatecommunication and new informtion but also community actions, what more, new political,social qualities.124 The virtually organised global movements are based on new value systems,characterised by universal solidarity, taking responsibility in participation and co-operation.They manifest new ethical norms. If we are to disclose the new type of globalisation or the internal world of information/knowledge age, we could discover such new spiritual and communitiy processes which couldlead to the reconstruction of the susbstantial reality destroyed by the industrial society. Whatis born unnoticedly is not necessarily identical with the old but we cannot exclude thepossibility that the new virtual space, new cyber-space prepares representational democracy.The state construed on the logic of rationalism and industrial age cannot be put off by thechanges.122 Pierre Lévy (2001) La séparation de la culture et de l’Etat. Intervir,2001/12.123 Howard RHEINGOLD, The Virtual Community, 1993; www.rheingold.com124 One of the examples of political action organised in the virtual space in France is the torpedoed highereducation bill brought in by Jacque Attali. The government backed out due to demonstrations that went on forseveral months and that attested to never before seen professionalism and political insight organised onuniversity and higher education neworks and so that bill was was withdrawn. A virtual world movement wascreated with the help of the Internet in the summer of 2005 in order to remit the debts of the poor countries andto gain international support. The petition that was submitted at the G8 summit was signed by several millionpeople on the Internet. As its result, the leaders of the developed countries have significantly increased theamount of aid for the developed world, -something, the wouldn’t have been on the agenda otherwise. 125
  • Chapter Eight: The new state as virtual community8.1. The institutionalisation of virtual space in the horisontallyorganised state Where are we after the turn of the millenium? If society is a virtual community so isthe state increasingly becoming virtual reality, too. The info-communications infrastructureof the welfare and economic system of the information age is no longer only a tool but alsoalso a carrier, and so it has become a „virtual institution”, too. In this sense the building of thepublic service system of the information age is inseparably linked to the reformation of theinstitutional system of the state. Deriving from the nature of info-communications technology,transformations cannot be merely interpreted as reforms on the long-term. The issue is notsimply the reorganisationn and functioning of public administration and public services, thatis, it not merely an administrative matter from the perspective of the citizen; instead, replacingthe traditional static organisational forms and hierarchically organised network systems by anew, dynamic institutional structure based on direct communication with the citizens as wellas horisontally organised networks. From the point of view of state institutions this implies the following: 1. Due to the information public service system, state institutions are in direct contactwith social, economic and cultural processes. The advantages of this is that anomalies couldbe managed, solutions could be found to „local” crisis, certain laws could be applied to anygiven situations, as well as the demands and expectations of economic actors, civilcommunities and individuals could be aligned, too. The use of info-communications systemmakes the development of digital culture ever more dynamic. 2. From the point of view of state structure, it entails simultaneous decentralisationand deregularisation. From the point of view of government technology, however,institutional structure is replaced by an integrated governance method. Decentralisation,deregularisation and integrated governance all require the materialisation of three basicprinciples, namely those of subsidiarity, solidarity and co-operation. 3. From the point of view of the citizen, it requires direct participation (participatorydemocracy, direct or e-democracy), as well as greater publicity and transperancy of publicmatters. The definition provided by Kate Oakley125 is clear and acceptable: „E-governance isthe totality of methods that apply info-communications technology, which, besides theprovision of public services, places the relationship between the citizens and governments ona new basis.”125 Kate Oakley (2002): Qu’est ce que l’e-gouvernance? Projet Intégré 1: Atelier sur l’e-gouvernance IP1 (2002)Strasbourg. www.coe.int 126
  • Civil society organisations Central government The actors institutions of the Citizen economic sphere (business, Local financial, government production) Virtual institutions communities Table 18. The horisontally organised network structure (Emese Ugrin) However, the application of new technology implies new risks, too: 1. Crisis centres: insofar as the communication system malfunctions and thelocalisation of social and economic crisis centres is unsuccessful, negative processes couldripple across unstoppably due to the fast circulation of information. 2. Lack of trust: every single mistake and operational disturbance (whethertechnological, security, administrative or human mistake) directly impacts and weakens thestate. Currently, one of the defining sources of the lack of trust is found in the duality of theadministrative system: the parallel lives of traditional paper-based and electronic practices.This phenomenon has, on the one hand, sociological reasons (cultural factors, digital gulf,infrastructural deficiencies, etc.), on the other hand, institutional reasons (vertical, institutionaland control structures, lack of education, etc.) Disfunctionality based on parallelelism couldpotentially lead to lack of trust. 3. Lack of equal opportunities: if the instructure does not become a universallyaccepted and applied public service – thus if the digital gulf is present on the user side inevery domain of life and the technological development stays partial, then a duplicity will beestablished in the operation of institutions, which could lead to disfunctionality and inextreme cases to complete breakdown of the state. 4. Lack of capital: insofar as the applied developments of the communication systemgo against technological developments – such as outdated security systems, limited andinadequate service system, etc.- the operationability of state institutions could becomeuncertain. To secure the need for capital in infrastructural development, the state andeconomic actors must learn to co-operate. The operation and maintenance as well as employerand user are sharply separated, their partnership is expressed in the co-operation of mutualinterests. 5. Critical mass: the investment and operational costs of info-communicationssystems are high. It yields returns only if certain conditions are met, namely there is a certainamount of demand. The rise in demand can, however, only be achieved if market empulses 127
  • prevail in the system of user sevices and operation of networks. From the point of view of thestate, this means that the majority of services need to be geared by market relations(outsourcing, application of business type process models, etc.) 6. As long as the state hangs on to its monopoly position, the application ofinformation technology does not decrease but rather increases costs. This does not only implyreforming state structures but also its integration in the market, and into economic and socialrelations. Its declining role in controlling the market, however, could lead to the impairmentof the state’s leading role in social processes. 7. Attention: the service-providing state is not yet an e-state and the service-providing state is not yet a serving state. The state at this stage is still characterised by a post-totalitarian nature. Taking the above as the basis, we can ascertain that at the beginning of the 21stcentury the concept of service-providing and equal opportunities-providing state needs to beconnected with the notion of the small and cheap state. In practice this also entails that thecondition of performing the necessary and real state tasks does not equal larger and costliergovernance apparatus. The small and cheap state simultaneously presupposes a strong state,where the adjective „strong” denotes that the state is capable of functioning efficiently. Theindicators of efficiency are simplifying organisational procedures, flexibility and adaptabilityto the fast-changing social, economic processes as well as readiness for innovation in order tominimise costs. Info-communications infrastructure is not only a new system of tools but also a widelydifferent practice of governance built on communication which we call e-governance forshort, having been defined by its infrastructure. The integrated interpretation of e-governanceincludes e-public administration, e-administration and e-democracy. The definitions above clearly show that all too often the notions of « governance » and« government » are mixed up in the definition of e-governance, - although we admit that thetwo concepts fall fundamentally very close to each other. Neither the first, nor the seconddefiniton steps beyond the IT modernisation of the modern state. The improvement ofrelations between the state and the citizen through the application of electronic instruments byfar does not imply fundamental changes in the relations of the state and citizen. We could alsoput it that way that modernisation primarily focuses on the operational mechanisms of theinstitutional system and reassures citizens against the political state. The concept of services-and equal opportunities-providing state while it aims at meeting the challenges of theinformation age (due mostly to economic pressures), it strives for upholding the political,institutional and administrative nature of the modern state (nation-state) in the newframework, which is based on a hierarchic relationship between the state and citizens. It is avaluable observation: modernisation primarily applies to the modus operandi of the system ofnetworks rather than the structural reform in the relationship between the state and citizens.8.2. The problem of control – order and chaos The aversion of states against the virtual e-state could be explained in a number ofways. Pierre Lévy finds the answer in the nation-state’s cultural homogenisation policies built 128
  • on authoritarianism and concludes that the tendencies of the modern state for totalitarianismare responsible for the dislike.126 The one and only method of control is to unanimously adopt to the network nature ofculture and to globalisation. And this, theoretically speaking, would either lead to theestablishment of a global government or to the total breakdown of control as we know it todaybecause the tools/methods of control are neutralised in cyberspace where they would have totake on the multi-dimensional characteristics of culture. A great many people have already pointed out the dangers of cyberspace stemmingfrom its chaotic nature. It was M. Foucault127who among the first ones in the 1970s warned usagainst new technology, which in his view was so much a liberating force for the individualagainst the oppressive state and traditions as it presented a great danger to the individualbecause it could even lead to disposession of a person’s identity. The person living/working inthe allurement of the computer could find themselves in « new captivity » without regulations.The fusion of private and public spheres is potentially a source of individual and socialproblems. State intervention (regulation) is indespensable. Gilles Paquet came up with the thesis about the dual nature of cyberspace.128Information technology and communication induce an ambivalent, simultaneously organisedand chaotic (caordic) world. This is the « communication revolution»129(the revolution ofinversion). Relationships based on information networks are in continuous transformation(movement). Commutation is what makes realignment and change possible. Nothing gets lostin virtual space, but is merely transformed. Commutation is a sort of directing principle which„catalyzes collective intelligence” (see P. Lévy). On networks thus we find so much chaos –confusing change – as order as the intensity of change has been increasingly gathering pace.Commutation is the directing principle. Information society and economy manifests similardualities. Continuous transformation, compulsive change could, however, lead to grave socialand economic problems. Amongst others, the social impact of online innovation economy isas follows: hesitation on the labour market, incalculability of the social system,defencelessness on the part of the individual, etc. The social system that is based on thebalanced, traditional state redestribution has a decelarating effect on the processes ofeconomic innovation, thus it is becoming a handicap. All these conditions warrant for themaintenance of governance. The question is thus not so much the abolition or maintenance ofstate and control but rather the nature of governance in the information society. Paquet saw the future of e-state in auto-organisations and the realisation of the co-operative state. The three pillars of these are: e-governance, 2. collective intelligence, 3.«commuter state » (the state that leads, orientates and supports change). We could add to theabove that the new state model starts off a new model having ended the industrial/ post-industrial state, what more, it steps over the modest vision of the service-providing state, too.126 Pierre Lévy (1998): Cyberculture, rapport au Conseil de lEurope, Paris (Odile Jacob, 1998)127 Michel Foucault (1980): Power / Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-77, Brighton,Harvester, 1980.128 Gilles Paquet (2000): E gouvernance, gouvernementalité et État commutateur, Publication du 55e Congrèsdes relations industrielles de l’Université Laval, Canada, 2000.129 The notion of „communication revolution” was first used by Marc Guillaume (1999) 129
  • 8.3. E-governance and e-public administration without popularfallacies Even if there is no real breakthrough, based on the above we could still state that oneof the most important challenges of the information age is to reconsider the function andoperation of the state. Even if it is a challenging task to precisely define the state of the new age, that much isalready clear that the developed Northern countries see the immediate future (and already thepresent) as a time for widespread application of infocommunications technology andelectronic governance. The realisation of electronic governance, however, is organicallyconnected with the spatial structure as well as it is a relation between the economy and socialmembers to new technologies; this shows a widely diverse picture so much in content as indevelopmental methods. In this respect e-governance cannot be separated from the range ofintelligent developmental strategies that aim at the realisation of information society all ofwhich are diverse so much in their starting points as in their preferences and prioritiesmanifested in different ways around the globe. If e-governance and its equivalent, e-public administration is interpreted otherwisethen we might just be prisoners of simple fallacies.8.4. The historic development and global trends in e-governance The direct reasons for the practical realisation of electronic governance is found in thesocial discontent with the operation of public politics. Although the discontent manifests itselfin numerous ways, in the developed countries its is primarily demonstrated by the ever largerproportion of absentees in political elections as well as those who turn away from publicservices offered by public institutions and the recourse of many people to high standardservices found on the market. This holds true especially in the state attendances which havebeen economically and socially revalued in the information age. This phenomenon eventuallythreatens with the „secession from the system” (K. Oakley) which could lead to the break-upof the established social consensus on the setpoints of public good. It is not by chance thusthat albeit the developed Northern states have been using and applying info-communicationstechnology for over five decades, the concept of electronic governance was born far later inrelation with the institutional system reform of modern politics. The notion became part of the Labour Party reform programme in Great Britain in1997. Here the concept of modernisation was connected to the vision of network governance,which aimed at the realisation of two goals: the citizen-centred transformation of publicpower and its operation system as well as the integrated management of public information.The „management” of information flow was regarded as an activity of general interest; as aflow that passes through infocommunication networks whose aim is to integrate and mediateinformation in a society-friendly and appropriate manner. At first thus info-communicationstechnology aimed not so much at structurally reforming state institutions and governmentwork but rather improving the information flow between citizens and public politics. The concept of electronic governance spread wide and fast; among the supportingfactors we find the present day infrastructural definiteness of information society and therecognition that the widespread application of info-communication technology contributes to 130
  • the growth in competitive power of national economies. In this respect the development ofinfrastructure and its mass application (intelligent developments) facilitates social acceptanceand application. From a sociological point of view thus it improves employment opportunitiesof citizens, the integration of disadvantaged groups into the employment market (equalopportunitites, competence, telework). From an economic point of view, new technologypromotes the development of e-economy and so it does not only contribute to the realisationof sustainable development but it also creates new jobs. The Lissabon strategy accepted inMarch 2000 regards the establishment of info-communications infrastructure as one of themotors of European development. In recapitulation, the advantages of e-governance against all sorts of criticism are sofar: Because it promotes the acceptance and application of info-communicationstechnology, it contributes to the momentary growth in competitive power, It enables or functions as a starting point for the reconceptualiation of the role ofthe state: the citizen becomes the focus of the bidirectional information flow between thegovernment and the population, The interconnection of information impacts the efficacy of state operations in apositive way, Besides the decrease in operational costs, the quality of services provided to thecitizens is improved.8.5. The hypotheses of various e-governance models Albeit electronic media is hardly a decade old, thanks to the remarkably fasttechnological developments, the governance models of the information age are clearlypalpable. Next to the similarities of technological methods at the global level, local traditionsof governance, social norms rooted in historically evolved national traditions, future imagesand political determination so much separately as jointly tint and strucutre the practicalrealisation of governance. The significance of local factors is proven by the fact that alreadyin this circle even technology cannot preserve its neutrality. Just as information society, e-governance is at least to the same extent culturally determined as it is determined byinfrastructure. Research shows that not only at continental scale but already at the local levelthere are very significant differences in the realiastion of e-governances (e.g. between thepractices of metropolises and the characteristically rural settlements of e-local government). The British researcher Kate Oakley in his most recent paper distinguishes betweenthree models of e-governance130: 1. The model of „new economy”: In this model e-economy (e-trade, e-business) serves as a model for e-governance.The emphasis is on high level public services. In this model the civilians get freely about in virtual space, unconstrained by timeand space (24hs) and in a self-service fashion. The essentials of the system are that servicesoffered fall in step with individual demands of citizens and thus could easily be accessed.130 Kate Oakley: Qu’est ce que l’e-gouvernance? Projet Intégré 1: Atelier sur l’e-gouvernance IP1 (2002)Strasbourg. www.coe.int 131
  • The development of infrastructure is regulated by the market which often leads to„digital gulf”. E-governance frequently manifests itself as a tool for local economic development:it promotes the creation of companies that apply high level info-communications technologiesand persue their development. The focus of development is technology and infrastructure.(techno-push). From the point of view of future perspective of democratic institutions, the goal isprimarily to decrease the role and size of the state. E-governance thus serves the effictiveoperation of the state. Similar aspirations are noticeable in the concept of e-democracy, whichputs the emphasis on the infrastructural and technological systems ensuring effectivecommunication between the governance and the state and it does not refer to the role ofnetwork communities in generation of innovation. The most characteristic representatives of this model are the US, New Zealand andthe UK. 2. The model of „electronic community”: This model primarily keeps in sight the potential of social innovation. The focus ofdevelopment is the civilian as an autonomous member of the community. E-governance serves the interests of civil society. Accession to and theestablishment of networks is closely linked to freedom of information and the traditions ofcivil society; all of them act towards strengthening social dialogue, assertion of interest andthe development of participatory democracy (social-puch). Access to networks (infrastructural conditions) is the tool to ensure equalopportunities. Eliminating the „digital gulf” makes state intervention possible on the basis ofsubsidiarity (bailout). The civilian is regarded not exclusively as an information and service consumerbut someone who plays an active role in the creation of informatin and is thus an activepartner. This model is spreading first and foremost in Europe. It has been estabishedprimarily in those countries where civil traditions are strong, such as the Netherlands and theScandinavian states. The strategy and developed guidelines of the European Union oninformation society development first and foremost aims to further strengthen and preservethe European social model. E-governance is closedly linked to the vision of broadeningdemocracy and the state that provides equal opportunities and serves (and does not providesserves to) citizens.131 3. The model of „planned economy”: Just as in the „new economy model” the important motor of development iseconomy although the role of state intervention and responsibilities are defining in the skillsrequired to apply infrastructural development and info-communications technology . The system of tools of state intervention first and foremost consists of statesubsidies. Subsidy serves the realisation of long-term, centrally chiselled strategic goals which131 One of the most visible counter-arguments of the numerous criticisms against e-governance is that servicesknock over the balance of demand and supplies in favour of the supply side while it does not take into accountthose social demands which have been degraded to consumerism. The European e-governance aims at reparingthis anomaly by placing special emphasis on the relationship between services and social innovation. From atheoretical point of view the symbiosis of the two notions is extremely important. As we are goint to discuss it ingreater detail below, the typically European notion of the participatory democracy and the „service-providing”state is rooted in a specific approach to services and social innovation. 132
  • do not trend to the gratification of all-time civil demands (and its serving), but the realisationof conditions rooted in the competition of global economy. Electronic governance serves as orientating the investment of private economy andraising the activity level of the private sphere. This model is primarily used by the „small tiger” countries, namely Singapour andMalaysia. It goes without saying that none of the three above drafted models can be found in apure form, not even in one country. The model-like introduction of global trends serves in factthe purpose to understand that electronic governance has stepped over the utopia of yesterdayand other previous theoretical combinations. It has become an institutionalised reality andwith this a new type of „state” is being developed that could meet the challenges of theinformation age. Distinguishing the three models also points to the fact that neither model is capable ofcomprehensive management of the grave problems of the state or the tensions between thestate and society; what more, even the „planned economy model” is not able to offer buttemporary solutions. E-governance is an important step forward while grave state-modelconflicts are revealed.8.6. E-governance with the continuously developing tools of ICT In our interpretation electronic (e-) governance implies the progressive transformationof the internal and external contacts by applying info-communications technology (ICT). ICT improves access to users from the perspective of public administration; moreover,by speeding up the information flow, it also facilitates efficient and fast work. The networkensures not only a potential for reforms for the state and public administration, but the publicadministration levels that had previously made up a hierarchical system are increasinglyreplaced by horisontally organised a „service-providing” system built on direct relationshipbetweeen citizens, actors of the economy, public institutions and civil servants. It is such anew system which goes beyond public administration tasks and hopefully makes theintegration of „knowledge wealth” owned by the state possible into the innovation processesof the economy. „For Europe it is of outstanding importance to have such a public sphere whichenables economic growth, provides high quality services for everyone and strengthensdemocratic processes” – states the communique of the European Committee.132 Creating theconditions of electronic public administration and governance implies broadening ofdemocracy at a political level, knowledge-based economy and the development of the servicesector at an economic level while from a social point of view equal opportunities in accessingquality serices and the increase in standard of living.133132 Communiqué de press 29 septembre 2003.133 eEurope 2005 - Le rôl de l’administration en ligne (eGouvernment) pour l’avenir de l’Europe (SEC(2003)1038) 133
  • Private individuals Culture, Education, Social organisations Law, Healthcare, Companies Employment, Public institutions Economic information, State and public Transport, Other administration bodies, sectors EU RELATIONS ICT CONTENT A ACTIVITY ADMINISTRATION LEVELS Enactment, Budget, Settlements, Development, Strategic Small regions, planning, Public Regions, National administration (country) Table 19.: The sketch of e-governance (Emese Ugrin)8.7. The four players of e-public administration, or is this the newmodel? Today’s e-public administration model is primarily the electronic form of local andregional level service-providing public administration. It is the opening of four sides into oneanother, namely the new types of communication between society (citizens, social andeconomic organisations), the state (national, regional, small regional administration levels),local government(s) and „knowledge centre(s)” (the managers of data wealth), new type ofpartnership co-operation. The basis and carrier of co-operation is the info-communicationsinfrastructure which allows for the efficient flow and management of information (thecreation of open and closed databases, recycling of data, paperfree electronic administration,interactivity) as well as the system of democratic conditions of the public sphere. On the decision-making side direct contact is created between society and the localgovernment and government, respectively (it opens up a way from indirect representationaldemocracy to participatory democracy – that is, e-democracy) On the executive side, it implies the modernisation of decision-making (decisionpreparation and decision-making) and executive power operations, - hierarchic relationshipsare replaced by horisontal relationships based on networks and co-operation -, while withsocial and economic actors the „subordinate” citizen and „authority” state relationship isreplaced by a direct and interactive partnership relation. With these transformations of„services” and communication, a new type of horisontal relationship system of conditionscould be created between the citizen and the executive power. 134
  • Elected governmental Elected local sphere governmental sphere State administration sphere Public administration sphere Social and Companies, Public institutions and economic enterprises other organisations groups Citizen Citizen Citizen Table 20. The sketch of the functional system of e-governance (Emese Ugrin)8.8. The elementary significance of knowledge centres Sooner or later knowledge centres are going to become an essential element in theoperation of e-governance and e-public administration, which are simultaneousy the centralelements of knowledge industry. Knowledge centres as IT infrastructure and the connected ITactivities provide the connecting points to economy and society: it is here that potentialservice-providing activities take shape, the system-supporting innovations are created andstarted off. The role of knowledge centres is multi-functional insofar that knowledge contentsfor special usage are created here in the largest amounts. From the point of view of e-governance, the state is the biggest owner of knowledgewealth. Theoretically speaking, the establishment of a centralised national databank is neededthe centralised realisation of which, for reasons of data complexity and its multitude,continuous transformation and reform as well as the multi-dimensionality of the user sidecould only be achieved as part of complex relationship of networks. The electronicgovernance and knowledge centre(s) of public administration alloy the tripple unity ofapplication- transmission- knowledge creation. Information infrastructure as basic public utility is the operational unity of knowledgecentres. Knowledge centres could be highly diversed when it comes to the producedinformation and institutional (organisational) form. Since this is a new activity today, theircategorisation is not a simple matter. With the development of e-governance (and knowledge-based economy and society) widespread specialisation is expected to take place. We include those institutions among the centres that manage the knowledge basisconsidered as information public property which are mandated to create, refresh and operate 135
  • as well as widely (public information) or specifically distribute databases. One part ofdatabases is transmitted to various suppliers and users, while another part is specificallymeant for special professional usage. Today the national and regional level databasedevelopment is typical, albeit with the establishment of e-public administration and e-localgovernment small regional and settlement level knowledge bases are expected to take shapejust as the joint European virtual space is also currently under construction. Thoseorganisations, institutions, knowledge-centres that manage knowledge bases are in line withthe new global spatial structure. Among the knowledge-centres, a specific group is expected to play a significant rolein the future, namely the databases that collect and manage special knowledge. Their creationfirst and foremost depends on user demand. While at present these knowledge bases could bereached through professional websites, they are connected to the service sphere. Theircommon feature is that for the time being, at least most of them, are accessible to everyonefree of charge. It is not clear yet whether these websites are going to become service venturesor would remain data management institutions which could become a special segment ofcontent development through the information found on the web.134 What is and should be clear though that knowledge centres have and will play anelementary role.8.9. E-local governance and e-democracy opens a door to the future We could extensively cite philosophical approaches to democracy theory, such as theutilitarian, epistemic, Rousseauian kind or those discourse-centred democracy models thathave subsequently become fashionable or the Schumpeter concept that promotes market andcompetition-centred democracy approach. Compared with the above approaches, newer conceptualisations are rather pragmatic.In a political sense we expect to find the loosening of hierarchic structures of traditionalpublic administration, bueaucratic operational mechanisms and those of particular networksystem of public administration and power as well as a repprochement towards the principleof local governance and regional autonomy.135 This is another important chance, withoutresorting to illusions.134 From the point of view of knowledge creation, the central role can be reached from all sides. Since theopportunities of knowledge transfer are illimited, theoretically speaking an infinite number of knowledge centrevariations are possible. A centre could take shape on educational, research institutional lines but equally on thebasis of culture-production. The network nature and the knowledge transfer on networks as well as theapplication of new technologies and their further development nearly always characterise these centres. Thismeans that in the future knowledge centres could become virtual, too.135 Such approaches are not alien in the Hungarian public thinking either. Not smaller personalities than ZoltánMagyary, István Bibó and in the 1970s István Kiss have come up and worked out the practical solutions ofsetting up the system of districts for regions and small regions, - although highlighting different aspects ofcourse. Magyary regarded the most important task to be the rationalisation of public administration while Bibóconsidered its democratic operation as the fundamental basis while Kiss argued for suppying the population andthe efficient expenses of the system. It was István Kiss and his colleagues who first argued for the 6+1 (this latterbeing Budapest) divisioning of the country. Although decentralisation has always been an important element forreform endeavours, the complete dissolution of hierarchic relationships was never put forward for reasons oftraditional public administration practice. (See: Zoltán Magyary: Magyar közigazgatás (Hungarian publicadministration), Királyi Magyar Egyetemi Nyomda, Budapest, 1942.; István Bibó: Válogatott tanulmányok(Selected papers), 1935-1944.Volumes I-III. (Magvető Publisher, 1986) 136
  • The topical e-local governance programme At the turn of the millenium, we define e-local governance as the adaptation of localgovernance at different levels of locality, or the application of network-based technologies toserve the interests of the community represented by the local government. From a narrowerscope, it is the digital method of local government bodies work (and committees), while froma broader perspective it is the social inclusion into the processes of local governance and thepossibility of e-participation. Last but not least, it is the continuously modernised internaloperation between the local government and the state government.E-democracy – the possibility of participatory democracy To create a horisontal system of relationships that validates the principle ofsubsidiarity a revolutionary reform is needed that puts forward a new perspective fortransformations that exploit the technological possibilities of the 21st century and modernisethe public administration system, in the focus of which is the creation of participatorydemocracy built on the direct relationship between the actors of public sphere and the citizen. The present public administration reform gets value insofar as it is part and parcel ofthis complex process. It is not the goal but one of the defining elements of the democratictransformaitons leading to the information age. And this is not a static, mechanicallyapplicable development activity, but it is innovation itself. Innovation, that simultaneouslyaims at adapting to the changes in the global space structure while it also focuses on theutilisation of local resources as innovative assets. The key to success might be the agreementand co-operation between the economy, society and public sphere. To put it differently: veritable changes can be achieved only through the jointvalidation of the subsidiarity, co-operative and participatory principles. These principles couldseparatly or jointly be exclusively realised through the horisontal regional and administrativestructure whose cohesion is given by info-communications technology ensuring multilateralrelationships and networks. E-democracy is the political/communal operational ideal of the information age, it is anew democracy theory. It is a political system that is not made up of subservient citizens, butrather of participative citizens.136 Ideally, it brings indirect, representational democracy viainfo-communications networks and services; through e-methods theoretically speaking everycitizen could directly become part of the political community. E-democracy makes intelligentcivil society a possibility through an evolutionary process which would end atomised localsociety. In the e-democracy, with the help of e-elections, every single right to freedom couldbe realised and community responsibility could prevail. Thus digital local governance and the136 Direct democracy experiments have taken place all around the world in the last decade (e.g. Porto Allegre,Brasil) and the UN has also voted for its widespread acceptance. The systems that have been applied so far fallrather under the category of broadening the public sphere than the creation of real direct democracy.Participatory democracy which means the integration of citizen wills into decision-making and the overview ofexecution could only be realised with the spread of digital technology. Its solution expectedly will be thatdecisions are going to become more legitimate and transparent and a trustful relationship between local politicsand society could be restored. 137
  • digital ciitzen, e-public administration and e-citizen presupposes one another and jointlyembody e-democracy. All in all, pariticipatory (e-)democracy is essentially infrastructurally determined and itis inseparable from comprehensive intelligent developments137, whereby the modernisation ofpublic administration if strategically established could become a pulling-sector. It motivates and revs up the development of info-communications infrastructure inthe country as well as it contributes to the spread of digital culture (and its social reception). It creates a basis for the dynamic development in electronic content development(information databases) and content services while it simultaneoulsy becomes part andparceld of the electronic service-providing system. Governance and democracy in the information age e-State/e-Republic e-governance e-democracy e-public administrationA S e-sectors (ePolicy) A ATable 21. Governance, public administration and democracy in the information society (Emese Ugrin)(Key: A=Administration/in e-public administration theory it equals the G2G levels; S= Services provided to the citizens /G2G levels and the economic actors /G2B levels by the state) From the point of view of information and (knowledge) society, governance andpublic administration that is linked to it cannot be any longer interpreted as the manifestationof power through the institutions of public administration, not even if it serves democraticsociety. In the information age governance itself is a service and as such it becomes part andparcel of economic and social processes. From such a perspective every single interpretationis erroneous which highlights but a single aspect of developments placing it in the focus ofattention and thus not wanting to take into account the developments of e-democracy,clamping the totality of the system that essentially define its operation. Moreover, such anapproach is equally unacceptable which limits the modernisation of public administration andultimately of democracy to the establishment of info-communications infrastructure and theapplication of electronic devices. We can theoretically presuppose that the service-providing or rather serving functionof governance is rooted not so much in the system of electronic public administration butrather from the essence of participatory democracy. In this sense the adjective „electronic”does not only refer to applied technology but it expresses that the contact between citizens andinstitutions are direct and interactive, it (could) include every single member of the republic137 eEurope 2003-2005 programme, see: www.inco.hu 138
  • while the „services” are tailored for the individuals, to individual demands and life situations,even more, they adapt to communities of individuals. The examination of the programme and practice of e-governance and e-publicadministration clearly showed that that the state conceptualisation of the information andknowledge age is going firstly to corrode, secondly to modernise, thirdly, to show ways tonew solutions for the industrial-post-industrial state and representational democracy whichhave safeguarded the totalitarian characteristics rather well as well as the ossified and emptiedstructures of representational democracy not to speak about their old-fashioned operationalmethods. 139
  • Chapter Nine: Democracy theories and experiments9.1. E-democracy – historical overview – visions anddoubts138 The history of the democracy model offers important recognitions. The thought thatscientific technological achievements and within it, communication technology could be putinto the service of political development is not new in itself. It was already in the 19th centurywhen the followers of Saint-Simon held the opinion that the telegram was a potential tool ofcommunication. In the twentieth century it was the advent and the widespread popularity of televisionthat brought new hopes: television makes knowledge and orientation accessible to everybodyand thus it broadens public sphere. In our times it is the Internet which brings hope that withthe help of this new technology political systems are going to undergo change and reform.With unlimited and accelerated information flow not only the interaction between individualsis going to become easier, but electronic networks will enhance public activity of citizens, too. The thought of electronic democracy, however, was born not so much as a result of theInternet, but rather of the computer. After the shocking events of the second world world,social peace, democracy and the end of povery was hoped to be achieved throughrationalisation. In history rationalisation has shown its different facets although its essencehas basically stayed unaltered: the social-technological results of a given era were applied toreform a given social structure. This process in most cases went hand in hand with new modesof communication. Once again, sweeping changes are at once global and local in nature. Theradical alteration of existing social relationships is the result of the "global" scope ofcommunication revolution (e.g. writing, printing or the Internet) as well as the social andeconomic adaptation of new techonological methods at "local" levels. Thus human – tool –content parameters adequately describe all major civilisation eras and therefore all politicalstructures. This was the recognition in which the birth of electronic democracy was rooted.9.2. The extraordinary history of electronic democracy asan idea If we examine the historical context of political institutional structures andinfocommunication technology, three great periods (developmental phases) could bedistinguished among the comprehensive idea of electronic democracy. It is the commondistinctiveness of each period that within the scientific technological results first and foremostit seeks the implementation of rationalisation to social problems.138 We made use of the structure provided by Thierry Vedel (2003) in our historical overview: L’idée dedémocratie électronique. Origines, visions, questions, in Le désenchantement démocratique (Ed. PerrneauPascal), éd. l’Aube, Paris, 2003. p. 243-266. 140
  • The period of "Cybernet" We can describe the time between 1948-1970 as the theoretical period of "cybernet" or"governing engine". Whilst the first computers are born, the devastating events of the secondworld war and the desire to avoid a new world catastrophy define the way of thinking in thisera. The basic question of the age is whether technology, or more precisely, IT is capable andif yes to what extent governing society in a rational way. It was in 1948 that the Americanmathematician, Norbert Wieners book called „Cybernetics, or Control and Communicationsin the Animal and the Machine” was published.139 Cybernet is a metaphore, which thanks tothe flow of information and such concepts as "feed-back" explains every living organism,including both humans and social structures within a system or a system and its environment. The cybernet model simultaneously carries the promise of finding a remedy to socialproblems. N. Wiener and his followers imagine a gigantic computers capable of managinghundreds of thousands of data; they hope that these machines are going to cut back on theobstructive factors present in an administrative system. In their view, by eliminating thehuman factor a steril environment is created free of human bias while clearcut problems areguided by the clean logics of mathematics. Thanks to the "ruling machine" not only humaninduced social processes are potentially rationalised, but the deficiencies in the politicalmachine could be overcome too. The thought itself is Orwellian, although its roots are foundin antique philosophy (Sophism, Socrate). The application of technical tools andprofessionalism to achieve citizen equality makes rationalisation of political action possible. • In the systemic theory approach political action is pragmatised: both its object andgoal is limited to the interaction between system and its environment (communication). • The rationalisation of planning and choice: the state supported by IT systems isregarded as the most important forum of decision-making. It is this percpetion tht leads in theUSA to the Planning-Programming-Budgeting-System (PPBS), in France to theRationalisation of Decision-Making and Budget (RCB).140 In spite of numerous critiques, the cybernet approach had gained weight nearlyeverywhere by the end of the 1960s. The object of criticism was primarily aimed at theconcept of a simplified, narrowly interpreted political action. Two of its most importantopposers were Meynaud141 (1964) and Habermas (1968) who raised their voices against the"scientification" of politics. They pointed out two important dangers of political rationalismrooted in the pragmatism characterising industrial age. 1. Politics is such a complex activity which cannot be simplified to technicalapplications, - claims Meynaud. The process, however, is easily modifiable and subsequentlyit is technology and science that become politicized.142139 Norbert Wiener. Cybernetics, or Control and Communications in the Animal and the Machine. 1948.140 Le PPBS est appliqué à toutes les administrations publiques par décision du président Johnson en 1965. EnFrance, c’est en 1968 que la RCB est lancée par le gouvernement. Neveu (1997, p. 31) y voit une « conjugaisonde la logique rationnelle d’une bureaucratie weberienne dotée de plus d’expertise et du fantasme de réduirel’acte politique par excellence qu’est le budget de l’Etat à un choix indiscutable parce que fondé sur la scienceou une vision du politique ramené à un processus “objectif” de calcul coût-avantage ».141 Jean Meynaud (1964): La technocratie, mythe ou réalité, Paris, Payot, 1964142 Jean Meynaud (1964) 141
  • 2. According to Habermas the "scientification" of politics is dangerous because itmixes up the technical management of problems with political bias, whose roots are found inthe open debates between citizens, in dialogue. In his view this phenomenon could eventuallylead to the depolitisation of public opinion.143 Due to the first network systems, this debate shifted gear in the 1970s. The practicalapplication of the concept made it uneqivocal that the informatisation is to be examinedwithin the dialectic relationship of technology and social politcs.The age of tele-democracy The 1970 is defined first of all by local medias serving small communities and thespread of cabeltv networks. The development in video technology promised the"democratisation of information production" and the broadening of political space(decentralisation, strengthening of self governments). Attention was shifted on locality andpolitical "periphery". IT tools and applications have stepped out of research laboratories and within thewalls of universities. The focus of theoretical examinations was no longer a centralisedgovernment; rather they emphasised the effect of infocommunication technology on civilsociety and the commitment of social activity to locality. Horisontal communication and thepossibility of a "bottom-up" realisation has made it a matter of course the widespread study ofIT knowledge and applications and the integration of digital culture in mass education. After the the social and intellectual environment that followed 1968, besides thesignificance of global information transfer, IT networks have become the new stage of socialmovements. The fact that infocommunication is more than a mere technological developmentin information transfer and that communication could potentially become a place of socialdialogue made theoretical researchers of the 1970s answer by what means they envisagedtechnology serving society. Highlighting this issue made social changes (instead ofrevolutions) and democracy development the centre of social innovation. The two main trendsof the "tele-democracy" experiment are: 1. the strengthening of social dialogue (the populisttrend); 2. the creation of network communities strengthening the identity of localcommunities.144 The populist trend: the theoretical basis for social dialogue generated by informationtechnology as part of democracy development is that new achievements in technology freecitizens as individuals from the captivity of "representational democracy" (open society).With the help of local networks, a new, direct relationship could be established between thecitizen and the his/her democratically elected representative. The movements aiming atbroadening public space did not question the current democratic institutional structure. Allthey wanted is to loosen up its internal strictly built operational structure by creating new andregular interaction between citizens and their elected representatives. By leaning on therelative interactivity provided by cabel networks, more than one project aimed at drawing143 Jürgen Habermas (2002): A társadalmi nyilvánosság szerkezetváltozása Budapest (Osiris, 2002); Gábor Felkai(1993): Jürgen Habermas, Áron Kiadó, Budapest, p. 22-60.144 Andrés Lemos (1996): Le labyrinthe du minitel, in Schields. p. 33-48. 142
  • citizens into decision-making: such experiments included the tv coverage of local governmentmeetings, citizen debates and short consultations. The community trend: info-communication technology has leaned on its capacity tostrengthen social relations and thus communal identity (locality). Its goal is centralisation. Itstheoretical foundations are the thesis of Illich145 and Schumacher146 who put forward an ideaof technology that is decentralised, liveable, at a human scale and has an economic approach.The community trend has its roots in the hippi movements and its communes in the 1960saimed at creating new types of communities by applying info-communication technology(community network). The most well-known of such experiments was the "CommunityMemory System" in San Francisco which created the network community of citizens living inone city. "Network" communities should be partially regarded as virtual communities since themedium of interaction between members is virtual space. Another characteristic of thiscommunity was that it detached itself from the local society and lived its virtual life accordingto particular internal rules. However, the cohesive interest of the community and thepossibility of a virtual interaction at this stage was still based on the principle of territoriality(due the the definiteness of the local network). The movement carried on in the 1980s in the form of Free-nets. This latter movementgave priority to direct information transfer beyond institutions or trade companies and itcreated a sort of public information service. The Free-nets movement was particularlyeffective in the USA. It appeared much later in Europe and its impact on the develoment ofelectronic democracy was far more limited. On our continent the attempts to loosen statetutelage took the form of cabel television networks and video technology which developedwith leaps and bound. We must add, however, that with little success, though. In spite of theproliferation of information and communication networks, because the basic structures of theindustrial age were left intact, the state could keep its authority in place. The experimentsaimed at widening the political space in most cases have failed due disenterested population.It is interesting to note though, that in spite of the fiascos a great number of theoretical workswere published in Europe and by the 1980s within political studies the notion that info-communication technology has democracy building capactities had become widely accepted.It is the work of Benjamin Barber published in 1984 that raised the possibility that thedemocracy of the new age would be shaped by the principle of participation.1479.3. Tele-democracy, the age of cyber-democracy In the developed world, the 1990s were characterised by the Internet and cyber-democracy. The rapid spread of the Internet and especially the anarchic colourful networkcommunities made the possibility of electronic democracy plausible. Most of the theorieswere based on the principle that the simplicity of technological applications as well asaccessibility of networks would make the accessibility of information equal to all and sowould be participation in public matters. The principle of equality could thus be fullyachieved. The Internet does not only offer new solutions to traditional political crisis but it isalso suitable to develop new models of cohabitation so much at a local as at a global level.145 Ivan Illich (1991)146 Ernst. F. Schumacher (1991): A kicsi szép Budapest (The Small Beautiful Budapest) Közgazdasági és JogiKönyvkiadó, Budapest.147 Benjamin Barber (1984): Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age. Berkeley. University ofCalifornia Press. 143
  • The Internet has become the metaphor of the new political era. The theoretical representativesof the so-called "California ideology"148 have sharply opposed the necessity of stateintervention primarily for economic reasons and instead they emphasised the advantages ofglobalisation: economic liberalism, political freedom (libertarianism); in this scenario themajor role is played by creative individualism and hedonism. Social solidarity andresponsiveness towards economic problems as well towards future generations were all aconsequence of civil commitment.149 They have developed new political concepts based on theuniversal values of cyber-democracy. The novelty of cyber-democracy is that it no longerbuilds around nation-state but cyber space which is open, free of the territorial principle andhierarchic structures governing nation-states. The concept of cyber-space triggered the birthof countless visions. Two principal schools of cyber-democracy have been established: one iscalled the virtual society; the other examines the realistic future of democracy from the pointof view of electronic economy. Theoretical works focused on the community-building role of networks and theidentity of a virtual networks, as self-regulating system. While examining the networkcommunities of the 1980s of San Francisco, Howard Rheingold came to the conclusion thatvirtual communities should be regarded as the elements of the new political era. Due to theinteractive potentials of IT networks, citizens easily accessed the social capital which ensuredreal political activity. (The theme of virtual community has been linked by many to the"community space" proposed by Habermas, which is the scene of the political game). AndréLemos has come to similar conclusions to the one`s of Rheingold.150 The other trend highlights the economic-political advantages of the Internet and in thissense it mirrors a "more conservative" approach. This trend is best represented by theProgress and Freedom Foundation (that is, Alvin Toffler and his circle, the group of writerscalled the "American dream"). It was in 1994 that the „Magna Charta for the KnowledgeAge” was created containing the first description of cyber-space from a political theoreticalpoint of view.151 From this perspective information is the most important resource whichoverthrows the traditional social order: the basis of power is no longer possessing materialgoods but the ability to communicate. The carrier and sustainer of communication is theInternet through which society is organised horisontally and by means of direct relationships;this, howeer, overthrows the hierarchic structure of the political system. Autonomouscommunities regulated by citizens replaces outdated power structures. Both theories regard cyber-space as a tool to further develop a political system: withincyber-space the image of an alternative society is articulated which has the potential toeliminate the political reality of the old world. Thus the point is no longer to enhance thesocial capacity of the state as the followers of "cybernet" approach held in the 1950s, nor thatthe activity of citizens and involvement in public affairs should be augmented by means ofinfo-communication technology as the followers of teledemocracy thought. Cyber-democracy, instead, put forward a far more radical program: it wished to place politics on anew foundation.148 Richard Barbrook and James Cameron: “The Californian Ideology”. Lecture presented at the EURICOMconference in Piran, Slovenia, 10-14 April, 1996. Civic Engagement, Information Poverty, and the InternetWorldwide149 Norris Pippa (2001): Digital Divide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.150 André Lemos (1994): Les Communautás Virtuelles, in Société no 45. p. 253-261.151 Esther Dyson és Alvin Toffler (the author of The Third Vague, 1980) have popularised the idea of informationrevolution. 144
  • The theoretical The socio-political Technological Theoretical suggestionsperiod – environment requirementsSignificantpersonalities The end of WWII and The computer – the The rationalisation of state1950-1960 the Cold War. Strong device of data and politics. In publicCybernet – state intervention. The processing. Centralised administrationRuling machine appearance of the IT systems. professionalism, manager professional manager in type leaders. RationalNorbert Wiener the public sphere. relationship between state and society. The scientific guidance of public action. The ’68 crisis: The establishment of The modernisation of questioning of political local and autonomous representational democracy.1970-1980 institutions. Locality is cabel tv, subsequently Better relationships betweenTele-democracy the new scene for the telematic networks. voters and representatives. reconstruction of Interactivity. Locality is the laboratory of political practice. strong democracy.Benjamin Barber The strengthening of IT, computers in Virtual communities: new economic approach: the networks. Internet: the type of social relationships.1990-2000 questioning of state scene of open, Citizen as an individual isCyber-democracy intervention (small or decentralised and global totally autonomous in the zero state) networks, and of the global public sphere (global horisontally organisedHoward Rheingold Strengthening of village) communication globalisation,Alvin Toffler Cyber-space as a political individualism, metaphore, the scene ofEt al. liberal/libertaire values. political self-organisation Questioning of nation- states.André LemosPierre Lévy Table 22.: The developmental periods of e-democracy theory (Emese Ugrin)9.4. Electronic democracy serving universal values Serving universal values on a global scale is essentially a sign and a characteristic ofsubstantial globalism. The discourses on e-democracy deal with three main issues around the millenium, allof which question the operation of the current political system, such as: a) theunaccountability of the political domain, b) the limitidness and closeness of community space,c) the marginal position of citizens within decision-making. The theories and democracyexperiments attempt to answer these fundamental questions. The answers that have been 145
  • realised in projects are the following: informing citizens, open debates and social dialogue,independent opinion formation and communal decision-making. "These three axes structure most of the projects and the practice of e-democracy. Thisalso means that when depincting it in a chart we should place e-democracy in a three-dimensional space.".152 The statement, however, holds true exclusively when we want torealise present practices. As far as we are concerned, electronic democracy has a broaderscope, as long as it is capable to step over the territorial principle of the nation-state.Allegorically speaking, instead of the two dimensional space of the state we imagine a threedimensional democracy model. This, however, also represents a strong limitation to the notionof democracy. Democracy in reality is multi-dimensional, just as culture is. The development of e-democracy theories is in close relationship with thetechnological changes and their their rapid spread. Lately, we have witnessed a specificallynew phenomenon: due to the increasing global problems even in the use of the notion of"democracy" a sort of departmentalisation has started. Most recently, the notion of"environmental democracy" has started circulating as an independent entity in politicaldemocracy. The phenomenon is all the more interesting because while as a result oftheoretical approaches and technological developments some experiments aim at puttingelectronic democracy into practice, generally speaking they adhere to the functional system ofthe democracy model. The "e" adjective does not only refer to the use of info-communicationtechnology, but also to changes in the social and political structure. What is thus "departmentalisation"? As far as we are concerned, it is a particularlynew phenomenon: globalisation is capable of putting not only on economic and technologicalbut also social pressure on the nation-states representing particular organisations and values.The question of environment is a specifically universal problem, a simultaneously ethical andmoral as well as a social problem. In the 1970s one movement was capable of hurting theinterests of the nation-states: namely, that of the environmentalists who organised themselvesinto a political party. It seems that in the information age it is also the environmentalprotection that is capable of creating or preparing global democracy. Its relationship to thealternative movements aimed at broadening democracy is extremely close and they mutuallystrengthen one another (e.g. World Social Forum, European Social Forum, sustainabledevelopment dialogue). The global problems of poverty, social inequality equally reach intothe economic, political, environmental and cultural spheres. All this points into the directionthat a democracy movement based on universal values while simultaneously questioning theterritorial principle could start off a global paradigm change.152 Thierry Vedel (2003) 146
  • Chapter Ten: Participatory democracy and/or e-democracy10.1. The breakthrough: participatory democracy The broadening of participatory democracy, local democracy or communal democracyas a programme is more than 15 years old. Generally speaking we can state, however, that nounified system has been established in spite of the fact that hardly any country, continent orinternational organisation exists whose political goals would not include the programme of"democratising democracy". The fast spread of participatory democracy as an idea is primarily justified by theobservation that in our times the globalisation-localisation processes have been intensifyingand by breaking into the economic sphere they have also reached the social and culturalspheres by means of information systems. In this context the programme of participatorydemocracy should be regarded as the defence mechanism of the local world in order topreserve local social, economic and environmental interests as well as identity. On the otherhand, however, the programme also serves the organisation of local and national society aswell as preservation of continental competitive power. These two strategic roles also makethe differences in their realisation comprehensible, since different parts of the world areaffected to different degrees by the processes of localisation and globalisation. Another reasonfor diversity should be located in the local democratic traditions which are to a large degreeinfluenced by the economic and social state, the operation of the institutional structure, etc.10.2. Understanding participatory democracy – the system ofstructured dialogue Historically speaking, it is not by luck that the development of participatorydemocracy has started and has developed most dinamically in the thirld world, namely in thebig cities of South America.153 The majority of the population in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico,Uruguay live in large aglommerations or their surroundings. There is a huge social differencein between the masses who live in the city centres and the peripheries; as a result, there isincreased social tension. As a consequence of globalisation, industrial centres, unlike theEuropean and North American cities, have been placed in the centre of the agglomarationcircle: here it was not the periphery that has developed at the expense of the city centre. Onthe contrary, the developed city centres are surrounded by genuine slums. It is essentially adevelopmental problem that the expansion of cities is stuck with oversized slums. Building aneconomically well-off agglomeration belt is unrealistic while social tensions between thecentre and the peripheries are on the rise. This phenomenon led in the 1970s-1980s to severeclashes and impacted local government elections. Porto Allegre, often referred to as the symbol of participatory democracy, sought tofind political solutions to the ongoing crisis. By simultaneously including the population intomatters on city development and budgetary concerns, the aim was to mitigate social tensionsand strengthen social solidarity. Also, it has strengthened dialogue between what at first sightlooked as social groups with opposing interests in order to find common ground.153 See in detail on the following internet sites: www.ourworldisnotforsale.org; www.attac.org; www.ifg.orgwww.lehetmasavilag.hu stb. 147
  • One of the most significant practices of the South American participatory democracyexperiment is that the system of participatory democracy is left intact: the local governmentstays legitimate. The pressure from below generated already at local government electionsmade its realisation thinkable. As a result, an agreement was reached during elections betweenlocal civil movements and parties supported to broaden local democracy and ensure theaccountability of local government. The birth of participatory democracy was thus notpreceeded by any social contract whatsoever between the population and the localgovernment. Legitimacy was drawn from a multitude of political deals in the city betweenopposition and local government leaders, between the government of Rio Grande do Sul Stateand local government leaders whos angreed to introduce the system. The system of participatory democracy created at first in Porto Allegre subsequentlygradually adapted everywhere is basically a system of structured dialogue between thedecision-making and implementing bodies of self-government and the population. In South America thus we find a particular solution to the relationship between thesystem based on representation and the voluntary participation of the population. In ahierarchic system the dialogue takes place at three levels: At micro-local level: open sessions are primarily spaces of group dialogue organisedby districts. The purpose of sessions is to sum up the opinion and suggestions of variousdistricts and formulate developmental priorities. Districts elect delegated representatives for ayear. Based on a previously established principle, the number of delegates depends on theamount of people participating in district meetings. This solution, although it creates certainamount of disproportionate representation, is important because people become interestedpartied in participating and does not allow for the system to fade away. At sectoral level: the city is divided in 16 sectors. A number of districts come undereach and every sector. District representatives are allowed to participate at the Sectors Forumwhere based on geographical, thematic, budgetary or other developmental prioritiesestablished by the public, delegates represent the population. At this level professional work istaking place with ample opportunity to co-operate and consult civil organisations. (In PortoAllegro every regional sector consists of six thematic working groups.) The Sectors Forum isthe most important stage of participatory democracy. The number of members accuratelymirrors the active population within town districts. At municipal level: every sector and thematical group has the right to delegate twocouncil members. The task of the body consisting of these delegates is threefold: thedefinition and enforcement of democratic rules, drafting the yearly budgetary proposal andclarification as well as nomination of the local government body. Since participatory democracy is primarily aimed at budgetary issues of the town (thisis where the term "budget participatif" comes from, thus participatory budget), which,without saying, induce debates about city development, social care and education, everyelected delegate (representative) participates in the meeting of the local government onbudgetary issues by putting forward the outcome of district meetings. His/her function alsoincludes informing the population on problems other districts and the whole city face. It is thedirect flow of information that strenghens badly needed solidarity in setting up budgetarypriorities. 148
  • The inclusion of population in the preparation of decisions at district level is madepossible by the particular social structure and economic situation of every single district.These particularities come out best in the organisation of local forums and debates. To put itdifferently, while the operating mechanism of representative democracy was created on thebasis of general (and essentially political) rules rooted in singular realities, participatorydemocracy manifests general democratic expectations geared to singular situations. From asocial-psycholgical perspective, the result is that the population regards the outcome as to alarger extent just and so the conflict management level of the population also increases. To give a complete picture, we should emphasize that the creation of the system wasthe result of a bottom-up process and pressure: the agreements of local government electionsessentially obliged new local government leaders to include the population in the decision-making process.10.3. Participatory democracy – road towards the direct(e-)democracy ( from welfare society towards well-fare society) The development of participatory democracy is closedly linked both in space and timewith the idea of sustainable development, which has become a global programme.154 The detrimental effects of the liberal economic model based on growth are mostclearly detectable at the local level. The viewpoint that the stability of Western societies isconstant held for a long time. Contrary to this, already in the 1980s and 1990s strong socialcleavages appeared. While the standard of living, life expectancy and levels of education haveall strongly risen according to cumulative statistical indicators, the social distribution hasbecome increasingly unequal.155 One of the paradoxes of development is that those living onsocial benefits and assistance and the number of homeless people is in direct correlation withdevelopment. The amount of people living under the poverty line has doubled in the lasttwenty years in the UK alone. Similar tendencies are noticeable in other European countries.Another characteristics of new poverty present so much on every continent, country andregion is strong differences between the standards of living and especially between the qualityof life. Economy based on growth has been functioning in a self-generating manner regardlessof social requirements. The issue of new poverty only highlights that currently appliedindicators of economic development do not suitably measure positive development becausethey do not take into account factors of human welfare (well-fare) such as quality of life, thestatus of natural environment, life expectancy at birth, individual and social solidarity,capacity for co-operation, the physical and moral state of citizens and political stability. There is often such insoluble antagonism between the global and the local: whileeconomic growth takes place at a global level, social problems become apparent at a local154 The relationship between participatory democracy and sustainable development is not exclusively part ofscientific discourse. The Charta signed by more than 150 towns in Italy whose aim was to develop localparticipatory democracy also referred to it in November, 2003 called „Carta del Nuovo Municipio Per unaglobalizzazione dal basso, solidale e non gerarchica” www.nuovomunicipio.org/documenti/Carta.htm155 In France, for instance, the number of households paying property and income tax has increased with 85,7%while only 1% of the population ows 15-20 %of all properties. 149
  • level. As a consequence, we witness state indebtedness, discredited political and socialinstitutions, corruption and social unrest.156 In this alteredd and continuously changing environment the program of sustainabledevelopment has gained new meaning as "search for a new developmental model". It is such amodel, whose pillars are economy, society, environmental protection and according to mostrecent approaches, culture, too.157 These four factors determining development are no longerin hierarchic relationship with one another as they were in previous models but they equallyserve as bases of the future of the earth. In the creation of a new social model intelligentdevelopment plays an especially important role. Widespread information technology opens upa new dimension not only from the point of view of environmental friendly technology andputting economy on a new orbit, but also from the perspective of shaping the relationshipbetween the state and citizen and the broadening of democracy, too. From a social point of view, participatory democracy in Europe is "democratisation ofdemocracy". Its significance is primarily found in the active inclusion and agreement of thepopulation in the processes of change cannot be by-passed. Contrary to the left wingEuropean movements often critical with participatory democracy, we claim that because ofthe increasingly visibly social cleavages in the European and Hungarian societies, the role ofparticipatory democracy is fundamental in the switch to information society and knowledge-based economy.158 No state and local government is capable of giving adequate responses tonew challenges without the trust and co-operation of the population. The pre-requisite of thelatter is to create the information flow into both directions as fully as possible. Compared to the thirld world, increasing the amount of active population seems to bea more difficult task in developed democracies: the well-developed institutional system andthe deeply rooted public attitude that makes the "welfare state" responsible for public mattersresult in the passivity and, as elections and referenda show, total indifference on the side ofthe population. This also explains why in the European Union the realisation of participatorydemocracy has become such a major programme. The purpose is to support new initiatives somuch from the bottom as from the top, that is, state level. The well-known Europeanexamples have all been initiated at the top, that is local, municipal and regional levels or asItalian case proves it, for the strengthening of co-operation between cities and universities aparticular "civil organisation", the "Nuovo Municipio" has been created. The new democracymodel is being realised on the basis of a joint system continuously tested and examined byuniversity researchers; it is them who provide suggestions and ensure the necessary trainingfor the practical implementation of the programme. The Italian practice resembles far more anationwide movement rather than a national programme, as it is the case in France.156 Sylvain Côté idem. p. 40-47.. – Daniel Dommel idem. p. 145-149 – Luc Ferry idem p. 250-259.157 The role of culture is indispensable when it comes to reproduction of social capital. It plays a role in thecreation of information society and knowledge-based economy where the development of the service sector andof a new economic branch called culture industry (including content industry) has become decisive and from thepoint of view of sustainable devlelopment it is even crucial. By today it is also clear that managing environmentalcrises is culturally determined.158 The Flemish author, Raymond van Ermen develops the relationship between democracy and well-fare in hisessay, „2015 Nouvel Horizon pour l’Europe. Ses institutions, ses Entreprises, ses Syndicats, sa Société Vivile: LaSociété de Bien-être”. The author makes a motion for a paragraph in the EU constitution (§ I-3,1.) and proposes anew element for strenghtening the cohesion of the union next to the existing three (co-operation betweengovernments – EU Council, federative system – EU parliament, functionality, - common money and market),that is, the necessity of creating the well-fare society (contrary to previous ideas on welfare society). The basis ofwell-being is the mobility of citizens, their creative activity and participation for the public good. The completerealisation of well-fare society is based on participation (Europe participative). 150
  • However, it would be desirable that these movements were initiated by citizens. This wish ismanifested in the constitution of the European Union when next to participatory democracy,citizen initiatives get a prominent role (a separate paragraph I-46 clause, § 4). The four mostimportant areas of citizen participation are the following: 1. The right to make motions: every citizen has the right to make motions in questionsof concern 2. The right to information and to being informed: every single citizen should be ableto receive information including the propositions and arguments of the opposing side 3. The right to dispute: every single citizen has the right to re-inform themselves, toput forward their opinion by respecting other people and their opinions. 4. The right to decision: citizens have the right to express their opinions at appropriateforums (in the district, quarters, etc) by voting not only about the elected representative butalso in matters that affect their lives directly. In Western type democracies two methodological solutions exist that aim at therealisation of participatory democracy: one of the options is the active inclusion of already existing civil organisations thatalready have serious traditions in the decision-making and the two-directional flow ofinformation, the other option is increasing the activie amount of the population (this is thewhere origins of the term are to be found: direct democracy) whose most developed form is tomake direct or e-democracy universal. The examples we are familiar with show that contrary to the North-American solutions(see also the City of Quebec), even in countries and cities where there are by far the bestfunctioning civil organisations, a significant percent of the population actively participate incommunity life, the institutions of participatory democracy are primarily based on districts.For such a development there are a number of reasons: 1. Civil society organisations have specialised on the realisation of a well definedconcrete task and they reach a relatively narrow circle of local society. They have neither thefacilities nor the motivation to become the spokesperson of the population at large, especiallynot on issues that do not correspond to their professional activities. (This does not come as asurprise since the spirit of the industrial age has a strongly restraining effect.) 2. The amount of people who actively take part in civil society organisations ismodest compared to the size of the population and world trends are plummeting. There are lessand less people who find work close to their homes while commuting goes hand in hand withlack of time. 3. The social activity levels of younger generations are low. 4. Participatory democracy programmes are mainly realised in big or middle-sizedcities such as Barcelona, Florence, Milan, Rome, Bologna, Venice, Mons, Berlin, Paris, Lille,Turin, Nice, Nante, Nord-Pas de Calais, Brest, Saint Denis, Amsterdam, etc. In view of thewell established IT systems of these metropolises, the creation of participatory democracy isclosely linked to e-democracy. The size of the population of small cities taking part in theprogramme, such as Soignie, Saint Ghislain, Pont à Celles, Clichy-la-Garenne, Beauchamp,Blanquefort, Saint-Fargeau-Ponthierry, etc, all over exceeds 15.000 and participatorydemocracy is organised similarly to metropolises. The difference is that direct dialogue has abigger role in smaller communities. 151
  • 5. Although reality shows a very diverse picture, generally speaking in most casesthey adhere to the tested Porto Allegre formula (see also Paris, Nantes, Bordeaux, Marseille).It has been simultaneously proven that the South American formula cannot be transplated one-to-one in Europe because of the particular socio-economic context (e.g. Marseille, Bordeaux). 6. The conservation of participatory democracy is set store by the European practice.Hence participatory democracy in reality rather means confidence-building and intensivecommunication between the population and the local government institutions than theinclusion of citizens into decision-making. This is clearly shown by those documents (chartes),which have been conceived in some cities where the system had been introduced. 7. In almost all cases civil society organisations and the intelligentisa who considerparticipatory democracy as the hallway to direct democracy organise themselve intomovements (Nuovo Municipio, Attac, etc.) and they have close ties with the internationalnetwork of the World Social Forum or are the founders of the European Social Forum. Thisinterconnection clearly highlights the close relationship between globalisation, sustainabledevelopment and participatory democracy. Although in Europe national governments andlegislation accept and stimulate participatory democracy, in defense of the representativesystem it tries to keep the dialogue at a consultative level. The inclusion of the population intodecision-making is of indirect nature. France constitutes a particular case in Europe when it comes to the legitimacy ofparticipatory democracy. The so-called VALLANT Act (2992-276. Act – 27.02.2002.) makesthe establishment of district councils obligatory in all cities whose population exceeds 80.000(conseil de quartier). The law fixes the territorial principle, citizenship rights being tied toresidence (settlement, municipality, region) and makes open debates and forums compulsoryon decisions pertaining to public investments in the district. Even so, the council members ofthe districts are only partially elected, partially they are invited on the basis of theirprofessional expertise and authority (as a rule it is the mayor who appoints the individuals),while the third part of the council is drawn in a lottery. It is the "lottery" solution that drawsmost of the criticism from the media because its cleanliness is questionable. The body has theright to consultation. During the meetings of the district it has the power to propose, initiateand persuade the population. It is the responsibilty of self-government to create a consultativecommittee on every single public utility issue to manage dialogue and facilitate the flow ofinformation. The uniqueness of the French system is the "right to file a petition" ensured bythe constitution. This means that the population of a given region could request the discussionof issues that directly impact their lives from the bodies of local government in a petition (at aregional level 20 percent of the signatures of the adult population is needed, while atmunicipal level 10 percent is required). The accessability of information and documents by the citizens is guaranteed by thelaw. In close relationship with the program of national information society and establishmentof IT infrastructure linked to intelligent developments, the main location of information flowis the website of settlements. Since in France only one third of the national population uses theInternet, direct dialogue between local governments and the population is equally important. The Belgian local governmental system has been one of the most decentralisedstructures for decades. It is for this reason perhaps that Belgium is often called the"consociative democracy". The issue of improving the relationship between the population andthe bodies of public administration has been an important subject since the 1990s, numerouslaws have been passed to ensure it. Just as in France, in Belgium initiatives coming from the 152
  • top play an important role in the broadening of democracy. The developments fall into threemain trends: 1. broadening the right to acquire information (access to documents, publicity, etc.); 2. enhancing communication (information accessible to everyone, inclusion ofelectronic systems and the media); 3. ensure the participation of the population (hearings, forums, consultative council,opinion polls). In Belgium, the realisation of the first two trends is linked to information systems andintelligent settlement development. At the same time, however, to activate the population aswell as to restore trust in the local governance and public institutions they also consider thecreation of insitutionalised dialogue at district level. Likewise other places, the"districtisation" is an initiative from the top. The first experimental projects started in 2003-2004 in all major Belgian cities and agglomerations. The city of Mons, for instance, wasdivided into five districts containing altogether 30 zones (one zone is made up of on a par of2500 residents). In every zone a council is established of two, yearly elected and politicallyneutral representatives who represent the standpoint, priorities, etc. of the zone in the districtcouncil. The council made up of 5 districts is in direct contact with the local administration.After the conciliation, common standpoints, projects and financial requirements/plans are putto the vote by the local government body without further debates. The pilot project realised in 2003-2004 (it was tested in Jemappe-Flénu), is going to begradually introduced starting from 2005 to the whole city of Mons. The establishment ofparticipatory democracy here too is linked to the development of IT and intelligent systems,which enhances communication and flow of information. In the Belgian concept thepronounced purpose of the experiment is to exploit the innovativity of the population andinclude them into developmental projects. It is the role of the district concil to continuouslyinform the populaton about ongoing develoments (projects) and restuls, their problems and,when necessary, to collect the opinions of the population on amendments, help in shapingstandpoints and by evaluating new suggestions to inform the council about them. Similarly to the Belgian case, in Germany there is a strongly decentralisedadministrative system based on the principle of subsidiarity. With the exception of Baden-Wurtemberg province, however, the population neither had had the right to file a petition norto hold local referenda before 1989. One of the important results of the last decade is that thesetwo important modes of practicing directly citizenship rights have become reality. TheGerman acts distinguish between two forms of petitions: 1. the so-called "annulating petition"(applied under very strict conditions); 2. "filing petition" ( passed any time). Ten percent of thepopulation needs to sign in order for a petition to become valid, while 25 percent of thecouncil needs to be present in order that the petition is accepted. Institutionalisingparticipatory democracy is not presently on the agenda of the German local governmentprograms. Some of the reasons are to be found in the strong tradition favouring directcommunication with the population in the form of round table meetings, forums andworkshops. Their application depends on the given topic and project as well as the province ittakes place; there are no regulations or legislation to be applied. The population is bestmobilised in the province of Bayern. Berlin is a special case within Germany. The particular history of the city hassupported a system which has been validated primarily by tradition. A sort of "jury" functions 153
  • in the citys districts. Among the members there are professional experts who deal with thedevelopment of the quarter and put forward their suggestions or criticism to city leaders. Theirfunction and operational mode resembles civil society organisations. Berlin is the primeexample of participatory democracy realised through civil society organisations. One of thebig disadvantages of the current system that within the German legal framework there are noregulations applicable that would make the local government of Berlin accept the suggestionsand constructive criticism. The basis of the system lies in the moral commitment ofparticipants to popular interests. The German practice leans on the local media and the Internet to ensure the flow ofinformation between the population and the local government. Since in Germany Internetpenetration is the highest in whole Europe, it is understandable that the realisation of e-localgovernment and e-democracy has come more to the forefront in the development programs ofthe past few years compared with the more traditional solutions of participatory democracy. The Scandinavian states have developed on a similar path. The development of e-democracy is justfied by the extraordinarily diffused settlement structure, the relatively lowamount of people in settlements as well as the high penetration of info-communicationsystems. The most prevalent forms of reflection and communication are the study groups,round table meetings and thematic citizenship forums, especially so in Sweden and the UnitedKingdom. The traditions of Italy are rooted in city state structure. Accordingly, open forums andin smaller settlements, village meetings are long-standing traditions. Two levels of citizeninitiatives are distinguished by the Italian legislation at national and regional level: namely,that of referenda and popular initiatives. The experience of the last decades shows that theparticipation of the population is extremely low in both cases. However, just currently, aparticular mode is being established which experts call the "subsystem of the participatorysystem" or simply "the subsystem". In this system an increasingly important weight is placedon alliances of all sectors of life and corporations. Activating the population could be achievedin Italy most likely through civil society organisations. Contrary to this, however, theterritorial principle only strengthens decentralisation of the public administrative system in thepopulation, who are already strongly attached to their local communes. The "NuovoMunicipio" by now includes more than 150 cities and has become a real movement closedlylinked to the European Social Forum. They do not only aim to strenghten participatorydemocracy but to establish a network of socially minded European cities based on the "well-fare" system. In this perspective, once again intelligent developments and the socialapplication of IT technology are of primordial importance.10.4. The summary of democracy development and the new, for thetime being enigmatic model? So, where are we at the turn of the millenium? In Europe at the local level theinstitutional framework of democratic dialogue are ensured: 1. Development council: an invited (adjured) consultative body whose memberscome from the local economy, society and culture as well as civil society organisations. Froma professional point of view, its task is to support the work of decision-making bodies. 154
  • 2. The European Union program and guidelines on the broadening of localdemocracy – Agenda 21: it aims at increasing the information flow within the present structureand broadening of consultations to a maximum. 3. Local "social contract" (City/settlement charta): local alliance between the city/settlement elected leaders and the population to maintain continuous dialogue onneighbourhood issues. The Agenda 21 provides facilities for the local actors and thepopulation to declare their goals and express their intent for co-operation in the form of acharta. Topics include: defining the system of consultation prior to decision-making, co-operation in the realisation of projects and active participation of the population. The lattercould include the service of neighbourhood tasks on the side of the population, continuousinformation flow concerning development from the side of the population as well as the co-operation with regards to the possible changes of the project or its further development. By reviewing the European practice, the following institutional model of localdemocracy stands out (Table 23.) The institutionalisation of the system was engrainied intochartas by numerous cities (Nice, Nord-Pas de Calais, Blanquefort, Clichy-la-Garenne, Saint-Fargeau-Ponthierry, Italian cities have drafted a unified charta, etc.) Local government decision-making bodies and institutions responsible for implementation Citizen communities (distrcit, elected citizen Citizen bodies, study communities, thematic forums) Civil organisations, Professional associations Table 23. The French model The system of structured dialogue is built in a different way and it is largelyinfluenced by the size of the city and region as well as local traditions. All in all, in almost allcases horisontal elements are mixed with vertical ones. 155
  • The system of structured dialogue The body and institutions of local government Consultative Sectoral level Civil szervezetek board District District District forum forum forum Citizens – small communities (individuals and families) Table 24. Structured dialogue (Emese Ugrin)10.5. The local document of participatory democracy – or the"settlement/city charta" It has become a general practice in the European cities that the introduction ofparticipatory democracy is recorded in a written document. As a rule, this document is a"charter": the founding certificate of the system of structured dialogue. Its significance is thatthrough the anolagy to the constitution, it aims to provide a legitimate frame to ensure theestablishment and operation of the system, in one words: its "institutionalisation". Itscharacteristic is that it is made up of several elements: 1. Legal framework and principles: • Based on the national constitution, it declares citizen rights and their inclusion inthe local democracy; • The resolution concerning the introduction of participatory democracy into localgovernment; • All those elements and priorities of the local democracy programme, where theactive participation of the population is needed; 2. An agreement between the population and the local government, which is a sort of"social contract" for the collective practice of representative and participatory democracy. Itcan be distinguished from other social contracts in the sense that the parties involved are notup against each other, their co-operation is based on their joint interests. 156
  • The principles of co-operation between the population and the local government; Defining the frame of co-operation (information – communication – transparency, etc.) An arrangement for the co-operation between the local government and the population Those general rights, self-limitations and requirements need clarification which apply to both parties and makes co-operation possible; The programme of structured dialogue (defining the levels of participatory democracy, the enumeration of necessary projects to set up the system) 3. The "institutions" of local participatory democracy: their operation and realisation The definition of various powers and functional requirements; The commitments of local government (ensuring information, functional requirements, auditionings, thematic meetings, publicity, designation of those responsible by the local government body, etc;) The commitments of the population (ensuring majority voice, acceptance of the democratic rules concerning dialogue, participation of projects inititated by residential districts, etc.) The order of elections; The order of operation (forum, the meeting of district representatives, the principles of functionality of consultative committees) 4. Preferential (regional-, economic-, social-, etc) developmental projects andprogrammes on the short and medium-term as well as the defintion of those general topicswhere in its debate and realisation the co-operation between the local government and thepopulation is actualised. 5. Provisions ruling changes in the content of the document: its significant elements isthat amendments can take place only by common determination and agreement between thepopulation and the local government, although both parties can initiatie them. Theamendments are nevertheless regulated in time: the revision of the document may take placeeither annually (simultaneously to the re-elections of district deputies) or going by the rules ofparticipatory democracy, that is every election cycle. The documents are different in every town. It is often the case that the above detailedelements are drafted in different documents. This is how, for instance, in Blanquefort theagreement concerning the functioning of the institutions was phrased years later, in a separatecharter worked out by the representative board. It is also a frequent phenomenon that thedistict meetings and the work of the representative board is recorded in a different socialcontracts. Discrepancies are also justified by the different political or social situations they wereborn in. As we have already seen in great detail, the agreement to set up the system ofparticipatory democracy in Porto Allegre was the outcome of a political bargain prior toelections. Within Europe, in the city of Nice there was a similar situation: here one of the mainprinciples of drafting local elections list in 2001 was a document that recorded the principlesof participatory democracy which was signed by every political party and organisationparticipating in the elections. The document states the following: Local participatory democracy is the basis of social innovation: renewing anddeepening citizen self-consciousness in order to enhance participation is going to enhance theunderstanding of the needs and demands of the population; In Nice the structured system of participatory democracy should be established andits continuous development should always be ensured in the city; 157
  • The basic elements of the structure are: information flow in both directions, thebroadening of debates, ensuring the participation of every citizen in the decision-making onthose issues that s/he is personally affected, ensuring the accountability in the process ofrealisation of decisions; The system of structured participation (dialogue) should mirror the territorialprinciple (district), the logics (civil society organisations) of the work (activity) and the logicsof demographic relations (different age groups, handicapped people, etc.) The operationability of structure should be ensured from the city budget; Participatory democracy should be gradually introduced to decision-making(setting up the city budget); The candidates wow that as future members of the representative board, they aregoing to advance the realisation and success of participatory democracy in the city of Nice. The passage above basically contains the commitments of the local political figuresand the co-operation agreement irrespective of the political spectrum they belong to achievethe common goal. The characteristics of the charter accepted by the Italian cities defines exclusivelybroad principles and goals. The charter is basically the declaration of commitment of localgovernment bodies to participatory democracy. However, it also records the co-operation ofcities to introduce the best participatory democracy system possible, the development of acommon system and co-operation with universities and researchers as well as other Europeancities. Contrary to the practice above, every single city and region in France and Belgium hastheir own charter. Their common characteristics is that in every instance they record theirrelationship to the constitution (most recently to the EU constitution), human rights andnational rule of law. Some documents refer to the programme of Agenda 21 (Grenoble –quartier Teisseire that openly follows the Porto Allegre model; certain districts of Paris). It is ageneral practice of grand metropolises to test the system (Mons, Paris, Grenoble, Bordeaux).This also means that the charter contains but general principles of participatory democracy, thedetails being left to the given city district to be worked out into a temporary "document" whichafter profound analysis and alterations is going to be applied to the whole city (Mons). The new democracy examples and procedures show that beyond Europe and in Europea spontaneous yet well-organised globo-local civil movement started off, which primarily at alocal level tests the model of participatory democracy. This is continuously done in spite ofthat neither the industrial, nor the post-industrial, nor the information age offers favourableconditions. What follows from the above is that one of the unexpected consequences ofsubstantial globalisation and localisation is that it came up with new state and democracymodels as a spectacular alternative. 158
  • Chapter Eleven: The Aba model: development of localdemocracy, creation of a social contract Hungary has not stood away from participatory democracy experiments either.Moreover, it developed a highly efficient model of it. We are going to discuss the concept andpractice of democracy development in Aba, a larger village in the Dunántúl region close to thecity of Székesfehérvár in greater detail. From the information to joint decision-making (positive participation), theoreticallyspeaking four developmental stages can be distinguished in the realisation of participatorydemocracy in Europe: 1. Making information flow two directional: this development makes theexpectations, wishes of the population transparent for the elected representatives and localgovernment institutions; the population could comprehend the content of decisions and theobjective conditions independent of local governments.- This developmental stage wasrealised in Aba within the first year. They have also worked out the various techniquesrequired for an adequate flow of information. 2. Establishment of the consultative system (structured dialogue): the population isable to express their points of view on given issues, although those in power are not requiredto take those opinions into account. – In our opinion all conditions are met to achieve thesecond stage in Aba. Based on the favourable results of opinion polls and the popularity ofalready regularly held village assemblies, the intention of the parties concerned, thus thepopulation and the local government, is clear. At this stage the establishment of the districtrepresentational system and the conclusion of the social contract is of fundamentalimportance. 3. The system of compliance and co-operation: at this stage of development theparticipation of the population is total in the realisation of develomental projects in theirdistricts (see also Ile de France, Lille). In Aba this is called the intelligent city programme159,which includes, amongst others, the project called the Gate to the South, etc. At this stage, thelocal decision-making and executionary body voluntarily makes compromises. In order thatthis stage should adequately functione, the local government should appoint a responsibleperson. Generally speaking, in Europe it is one of the deputy mayors whose task is theoperation of the system. – The issues, topics should be clearly defined where co-operation isfeasible. In the first few years this should be perhaps limited because failure could weakenfurther developmental steps and would make citizens feel insecure. 4. The stage of participation: share power through joint decions (co-décision). – Wethink that reaching this stage of development is an issue for the future but its preparationshould be a matter of concern for the intelligent (city and regional) development. Accordingto opinion polls, the population of Aba is not yet prepared for such profound responsibilities.We, however, stress the importance of preparation work: preliminary votes through mobilephones, interactivity, sharing public opinion (district) through cable tv programmes, roundtable discussions, online regular forums held, etc. The population, generally speaking, is opento such innovations.159 This was distributed in Aba in the form of a book in 2004. 159
  • In spite that the practice of participatory democracy spreads incredibly fast in Europe and allaround the world, the achievements are mildy put ambiguous. There are several reasonsexplaining this phenomenon: ▪ It is difficult to draw today the demarcation line between politics and public politics,thus the antithesis of representational (indirect) and participatory democracy instead of co-operation with the civil sphere and local governments (could) generate conflict of interests. –The polls in Aba show that although the population does not always have clearcut notions, theanswers to control questions clearly demonstrate that they can distinguish between party-based politics and local politics. All in all, the population has been positive when highlightingthat in Aba it is not party politics that dominates. Based on these convictions, moves could bemade to strengthen trust and participation. We should also add, however, that most of thosewho answered feel themselves excluded from local public life. Because the age, sex, interestsand social situation of the population is very diverse in the districts, we suggest thatparticipation should not only be mobilised by local government exlusively around theterritorial principle but also around commun topics and tasks. For instance, the Aba Daysshould be broadened, one or two districts could introduce themselves, children should bemobilised similarly to adults, organisation of competitions, etc. ▪ The fourth stage of democracy development within the current institutional andsocial environment is more an idealistic than a realisable goal. This explains why in thedeveloped Northern countries the fourth stage is envisaged as a phase where informationtechnology is applied intensively. In Aba this would primarily mean local and regional e-public administration, whose detailed programme has been developed. – We must repeatedlyrefer to that result of our poll which shows that the population in Aba is extremely open tonew directions in spite that voluntary participation is a limited option to many."Districtisation" should be used to spead information technology: free courses should bestarted in all districts, Internet access should be broadened, district programmes should bebroadcast on cable tv, quizzes should be organised, etc. Such programmes where co-operationof individuals whom otherwise hardly know each other is needed would strengthen. ▪ The communal participation of citizens is doubtful in many countries for reasons ofscepticism, personal decisions, fear from public opinion, etc. Large amount of participationhas hardly materialised anywhere. Reality demonstrates that generally speaking participationis around ten percent, which is amounts to a considerable number of participants in big cities,while in smaller settlements ten percent could mean the the project fades away. – We shouldunfortunately reckon with this option in Aba in spite of the results of opinion polls of twodistricts which show positive attitudes and strong reactions on the side of the population. Byexamining current civilian mobilisation, we conclude that communal activity levels are verylow in the village. While most people alluded to lack of time, the impression ofcommissioners was the real reason for passivity was rather languidity and lack of communityspirit. Also in Aba we reckon that after an initial enthousiasm the numbers of dropout willlikely sore. There is also high chance that from every household only one, at maximum twopersons are going to take part in the district forum. In a district of 70 adults that would hardlymean 20-30 people, - in an optimal case. Realistically, at ten-twenty percent activity levelsthat would mean 10-12 people and that once again would have a negative consequencebecause the question "why only us are present?" would necessarily pop up. We thereforesuggest that work should be done either in bigger districts or by unification of a number ofdistricts. Another important element is the time span of meetings and forums. Most of thepopulation is either commuter, has children or is elderly themselves. Never-ending meetings 160
  • are usually scary for most people. This is why we suggest that the time span of both the forumand the comments should be limited and come up with procedures jointly with the districtrepresentatives. In our polls everyone supported such a solution. Another way of limitingdropout is to continuously keep the local forum and meetings interesting either by discussingissues of public interest or providing important pieces of information or by inviting a guestspeaker. The role and personality of district representative proves decisive. ▪ One of the cardinal issues that remains to be solved is that while the population isincluded in the decision-making, it does not have any responsibilities, and thus theestablishment of responsibility is also impossible. This may lead to strong tensions betweenthe elected bodies and the population. – The only solution to this problem is theinstitutionalised system of "civilian representatives" elected on the territorial principle.Taking numerous European examples, we suggest that they should keep the option of annualelections open in Aba. At these elections they could replace unsuitable representatives andcould put forward other active and talented people from the community. This system maystrengthen self-control as well as the control of the representative. Another important elementis to record the comments, suggestions and elections of district meetings in minutes and toforward the document to every household of the district in question. The personalresponsibility of the population as well as the accountability of the system can be ensuredexclusively within the framework of publicity. ▪ Today civil society organisations play a minor role in local life, especially comparedto the past. Their financial dependence on local governments could be a source of publicdistrust. From the point of view of public opinion formation and representation, theirlegitimacy is weakened by the fact that their presence is not representative in every residentialdistricts. – While in Aba there is a well functioning civil society compared to the rest of thecountry, the majority of people we asked do not or hardly know local civil societyorganisations. However, their role in local democracy development is far from negligible. Thepopulation broadly speaking has a positive image. This is why we suggest their inclusion intoconsultative bodies where they could help the work of district representatives and provideinformation as well as taking part in debates.11.1. The presentation of civil representatives, analysis of theirplans At the beginning of May, 2005 a survey was conducted among civil societyrepresentatives. From the 24 questionnaires mailed, 20 were answered and filled, these havebeen subsequently processed. We are going to present below a brief analysis of the research: the first part containsthe demographic data of civil society representatives, their levels of second languageacquisition and PC habits. The second part focuses on their social commitments and detailsthe tasks of civil society representatives. According to their gender, civil society representatives from Aba are 75% male and25% female. Most of them belong to the age group of 30-40 (45%), there are only 5-5representatives in the age groups 40-50 and 50-60 while only one person is younger than 30.The majority of the civil society representatives from Aba are thus middle-aged. 161
  • As far as the family situation is concerned, 75 percent of representatives live infamilies, 25 percent is divorced or single. There is no disproportionate representation of people with higher education nor withlower education. Broadly speaking, half of the representatives have the general certificate ofeducation (baccalaureate) (12), while another half have graduated from university/college (8).Most of the representatives have finished vocational schools (30%), 20% have the generalcertificate of education, 15-15% is the proportion of those who have finished university orpost-gradual studies, while 10-10% is the proportion of those who have 8 years of educationor graduated from a politechnic school. 65 percent of civil society representatives have full-time work, 10% work part-time,25% are inactive (pensioners). Just levels of education differ, representatives also have a variety of professions. 30%of civil society representatives are executives, twenty percent are skilled worker, 15 percentare individual enterpreneur, 10 percent are white collar employee. The statistics show that thecitizens of Aba did not primarily vote for the intelligentsia or, generally speaking, white collarworkers. 65% of representatives do not speak a second language at conversational level, 20%speak German, while 15% converse in English. This picture is identical by and large to theoverall statistics in Hungary, and we can thus conclude that the majority of middle-agedpeople currently doee not speak a second language. The answer to the question regarding work places, nearly in equal proportion werethose working in the private sphere as civil servants, while the proportion of local governmentassociates was of 20 percent. 70 % of representatives owe a PC while 30% do not have access to a PC neither atwork, nor at home. This data comes as a surprise because the proportions are double to thosefrom last year. 55% of representatives have internet access which is once more a far largeramount than the country average. The internet is used mostly for orientating themselves andgathering of information (55%), 30% use it for emails, 20% for their studies and theproportion of those who use it for business activities is only 15%. 60% of representatives had no prior social role, 40% have already held similarpositions. This is once again a good sign because sixty percent of representatives havereceived for the first time a communal responsibility, there are thus new people who havereceived represenational powers. Representatives mean by the term representation democracy the following: broaderstructured dialogue between local decision makers and the population (85%); broadening theinclusion of the population into the preparations of decisions (80%); with the help of civilsociety organisations the creation of an efficient local civilian body/forum (55%). Moreover,they consider it important to disseminate information as broadly as possible (40%), thecontract between the local government and the population (40%); the expression of thoughts,values, intentions of local society (or that of street community) (35%); supporting the efficientoperation of the local government (35%). 162
  • Based on the answers the picture emerges that it is structured dialogue thatrepresentatives mean by participatory democracy, which implies that civil representatives dounderstand the central element of participatory democracy. Compared to this answer, onlyhalf casted their votes in favour of social contract between the local government and thepopulation (40%) as well as the epxression of the thoughts, values, intentions of local society(or only of the street community) (35%). The majority of representatives became civil representatives so that Aba shouldbecome a sustainable intelligent small town (75%), it is 50% who confessed to being calledupon to undertake the function, 45-45 % feels responsible towards public matters or claim thatit was by chance that they became representatives. The answers to the question what are the most important tasks of civil representatives,the majority of respondents denoted the representation of street community and within it, thepeople with families (85%), besides the strengthening of population participation so that Abashould become a sustainable intelligent small town (70%). It is 30% of civil representativeswho consider it important that the information shoud reach the population. Curiously enough,it was only 10% of representatives who regarded the quest for financial resources to achievethis aim a weighty matter. According to 75% or representatives, the role of Aba Magistratus, the central forum ofcivil and other representatives, is to enforce the interests of the street community. 70%emphasised the importance of co-operation in order to systematically realise the commonfuture and it was also 70% who saw it as the place to implement the values and goals of streetcommunity. It might be a contradiction that while according to the answers for the last twoquestions the interests/values of street community are a priority, the responses given to thedefinition of participatory democracy put this answer in the last place. It is 50-50% of representatives who consider the goal of the forum of civilrepresentatives is to give a direction to the village as well as be a co-operative partner withthe local community. This is close to the ideal proportions since neither the future, nor the co-operation with the local government should be overshadowed by the other. All in all, we can conclude firstly that the civil representatives of Aba embody welllocal society, secondly, that they are more prepared, aware of ongoing issues than theHungarian average, finally, that they interpret their role adequately.11.2. The creation of participatory democracy in Aba and thechances of e-democracy (the history of events) In this chapter we are going to sum up the most important turning points of the lastone and half years (from June 2004 to the end of 2005). The thought of democracy development experiment in Aba or the social contract hascome up as an issue in the spring and summer of 2004 for the first time. The programmeinitiative started off on an autumn day in 2004 when at the village assembly the localgovernment (first and foremost, Lajos Koss mayor) put forward their initiative. The mostexciting period in the history of events was at the beginning of March 2005 when the citizensof the 24th street community elected their civil representatives in the community house. In this 163
  • chapter we are going to publish the most important documents of this democracy developmentexperiment.The official beginnings of the democracy (Village assembly, September 2004) The local government of Aba village convened in the Aba Millenium Park the villageassembly on the 23rd September, 2004 (Thursday) at 6 pm. The following text was on theinvitation cards: "The 1st of Janury, 2004 is a significant milestone in the life of our settlement. Thanksto the positive decision of the government, Sárvíz has become an independent small regionwhile Aba, as the centre of the region has been given the biggest opportunity in its history. Bybecoming an independent region, new developmental sources have become available to uswith the help of which in the coming months an investment wave is due to commence startingfrom works costing a few millions to developments of billion forints. The opportunity is alsogreat responsibility too. This is why we are convinced that the physical (external) reform willonly be successful if simultaneously the reform of communal – spiritual reform commences,too. For this purpose, the Representative body of Aba village initiates a local social contract. New projects and developments start off simultanously and strengthen each other forthe success of which the efficient and close co-operation between the local government andlocal society is absolutely indispensable.”Appeal for a local social contract So that the social contract could be adequately prepared and debated as well as thecivil representatives could be elected, the following Appeal was passed on to every singlefamily. The text of the Appeal is as follows:Appeal for a local social contract "Where do we stand today? How does old truth sound today? One village or one city, common hopes andendeavours. The local society of a settlement is an entity and a consciousness of belongingtogether. The local government is a joint endeavour to lead the settlement and strenghten thecommunity. The school is such an institutionalised spiritual co-operation which offersknowledge and life strategies to young people. Beyond the production and consumer role, afamily is an emotional and spiritual community, too. Has this been realised? Today, in local societies the perception that everything shouldbe preferably done alone rather than together has gained weight. This unwritten life strategydominates today because the various elite groups in the past century lead against the interestsof the community. However, not everything can be projected to external factors. We shouldnot forget that in so many streets neighbours are incapable of co-operation and the smallestconflicts of interest or values are rectified in a harsh way. We should look around in the broader and closer surroundings as well as ourselves.Normal co-operation is clogged up and sometimes we would say it is new barbarism that 164
  • spreads rather than diminishes. There is not enough calm and peace within us, we are notpaying enough attention to others, the interest of the other person is not relevant to us, webase our judgements on imprecise information or rumours, we see the negative rather than thepositive side of the other person, the leaders of the community are judged almost always froma biased point of view, we are angry with the world that surrounds us while we do not settleour own issues. We do not understand the world, we do not enjoy being part of it and ifpossible, we do not want to do any steps to make it better. Surely everybody considers themselves good and clean, while judges others, althoughnot all, as bad and unclear. What follows from this is either that everyone is bad and thatapplies also to the persons who see themselves as good too, or that everyone is partially good.If that is the case then we have to conclude that we are also partially bad. If we do not takepart in the life of the community, moreover, we tend frequently to hide away from the worldbecause of the numerous bad experiences; and if this is the case then it cannot come to lightwhether we are good or bad. Well, this is the state of affairs today. We cause so much pain, indignity to each otherthat it is nearly impossible to share views, to pay attention to each other and to act togetherwith each other. To put it bluntly, there is no community and there is no individual happiness,- and exceptions only prove the rule. This also manifests itself that beyond our personal andfamily environment in the reality of the settlement and community there is no social contract,neither in practice, nor in a written form. Where could we stand? We might be angry with the external world, the neighbour, the village, those in power,globalisation, but we cannot deny that in our own world, amongst our family members andfriends (if we still have them, if we already have them), we are the competent ones, it is uswho make decisions. It is primarily up to us how we treat our beloved ones, whether insteadof building a carrier we choose to put our efforts in our gardens, whether we unselfishly wantto take part in public matters - or not. It does not depend neither on poverty, nor on wealthwhether we want to offend others with our utterances, whether we want to believe in themalicious comments heard on street corners, whether as Christians it is the love of God or asatheists humanist morality leads us - or not. For centuries we could have sustained that the majority take good decisions in themajority of cases. This has not yet materialised and we cannot even have the illusion that it isgoing to be realised on the short run. However, it is often the situation that both we and othersare inclined to choose the good path but something or someone intervenes, hampers us, andmakes us have detours. And we simply put up with this. Communities are in similar situationstoday. We have not at all reached the level where people openly and compassionately co-operate with one other or simply for the sake of their common every day interests. In reality,though, every single person longs for companions, to be part of a community of friends andwould make an effort if s/he felt appreciated and called upon. Although we are looking for acommunity, something distracts us, whether exhaustion, setbacks or malicious talk. And weput up with it because we do not think clearly. For a long time now local government could be ethical, the community could takeresponsibility for the elected ones and everyone would be willing to act for the sake ofrealising common decisions. For a long time we could have rejoiced at the situation that for 165
  • those living in one street it is a moral commandment to appreciate and support the neighbour,and nothing would hinder us in offering our know-how to those living at the end of the street.We could have long reached the stage that there would be a more intimate relationshipbetween relatives and in families; the alternative to love is not hostility. The external world isalas exactly the same as our internal world, or to put it the other way round, our internal worldis not any better than the much scolded external world. We expect to be loved by others whilewe are incapable of loving the others. In our global or local world something has repeatedly become clear: redemptionhardly ever arrives from the outside, instead we should look for it in our internal worlds. Itdoes not come from others although others could help us to a large degree. There is nothing tobe awaited, although the state could be thrilling in itself. The internal decisions should betaken by everyone on a daily basis and we should face the consequences of our decisions. Thecommunity and particularly, the leaders of the community (such as the local government, thechurch, the kindergarten and the school) should do their utmost best that within and outsidethe walls of the institution there should be organised support to help personal good decisionsand the small community activities that follow from them. How shall the institutional helptake form, how shall they be organised and how shall they be accessible?So much the secret as well as the answer hides somewhere here. How can we advance? The assumptions that lead to the answer are evident: 1. We should clarify who we arein settlements and communities; 2. We should clarify what we want together and in manyways! 3. We should clarify how we get where we want to be 4. If we have clarified allrelevant issues, then we should decide what we do ourselves in order to realise them 5. If wehave clarified all important issues, then we should decide what we do ourselves in order toachieve the goal 6. If we are sure about our will, we should delegate someone together withthe neighbours to organise collaboration on some fourty parts of the settlement 7. Thosedelegated (including local civil communities) should operate some sort of village civilianbody or local civilian parliament 8. If our local society joins hands, we should also collectpublicly the accumulated knowledge in the form of a civilian university we are going to found9. If we are to start co-operation at a higher level, then we should love our institutions betterand we should make more use of them 10. If we necessarily start off on new ways and newcommunity entreprises, then we should honour them and join forces to realise them, just aspeople have always done it in the past. We can pose many questions, but the above should maybe suffice to give directionsand methods. Answers on a number of issues or at least answer rudiments have been born. Inthe last years there have been serious answer alternatives drafted that other settlements did noteven imagine and by now it is difficult to argue against the program that builds both ontraditions and on the future and aims at transforming the settlement into an intelligent citybeing a good starting point. We feel that time has come that the local government of thevillage should enter into a public social contract. This makes sense only under the followingconditions: 1. if the social contract is not only agreed upon as a body but that the programmeis really internally accepted. 2. If the common plan for the future is not only drafted for thecoming months but at least plans for the coming decade. 3. If the local social contract is notonly signed by leaders but also by local citizens. 4. If it is clear for everyone that everyone ispersonally responsible for the social contract. 5. If the majority agrees upon the claim that in 166
  • our modern times this society – and community development is more important than in theprevious centuries. We suggest that the summary of good will and knowledge be created primarily withthe participation of local leaders and citizens as well as professional local and internationalconsultants. The assembly should draft the text of the social contract in the coming months,which will ulteriorly be debated by the local government and local civil society. If after thepublic debates an agreement is accepted by the majority about the text and its purpose, thenthe social contract of Aba should be signed by everybody, especially those who consciouslyaccept and assume responsibility for it, and afterwards it should be sent to every family in theform of a certificate. If we reach this stage and the spiritual reform is placed on a newfoundation, then we have created an extremely serious and long-standing prerequisite for amore liveable and effective and less painful future. The Representative Body of Aba Village”Draft scenario of the local social contract (third version) In Aba village both the representative body and the village assembly has voted andaccepted the birth of a local social contract between the local government and the localcitizens and families. The concept of social contract and its content is outlined in thedocument called “Appeal to enter into a local social contract”. Based on the appeal, we suggest the following scenario for the creation and signingof the local social contract: Stages Name of task Content Date of Responsible realisation organisations Stage 1 Appointment of 24 Based on drafts delimited 15.12.2004 – Local districts, agreement the borders of districts; 30.01.2005 government, on scenario, civil society civil society appointment of civil representatives could be organisations, society organisations nominated by citizens and Institute for civil society organisations Strategic Research (ISR) Stage 2 Interviews in three – Conducting and 15.12.2004 – ISR four sample districts evaluation of depth 30.01.2005 interviews through surveys Stage 3 Drafting the content Editing the text of draft - until Advisory body of social contract that for elections 28.02.2005 is going to be subsequently debated Stage 4 Organising elections Overseeing elections with 15.12.2004- Districts, civil in sample districts the help of advisors in 28.02.2005 society two-three districts organisations, ISR, local government, etc. Stage 5 Election of 24 civil Based on the experiments 02.2005 - Civil society 167
  • representatives in of sample elections, 03.2005 organisations, districts organisation of elections street in every district communities Stage 6 Establishment of The 24 civil 03.2005 - Civil society local representative representatives creates a 04.2005 organisations, body of civil society joint co-ordination group street organisations communities Stage 7 The collection of Creation, addition, 04.2005 - ISR civil knowledge on uploading and operation 05.2005 the internet sight of of the internet site the village Stage 8 The establishment of The training of the 24 04.2005- Local civil univesity for the civil representatives with 12.2005 government, beneift of civil new content and methods joint civil society representatives (and organisation, ISR others) + HÉA Stage 9 Open debates of Inclusion of the 03.2005- Local social contract population in the 04.2005 government, preparation of the social joint civil society contract organisation, ISR Stage 10 Signing the social If the local government 15.03-2005- Local contract based on the and every civil society 15.04.2005 government, joint program; every organisation has signed it, joint civil society signatory receives a and subsequently the organisation copy citizens and families, then everyone is going to get a certificate Stage 11 The scenarios and In the meantime the 04.2005 - Local alternatives to realise finalisation of the detailed 05.2005 government, the programne of scenario of the signed joint civil society social contract contract organisation, ISR Stage 12 The first stages of the During realisation 15.04.2005- Local social contract have continuous oversight and 31.12.2006 government, been realised putting forward of joint civil society amendments organisation Stage 13 Celebrating the social Everything is prepared so 15.04.2005- Local contract and the that Aba could become a 31.12.2006 government, preparation of town by 2007-2008 joint civil society intelligent city organisation development. The scenario naturally only contains the more substantial moves, a stage isnecessarily made up by a number of smaller stages. The process is set between the end ofOctober and mid- April; it is to be decided whether this broadly speaking half year is a lot orperhaps too little time. It goes without saying that in the realisation phase a lot more peoplecould be called in; we have limited ourselves to the characterisation of the most importanttypes. The first results could be summed up on the merits over one and half years, at the endof 2006 and this favourably coincides with local government elections. 168
  • 20.10.2004. Institute for Strategic ResearchLetter to the citizens of Aba (February, 2005) The families of Aba received the following circular from the local government inFebruary, 2005:„Dear Madam, Sir, As you are already are aware of it, in the autumn of 2005 the citizens of Aba villagedecided at the village assembly to enter into a social contract with the leaders of the villageprimarily to jointly realise their plans of seven to eight years. This co-operation could berecorded in a social agreement. The following developmental period of the European Union is between 2007 and2013, while the Hungarian election cycle is between 2006 and 2010. This is why on everysettlement it is worth planning until 2010 to 2013 and preparing developmental plans for theperiod. The Appeal for a social contract accepted last year formulated the duties in a verysimple manner. We should clarify how we are in each and every settlement and community!We should clarify what we want together in many different ways. We should clarify how weare going to get where we want to be. If we have clarified the main questions, then we shouldenter into a public agreement, a local social contract with each other. If we have clarified allrelevant issues, then we should decide what we are going to do ourselves in order to realisethem. If we are sure about our will, we should delegate someone from the community togetherwith the neighbours to organise the co-operation. Those delegated (including local civilcommunities) should operate some sort of village civilian body or local civilian parliament. Ifour local society joins hands, we should also collect publicly the accumulated knowledge inthe form of a civilian university we are going to found. If we are to start co-operation at ahigher level, then we should love our institutions better and we should make more use ofthem. If we necessarily start off on new ways and new community entreprises, then we shouldhonour them and join forces to realise them, just as people have always done it in the past. Thinking in the above terms, we sepearately convene the population of some thirtystreet communities or settlement parts to the Culture House in Aba on 18, 19, 20 February.For this reason we request the following from you and your family: 1. Please do come to the meeting you will be separately invited to by the CultureHouse. (In this letter it will be specified where and at what time you and your family will beexpected to be present.) 2. Prior to the meeting, please kindly think it over what the draft of the socialcontract should contain, and what tasks the citizens of Aba should co-operate. We are going tosend you a preliminary draft on these issues. This draft will sum up the present developmentconcepts and attempts to unify them into a comprehensive plan for the future. 3. Together with other people in your street community, you should choose oneperson who you consider suitable for the post of civil representative on the basis of his/hercompetence. Since we hopefully live in a new world, we do not expect a protocol person whowould repeat the ideas of the past, we do not look for someone marked out by his loud voice 169
  • but on the contrary, we look for someone who could realistically and consequently representcivil wills, dreams and suggestions. 4. If the civil representative has been elected and is empowered with therepresentation of intersts and plans for the future, all civil representatives should jointlyfinalise the program of social contract and the imagined division of labour during therealisation process. If this is completed by mid-March, then jointly with the local governmentand the local civil society organisations, we would make the social contract public during 15thof March celebrations and would make it possible for every family and/or citizen of Aba tosign it. 5. Then the “remaining” task is to realise the joint plan for the future by 2010 (or2013) but only under the condition that it will be the result of the joint effort of thepopulation, in a way that everyone would personally know their duties, how can they help,what are their responsibilities and where they can be counted on. For this purpose there ingoing to be a continuous civil forum in Aba in the coming 7 to 8 years. We request your participation at the meeting, and please believe in the sense ofplanning. Please kindly support the efforts that you and your neighbours should elect worthyrepresentatives and help the creation of the social contract and stand by its institution, the civilforum. Let Aba have a wise and responsible civil society. We thank you for your active and creative participation in advance. Lajos Kossa mayor Local Government of Aba10 February 2005”The programme of social contract in Aba The citizens of Aba received the draft below in March 2005. From the documentscompleted and published in these weeks, it was this draft that has become the most importantbecause it summed up the development program of participatory democracy in 12 points. „It is with great pleaure that we ascertain that Aba is possibly and simultaneously thecity of the past, present and future. Aba has a past because the past is considered importantand because Aba wants to build on traditions. Aba has a present because it knows what itwants and it is close to becoming a small city. Aba has a future because it has finally becomea settlement that has a clear and long term image of the future. Presently, one of the most important concerns of Aba is how to organise itself moreefficiently and how to elevate its citizens into the position of participatory freedom. This curious definition is an answer to the problem that in Hungary there is virtuallyno settlement where local citizens are fully allowed to be the creators of their village or cityrealities. This is why the local government of Aba village and the population demandingparticipation decided that in an attempt to change the above situation it offers an active role toall of its citizens within the framework of a social contract. In view of the above, we proclaim that the social contract and simultaneouslydemocracy experiment of Aba has accepted the following programme: 170
  • 1. The social contract declares that in Aba the establishment of participatorydemocracy has started. This was decided by the local government when the process of socialcontract creation was initiated by a syndical resolution. 2. The social contract makes for every citizen, every family and every streetcommunity possible to participate in the formation of the present and future in the currentvillage and future-to-be city of Aba. 3. The social contract aims at the realisation of local participatory democracy. As aresult, local society should be characterised by unity instead of disintegration. 4. The most important goal of the social contract is the realisation of long term imageof the future by helping one another and paying attention to other citizens of Aba. 5. This contract binds for ten year because the programme itself is formulated untilthe mid- 2010s. The contract could be continued if successful. The essence of the socialcontract is to improve life quality of everyone due to the agreement and participatorydemocracy. 6. The program for improvement of life quality has reached completion. Its kernel isthat in Europe and in Hungary in the age of information and knowledge society, Aba shouldnot be not be simply a city, but an intelligent city, loving and applying knowledge. 7. A similarly uplifting perspective is the programme of Gate to the South whichoffers a concrete civilisation and cultural development. Planned economic developments arethe following: a technological park, spa touristic theme park, intelligent neighbourhood, andreal, cultured city centre, natural and environmental reconstruction. Moreover, finding one’sway back to traditions, a world built upon mutual respect, intelligent dialogue betweeninstitutions is of special importance, and generally speaking the creation of such a cityenvironment and climate where those living on the peripheries of the settlement do not feelexcluded. 8. Aba has already passed the most difficult first stages and can look back happilyonto them: in the autumn of 2004, the village assembly, representing the whole populationand with the participation of many, identified the development programme previouslyaccepted by the local government. 9. The social contract aims for the spiritual identification of local citizens with thecommunity’s image of the future and as a result everyone should continuously participate inthe creation of the future small city. What also follows is that not only decision-makers andinstitutions, but all individuals and families are responsible for the realisation of plans. To formulate it symbolically, everyone should keep the gardens surrounding theirhouse orderly, just as in front of the house and the street. 10. This is why we have created the system of structured dialogue. The members ofstreet communities in Aba have chosen their representatives; the representatives have createdtheir own common civil institutions with which they have created the requirements of realdialogue. 11. The forum of institutionalised dialogue undertakes that it will not push the citizeninto the background with methods and style of the old times. In the following ten years it willcontinuously create personal opportunities for every local citizen and family to act andparticipate in decision-making. 12. Finally this new democratic process and community co-operation network will bemade operational also on the long run and the local government will support and motivate it. With full knowledge of the 12 points we all declare that we accept the programme ofparticipatory democracy, operate the institutional system of social contract and enter intolong-term contract with mutual respect and attention for one another instead of squabble 171
  • originating in small issues and so that, as we have referred to it in the introduction, the imageof the future in Aba should become reality. Shall Aba become one of the intelligent and wise small cities of Hungary that islovable, benevolent towards its citizens, builds on traditions and furthers culture, last but notleast, pays attention to Europe! Together we request that one representative of every family in Aba should sign thissocial contract as a sign of acceptance.14 March, 2005.The (festive) Day of the Social Contract On the 14th of March the local citizens accepted and signed the social contract in theMillenim Park of Aba. This unusal evening (folk festivity) was reported as follows: „Men gave birth to monarchy and the republic, - states the famous French philosopher,Alexis de Tocqueville. The village, however, was created by God, villages exist since thedawn of humankind while freedom of a village is a rare and delicate matter. Aba is a classicvillage; it is such a village that because of its size and will, it will become a city shortly.Nevertheless, the most important question is to what extent the freedom of the village is goingto be realised. One of the requirements of this form of freedom is found in the traditional formand guarantee, the local government, while the other in the realisation of participatoryfreedom, which is simultaneously the old and new form. The whole world, amongst it, Europelooks for the modern forms and institutions of this requirement. Aba dared think big and bold when it undertook the social contract, a form ofparticipatory freedom as the first settlement in Hungary. The local government bodies and thelocal civil society organisations decided to divide Aba into twenty four street communitiesand to make the election of their representatives possible. The miracle worked: the thoughtwas followed by acts and all twenty-four representatives were elected mid-March and, afterthe local government, all representatives debated and accepted the text of the social contract.By chance or on purpose the social contract sums up in 12 points what type of future is chosenby the people of Aba and how they plan to realise it in the coming 10 years. The 14 March, 2005 in Aba has been baptised: it is the Day of the Social Contract. Forthe first time thus, not only the heroes of the 1848 Revolution were commemorated at the ’48wooden headboard, but from the Heroes Square through the Rákoczy Street the festive,musical procession reached the Community House in front of which the Memorial Stone ofthe 21st Century was inaugurated and a little later, at 6 pm in the Millenium park the Festivityof Belief, Knowledge, Co-operation commenced among torch lights. It was here that themiracle was really fulfilled. Neither Aba, nor the county of Fejér, nor Hungary has seensomething similar: after the stage performance called The dream of horses, in the memory ofentering into alliance the local government of Aba village lead by mayor Lajos Kossa read thesocial contract point by point in front of four- five hundred local citizens. Finally, the twentyfour civil representatives that were asked to the stage all publicly made an oath to keep thesocial contract. 172
  • Just imagine the Millenium Park with four-five hundred shivering citizens in the cold,while local governmental and civil society representatives are shivering on stage. Afterreading the12 points, the chorus made the oath. It was all touching and moving. There is avillage in Hungary where the leaders and the population feel and understand that theydeliberately create the institutionalised form of participatory freedom and responsibility. Andthis is not all, because it was after this that the chatarctic turning point arrived: the stage andthe “auditorium” went black, and not simply the fireworks followed but two beautiful songsby Zoltán Nagy Sólyomfi, part of the Kormorán ensemble, which involuntarily interpretedand certified the social contract. It was getting really late when the participants trampling oneach others’ foot, publicly signed the social contract and thus endorsed it. Csaba Varga”The establishment of the forum of civil representatives (April 2005) It was on 8 April that the foundation meeting of the Civilian Forum of civilrepresentatives took place. It came as a surprise that all 24 representatives (and many leadersof civil society organisations) came, no exceptions. This meeting was continued on 9 May.The items on the agenda were the following: the name of the Civilian Forum, name of streetcommunities, the progamme of the Civilian Forum up to 2006 (realisation of the socialcontract), working out the operational order of the Civilian Forum, training of the membersof the Civilian Forum (Civilian University) and civilian tenders. Both meetings were intensiveand exciting; a dialogue evolved that interpreted the tensions; moreover, a discussion tookplace about the round of duties; decisions were not yet taken at that stage. The reason for thelatter development is that the representatives decided to wait for the election of civilrepresentatives in Bodakajtor and Belsőbáránd (two “subvillages“of Aba). From the twosettlements three representatives were to be elected each by the end of the spring, thus therewere to be 30 civilian representatives of Aba. By chance (if there is chance as such), the firstmeeting of the Aba representatives was on the day of Pope John Paul II’s death and wholeEurope was in exhalted spirits. In the second part of 2005, the most important decisions were taken and in the autumnof 2005 the practical establishment of participatory democracy started to take shape. (In thefollowing year no relevant new step was taken due to the parliamentary and local governmentelections.)11.3. The future scenario of Aba, until 2007-2010 If within a research framework, just before the model of democracy developmentexperiment of Aba we would have asked either 10 or 100 experts whether in 2005 in Hungaryit was realistic to introduce such a social experiment most likely all of them would have eitheranswered that there was no such chance or that the chances were very small indeed. We didnot conduct such a conscious public opinion poll, but we did ask many of our expert friends,sociologist colleagues, third sector researchers and public administration or communitydevelopers. Although kindly the dismissal was unequivocal. With hindsight, the argumentscould be grouped as follows: 1. Local civil societies are disintegrated, they are incapable ofself-organisation, and there is no strong local community consciousness. Civil society is weakin Hungary at present. 2. Citizens are totally engaged in self-preservation, making money andthe relationship between people is often conflictuous and full of tensions. There is no self- 173
  • conscious bourgeoisie in Hungary that would undertake public activities. 3. Local power, orthe local political and economic elite is not going to allow nor support the organisation oflocal society and that a real partnership and thus control is going to eventually evolve. 4. Thebourgeoisie of settlements has neither the knowledge, nor mentality or future-orientedness tosee through the complex new global-local world, to initiate alternatives by itself and toindependently attempt to realise them. If that was really so, then in Aba a democracy-experiment would not have commencedat all. If there is a social contract, then our image of civil bourgeoisie and society is either nottrue, or it it is not precise. Which one is the case? First of all, the internal public political condition of local society is likely moresatisfactory than it is widely assumed. After the regime change every sign shows that themajority of families could stabilise themselves to the extent that (even though partially) theycan concentrate on community matters rather than exclusively on their material needs. Thesecond economy of the past thirty-fourty years has found many tax-free sources of incomewhere those searching for jobs and incomes could put their efforts into in order to increase thelife quality of their families. It is not by accident that the most active individuals and thosewho wanted public roles most have already had opportunities to try themselves out. Becausein the party political struggles they have failed, they are no longer in the local political space.The tempers have calmed down, those failed are more cautious and those in the backgroundcould make a step forward. Secondly, it is stupefying the lack of future, and it is stupefying that so many peopledo not understand anything beyond their narrow worlds. We have experienced in Aba (too)that for a minority of people financial problems are enormous, although the majority is moreconcentrated on their social positions and prestige within the village community. A normalcitizen wants to help and for a good purpose s/he is mobilised relatively easily. The mostimportant hindrance to activity (even if the person is not aware of it) is the blurredness ofalternatives. Nobody has formulated it in this way, but we found that the accepted futureimage worked well if they were passed onto everyone. This is the case even if some peoplesaid no to this image because they considered it unattainable or exaggerated. It looks as if theunconscious of the society in Aba is strengthened. Thirdly, the people in Aba just as everywhere else in Hungary do not really believe inpolitics, they have been deeply disenchanted by governments, but this political surfeit andemptiness seems to clear numerous anxieties and reservations. The people have manyexperiences, they do not believe in things easily, while they are more open and sensitive toevery move. There is no rebellion in the depth of Hungary, nor are objections. There arenumerous people who are against every form of local aggressive appearances, which does notsuggest of course that some people could not be drawn to big words. The middle classes ofthe local society slowly reach the point that they are responsive to the public matters of the“city” or the citylike “village”. Fourthly, we know too little. Aba is in a multiply disadvantageous situation. It has nostrong tradtions either. It does not have a strong industry, nor strong internal culture. There isnothing outstanding in it. Well, we must admist, it has an outstanding mayor who has beensupported by the local government body and thus there is no sense in continuing the initialpolitical war (between the devotees of the old and new regime). Siding with certain politicalparties and their ideas increasingly looses meaning at the local level while slowly it becomes 174
  • more obvious that the notion of civil society was inadequately defined and the used categoriesand interpretations seem to hinder the recognition of change. It is not by chance that based onour observations we also had to reconsider the theory and operation of civil society. The civilsociety in Aba was thus in such a state comparing to our previous assumptions that it could bemobilised instantly and a minority personally went to elect their civilian representatives. We do not have illusions and we have no determination either. The democracyexperiment does not have to succeed in Aba. The most important is not that everything shouldsucceed; negative experiences won’t make us feel doomed. Our one and only task is tomonitor the changes, to observe the self-interpretations of the actors and follow suit of theparticipatory democracy experiment; how and in what is fortified or eroded in Aba. The keyquestion is not only the effectiveness of public activity but the changes in the local socialconsciousness. The future, whatever comes, depends on the development of consciousness. Itmight be that nothing significant happens or perhaps real changes are going to take placewhich would be known behind the beyond. The essence of the Aba model is the following: it is not a single local governmentalbut multiplied representation, which combined with structured dialogue then further developsinto shared local governance and finally into participatory or electronic democracy. One ofthe new elements of this concept is the joint development of e-democracy and e-publicadministration. The new main institution of local democracy is the Magistrate. The theory and practice of multiplied representational democracy was not construedby democracy theory; rather by the the plans and practice of the development in Aba. Thetraditional local governmental representation in Hungary is single representation while in theAba model there is parallel representation, both based on elections. Thus complex or multiplelocal governmental structures have been established, which make the concrete and directrepresentation of major social groups possible. This conception and solution partiallyanticipates and advances the system of participatory democracy. The programme of institutionalisation of participatory democracy in Aba is complete.First of all, initially the 24 (later 30) elected civil representatives established their own civilianforum. The representatives of civil society organisations also organise their village/citycoordinating bodies and elect their representatives. The local government body unceasinglyfunctions according to the regulations specified in the governing legislation. The firm andentreprises (economic corporations) also elect their representatives. Last but not least thedenominations of Aba also elect their representatives. All in all, there are 56 representatives.The five bodies subsequently organise the top institution called Aba Magistrate. This is goingto be established ceremoniously in the spring of 2007. It is to be regarded as the localparliament; while following this logic the local mayor’s office could also be considered as thelocal government. This is, however, the old logic that does not hold completely true.However, we cannot really at this stage know what role they are really going to play. What isfor certain, though, that participatory democracy is going to be total and real when the e-governance and e-public administration has been created because from then on the AbaMagistrate could hold digital referenda on any issue at any point in time. Today there are four to five scenarios likely to happen: 1. Civil representatives andtheir bodies become bored by the amount of public duties, become weary of fightingwindmills (if this how they will label it) or withdraw if local citizens do not support thememotionally or spiritually. 2. The democracy model runs out of human resources if the mayor 175
  • (or his colleagues) who have so far been the generators of the process tire, or put their effortsin other developmental projects, such as small regional development, or if there are(continuously) no appreciated new community leader who stand out in the Aba Magistrate. 3.If within five years Aba does not become at least partially an intelligent small city, all groupsof the Aba Magistrate are going completely or partially fall into discredit. If Aba could reallybecome a loveable little city, the participatory democracy model becomes a European and/orHungarian standard. 4. If in the first two decades of the new century all spiritual andconsciousness resources are mobilised, participatory democracy has the potential of becomingcompletely or partially a sort of sacred democracy. 5. After the formation and strengtheningof e-public administration in Aba every major issue are going to be decided in an e-referendaalthough the preparation and execution of every decision still remains the task of the AbaMagistrate, then participatory democracy is going to permanently take hold or perhaps aconflictuous model of a new democracy will be established full of short-witted, spectacularpetty cases, or perhaps with clashes of interest and values. We’ll see what happens. 176
  • The Aba model160 Local governmental (municipal) level The Mayor Representative Boards body Boards ProjectProject Board,Board, ExpertDevelopment Village Local Government TeamTeam Mayor’s Office Civil society organisation co-ordinating forum Civil Magistrate of local government and civil representatives, civil society organisations, economic associations, church The Civilian forum of Civil representatives Regional level: electing districts and street communities District District District District (65-79 adult (65-79 adult (65-79 adult (65-79 adult population) population) population) population) 1. district 1. district 1. district 1. district representative representative representative representative 160 Explanation of signs: : → forwarding information, with consultation rights; ↔ ; 177
  • Table 25.: The drawing of the Aba model (Emese Ugrin – Csaba Varga) 178
  • Chapter Twelve: The comprehensive vision of state,democracy and public administration The information age: the embodied future, which seems to be the blurred present.Some fourty or thirty years ago there were only few who believed that information society asa vision of the future is realistic and attainable. Today, when this vision of the future in manyparts of the world has become a partial or complete reality, it could still seem unattainable orimplausible in the undeveloped world. Compared to the previous (industrial) age, the age ofinformation embodies a radically different present. To put it otherwise, since the 1960’s theinformation age has been a new vision of the future, it required a new strategy for the future,and by now it is clear that it has really brought a new present which is not at all adequatelyunderstood. So far, we have not reached the age of knowledge. The information age, however, has not been a new future, a new vision of the futureand a new strategy limited up to the present, for many, particularly in the underdevelopedcountries, it permanently means a new future and new vision of the future after the turn of themillenium, too. To simplify matters the following two connections are important to note. 1. Since the 1960’s but especially since the 1980’s the dream for the future,information society aimed at a qualitative change, a holistic vision of the future wasadvertised and it did not only envisage the modernisation of economy or the state. In thisvision of the future there is a continuity while changing contents were carried by it in everydecade. The essence of continuity is that by the help of knowledge-centredness it aims athumanising the world and enhancing the quality of life. 2. In spite of the continuity of the image for the future, every decade came up with adifferent dominant response. While the 1970’s and 1980’s were primarily focused on IT andtechnology, in the 1980’s and 1990’s new economy, knowledge-based economy came to thelimelight, while the past decade has increasingly brought a content-centred information partage with it. The program of the future and the sequence of change, including e-governance and e-public administration are interpretable in such a historical context. In the last decade of thetwentieth century, the emphasis was on providing governmental institutions with PCs andnew information techonology. Europe at this stage concentrated on e-public administration atthe announcement of the Lisbon program (2000) the essence of which was the spreading ofonline services. In the meanwhile there was plenty of discussions about e-democracy,although less so in Hungary. The development of institutional democracy did not get into thefocus of attention although in many places e-elections were to be tested. We are not going to further discuss previous visions of the future of the informationage or e-public administration, neither will we analyse the history of the vision of the future.Instead, we will first sum up the the vision of the 2010’s and 2020’s of digital governance –local governance and public administration as well as we will draft possible scenarios towiden the interpretational horizon and search for new state and democracy model. The future thus has once again arrived although presently we do not see the „next”future. The planning of new vision and reality of the future is a central issue. 179
  • 12.1. Rethinking the future, vision of the future, strategy of thefuture Future studies is a science, although it is typically a branch of science that cannot dowithout looking into the future with a sensitive, intuitive vision. First of all, we should brieflyclarify the basic concepts: the future, vision of the future, strategy of the future as well asfuture scenarios. Numerous definitions were born about the main concepts with widelydiffering content and points of view. We have repeatedly indicated that the content of theconcepts is not constant, the information age and the knowlede-centred age are continuouslytransforming the categories of future studies and planning. Future by today’s standards is always a paradigm change. Future is not the continuationof the present, it is not the involuntary consequence of the present because the present is openat least for fifty percent, it is not decided upon and it largely depends on what we want tohappen as a future. Today humankind does not have a vision of the future and therefore morethan ever, the creation of the future is necessary. The new theory of the future is thecomprehensive vision of the future.The reinterpretation of the concepts Future The future can equally be interpreted as time, space, goal ideal, reality or for instance, asa challenge. It has been well known for a long time that there is not one and only future, wemay only think of futures. The future after 2000 as time has a span at least up until 2020 orrather until 2050. It could be considered either as a local or state space, although by now it isbasically a universal glocal space. As a goal ideal it is not the continuation, or by chance therepetition of the past or present, but it is essentially a new goal ideal which in our acceleratingworld necessarily leaves behind the quasi-alternaties in the captivity of the present. Theessence of the future: it is a complex reality and consciousness, it is an objective andsubjective world. Future is thus a future reality, the individual and collective consciousness offuture reality. The vision of the future The vision of the future is the concentrated image, vision of future reality. In today’sEuropean and Hungarian practice, we can equally talk about long-term (15-20 years), middle-term (7-15 years) and short-term (3-5) vision of the future. Undeniably, the future isfundamentally long-term, a time that is even beyond 20 years and in any instance it desires,plans for and illustrates a future that is different from our past and present. The vision of thefuture has become a major issue because those who plan the global – local world increasinglyrealise that the future (later as present) depends at least for fifty percent from the future wechoose for and the type of vision of the future we want to realise. One of the majorrecognitions of the information age that the future is not in the captivity of the presentalthough numerous involuntary tracks in this or that way have a long-term impact on thosechanges. The vision of the future has become liberated although it seemingly depends on theknowledge and consciousness of future vision creators. The vision of the future is necessarilynormative because it guides the concrete future developments. 180
  • The creation of future vision The creation of future vision is a social and spiritual process which results in the birth ofthe concentrated image and vision of future reality. The creation of future vision is thus aprocess and a method of process needs to be defined. Working out the contentual elements ofthe future image is both a technology of creation and control. It is basically about how we cancreate the vision of future of a society, a region or an industrial branch, even of a family. It isimportant to note that in Europe the handbook of future vision creation of knowledge societyhas been published. Predicting future This is an outdated concept. As far as we are concerned, predicting the future cannotbe the forecast of the future of twenty or fifty years that lie ahead of us because the far awayfuture cannot be reached as guaranteed future. This cannot therefore be undertaken by anyvision of future. Moreover, predicting future was used to deduce from the analysis of the pastwhat will most likely happen, as a sort of good or bad involuntary track. Because in ouropinion the future is not only the involuntary continuation of the past or the present, we do notaccept this type of future predictions neither as a method nor mentality. Predicting the futurecan only be imagined under the condition that someone might wish to interpret the chances ofrealisation of elaborated future scenarios. Strategy of the future The strategy of the future is the changing, the strategy of created vision of future into arealisable programme. The strategy of the future equally contains a variety of multi-facetedand expert analysis of the past and the present and the vision of the future formulated inconcepts based on the elaborated future reality later, and the strategy and tactics to diminishthe distance between two points (space-time). Future scenarios Future scenarios formulate different alternatives to realise the strategy of the future. Ifotherwise there are a number of futures instead of one then there are a number of pathways toreach these futures. Moreover, there are not only several futures but presents, too, and thusevery path for the future could have distinct scenarios. Future scenarios do not denote pointsof views or visions, but concrete realisation alternatives. This is why every strategy of thefuture is followed by the description of scenario network. Once the future scenarios have beencompleted, developmental projects are possible on various timelines and programme goals. The future scenarios also differ from what perspective and planning level aredifferences in the future drafted. This does not have an established methodology yet, althoughwe can at this stage distinguish between at least seven levels in the global spatial structure: theuniversal, the global, European, state, regional, small regaional and settlement levels needtheir future scenarios to be worked out.12.2. Clearing the concepts of future planning and futuredevelopment We have briefly clarifed above those basic concepts which are used in the planning ofthe future. When the task is to plan the future of e-public administration, then this pursuit isobviously on the one hand belongs to future planning, on the other to future developments.This is why we briefly want to interpret the concepts of future planning and futuredevelopment. 181
  • Future planning Future planning is a complex planning process where in the ways clarified above workout the future, vision of the future, creation of future image, future planning, future strategyand future scenarios. Whether we make an integrated governmental, ministerial, industrial orregional level strategy for the future of e-public administration, every time we will have tocomplete a complex future planning procedure. This complexity means that the changes (boththe planned and spontaneous ones) make up a network. „The omnipresence of change, theirclose relationship as compared to the past and their impact on one another all create a web.”Erzsébet Nováky161 Future development The outcome of future planning is future development. In the European and Hungarianspatial planning and according to the established planning system, future developments arerealised in projects. In most cases the concept of future development means the elaboration ofproject plans, application for tenders through which the projects could be realised as well asthe realisation of the projects supported by various sources aimed at developmental support.What follows from this is that future development should be part and parcel of the lastchapters of every e-public administration strategy.12.3. Long-term future image up until 2020, a comprehensive futureimage until 2013 It is according to the currently valid European and Hungarian planning theory andpractice that the pyramid of development goal can be worked out. Its peak is the long-termvision of the future, up until 2020. The next level of the pyramid of goals is to make our long-term vision of the future concrete: these are the comprehensive goals which are major goalsexpanded to a number of branches, a number of sectors and a number of developmentaldirections. Finally, the third and broadest level of the pyramid of goals is the priorities withinthe goals, broken down to long-, medium-, short-term and concrete development goals. For transparency purposes we note that the pyramid of goals is always broken downinto measures (programmes, sub-programmes) and concrete project plans. This is why next tothe planning of the future of e-public administration and e-democracy, the planning ofmeasures and projects need to be ensured as well.161 The homepage of Erzsébet Nováky: http://novaky.jovokutatas.hu; dr. Erzsébet Nováky: future researchpapers http://mek.oszk.hu/04100/04129/ 182
  • Chapter Thirteen: Paradigm changing new recognitions inthe first third of the 21st century Having explained some preliminary notions, we are going to present a summary ofsignificant issues in some contentual matters which are essential a way to think about thefuture of the new state, e-public administration or participatory democracy. In a wider context the new historical challenges question the ideal of the republic,parliamentarism or, generally speaking, the current model of society. The social-economic orpolitical problems are general, therefore, whichever set of questions we may choose toexamine (democracy, state, society, etc.), we find ourselves against interconnected andcomplex fields of crisis. In the Euro-atlantic space-time it is pretty straightforward that thesmashing success of experience society is one the one hand the manifestation of a globalassertion for happiness, on the other hand it is the wailing of an endangered and desperateculture. The citizen has been freed from the overt or latent oppression of politico-powerdictatorships and half dictatorships but only to that extent that the personal and collectiveemptiness and insecurity for want of better is smoothened or remedied by quasi-experiences.The new key term is not widely known, namely that the present is the age of adventuredictatorship (which is not mellow but soft adventure dictatorship). And this type ofdictatorship is more demoralising than other crude forms. The challenge is universal although the depth and harshness is not always apparent.Scientific discourses and public discourses tackle nothing but the event history of crisisphenomena. It should be, however, as salient that time in increasingly shorter spaces jumpsinto newer and new spatial fields: as if this age was an accelerating trot..13.1. The challenging timeliness and the alternative of knowledgesociety From the point of view of future studies the comprehensive model of the present iscalled information age in the global and European world. As we summed it up during theinterpretation of the information society model, the information age is made up by numerousalternative categories: postindustrial-, digital-, IT-, infocommunication-, creative- andknowledge economic age. The name of the short-term future is knowledge age but other termsalso exist to denote this term: the age of knowledge society, the period of innovation andinformation, post-information age. If we want to set things straight in this cavalcade ofconcepts, we could simplify the name of the present to information age, while the name of thefuture to knowledge age. By and large, the present has started in the 1980’s and could endsomewhere at the beginning or mid-2010s. The future under discussion has kicked off sometime after the turn of the millenium and will presumably end in the 2020s. The paradigm of knowledge society rests on nine to ten basic recognitions: 1. Relying on new knowledge theories, the definition of knowledge and theinterpretation of the definition radically expends and transforms; its essence is broadlyspeaking that knowledge does not only include the network of high standing andcomprehensive information but the transfer of knoweldge into intellectual capital or itsdynamic application as personal or social capital. 183
  • 2. Based on the approaches of new social theory, rethinking and interpreting theconcept of society takes place at the beginning of the twenty-first centure. One of its basicoutcome is the birth and interpretation of knowledge society. The universal and global task ofthe next twenty years is the spread of knowledge society model in human civilisation. 3. Based on the new theories of monetarism, new economy (post-industrial economy,knowledge-oriented economy, internet economy, etc.) is the exploration of already existingfunctions and operational methods and the birth of the new economic world model (and aspart of it, the new processes of money-centred new capitalism). 4. Based on previous conflict theories and the new recognitions that continue them, theinterpretation of the information age and the societies of knowledge age as well as their keyconflicts; and it goes without saying that the new ways of conflict management need to beidentified. 5. Based on a number of chaos theories, the understanding of the Universe thatsurrounds the Earth and the new relationships, new connections of the universal-global worldas well as mapping out new theories of activities that act upon new reality. 6. Based on new globalisation theories, the description of human civilisation andculture and the formulation and debate of knowledge society scenarios that constitute a futurealternative up until the mid-twenty-first century. 7. Based on the political theories of yesteryear and today, acquainting oneself with thecrises of institutional systems and coming up with possible directions for a new democracy(post-democracy) as a way managing conflict. 8. In view of the old and current utopia theories the framing of norm systems forknowledge society, or going even one step further, the creation of the most important contentsof a future vision and making it into a unified system. 9. Even if modern science and post-science has not yet created consciousness theories,one of the most significant mega-alternative could be the preparation of society model, aconsciousness-centred development that simultaneously promotes personal and collectiveconsciousness. Not only because nine is not a round figure is it worthy noting a tenth comprehensiveknowledge society recognition, namely the sum of those hypotheses that relate to the future ofthe state and public administration. The twentieth century was a period of strong, centralisedstates concentrating power and incapable of adequately managing the conflicts of society. Inthe mediatised public, these issues are discussed either as the crises of the political system, orthe crises of the welfare state or as the subjection of civil society. Although the Europeaninformation society has worked out its digital state- and e-public administration paradigm,neither Hungary, nor Europe has plans for a new state theory and new state model. As a sort of post scriptum we should take note of the fact that knowledge age is not theend of cyclical history either, it is but one of its first statuses. As we have already referred toit, one of the subsequent stages could be the period of consciousness society.13.2. The unexpected post-modernisation models Under the term modernisation models, we are going to discuss questions concerningthe realisation of previous and coming world models and world scenarios. Europe has been inthe phase of modernisation for at least 300 years. This long road and similarly extendedpresent is based on a number of essentially different models. It is not our concern now todiscuss in detail the modernisation models of the leading European states and those at the 184
  • periphery. From the e-public administration point of view, it should suffice to designate themodernisation alternatives of the last twenty years as well as the coming twenty years. In our view two groups of modernisation models can be distinguished: the models ofmodernisation and post-modernisation. The first group includes the traditional modernisationprograms and technologies; resources-, investment-, innovation- and information-led modelsare amongst these. This means thus that in the industrial age that preceeded the informationage dominant state- and regional modernisation models were those led by resources andinnovation. The modernisation models belonging to the second group are calledpostmodernisation models; these are led by knowledge and creativity or perhapsconsciousness. These constitute the models of the future with no exception: currently, they arehypothetical models. The knowledge-led postmodernisation model (which no longer takesplace at state but rather at a global and local level simultaneously) belongs by all means to theknowledge age, expected to blossom in the 2010s. The future might choose such an optionwhere the above enumerated postmodernisation models are on the one hand integrated, on theother hand amended by other further development programs (led by new democracy orspirituality). The future of e-governance, e-public administration and participatory e-democracy isthus to be considered as one of the dominant elements of information on the one hand, andknowledge-led modernisation on the other hand.13.3. The accepted digital state and public administration vision If we aim at giving a sound interpretation to the twentieth century, it could be eitheranalysed as the heyday of the industrial age or it could also be considered as the end of theindustrial age; or perhaps it was the concluding phase of a modernisation period that lasted afew centuries. We might as well consider the twentieth century as the first period ofpostmodernisation. In either way the analysis concludes that in this period not only theeconomy was industrialised, but the society and the state, too. This very simply meant thatboth society and the institutional system of the state equally operated as an industrial process.The social and state institutional system also took over the characteristics of industrialeconomy and its operational mechanisms. Right after the turn of the century the most relevant dilemma is understandablywhether the state should still function according to the characteristics of the industrial age orwhether knowledge, knowledge industry or post-industry should become the central contentelement of post-industrial operation. At the state level it is highly unlikely that a final answeris going to be given because in Hungary the state is essentially linked to politics and thepolitical institutional system and so its goals an operational manner is necessarily limited toshort-term parliamentary cycles. A breakthrough can be expected beforehand at middle- and lower level publicadministration systems because they are more thoroughly connected to society and local willscompared to centralised levels. By 2020 presumably the modernisation process will fully orpartially have taken place and not only in the more developed states of Europe, but also inHungary the digital state, as understood by the ideology of information society, is going to beestablished. This state could have a network nature already and it might not be any longer acentralised power institution in the twentieth century meaning of the word. 185
  • Even if we do not always understand exactly what is really e-public administration ande-governance, it might occur to us Central Europeans or Hungarians that in the last years allover in Europe at government or local government level they have switched to or arecurrently switching to e-public administration. This might result in a highly significant stateand public administration reform, if the majority of the continent considers it as the mostimportant development of the information age as it was listed in the 2003-2005 version of e-Europe strategy. This in itself constitutes a tremendous change. This in itself constitutes ahuge challenge for the current Hungarian local governments and mayor offices. The effect ofthe coming 2-3 years is going to be chatarctic because even the public administration bodiesdid not count on the size and complexity of change. While in the member states of the European Union the year 2000 marked thebeginning of the introduction and spread of e-governance and e-public administration, inHungary this process presumably will be completed with a 5-7 year delay, by the beginning ofthe 2010s. Where do we reach with this programme? Although at different levels, but thedigital state and e-public administration will be introduced by and large. Moreover, due to itthe first requirements of e-democracy are going to come true, too. But into what directions dowe make advances? The industrialised-centralised state will develop further – but where andhow? What type of new post-modernisation model will prevail in the development of thestate? There is no valid answer yet. What type of new requirements are to be introduced withregards to the state, public administration and democracy? We might note beforehand that e-democracy as a democracy model could be an essentially different model and thus it couldgradually move towards the direction of participatory democracy.13.4. Network state is the future, but what sort of network state? What changes can the state ideal of the information age and/or knowledge age bringabout? After all, can we speak of a new type of state? The state of the future is presumablyand expectedly a network state. The new public administration of the network state, at least asits first step, is surely e-public administration; what more, without an electronic state practicenetwork state is not an option. It’s been a long time since the new European model state was last examined;currently, it is sometimes called the digital, other times the network state, sometimes it isreferred to as the e-state, other times as the post-state or qualitative state. This train ofthought is often linked to the planning of the e-governance programme of information society.But is the task limited the industrial state making place for the post-industrial, thus electronicstate? It is already the information age that produces an increasingly apparent new type ofstate or the digital state, which, based on the example of network economy and networksociety creates partially a network state. This is no longer has one or numerous centre, nor is ita centralised or decentralised state. Thus in the network state the regional-county level localgovernment and local public administration will be (increasingly) on par with the previouscentre of power, the government. The priority of the latter is to create for the presentlydependent citizen at least the opportunity of participatory citizenship (public citizen,community citizen). Paralelly, the following step is thus within the framework of the networkstate local societies should achieve (at least partially) equal status. 186
  • According to one of the new theories, „on the one hand, based on the construed natureof the state and the new situation, we should attempt to imagine the state in a new way; weshould not stick to the notion of nation-states born in the early modern age and that hasbecome outdated by today. On the one hand, based on the contemporary tendencies andmaking use of the Aristotelian partnership theory, the power theory of Foucault and thecommunicative rationality and action-theory developed by Habermas, the notion of politicsshould be widened. As a result, the inter-subjective state appears in a new light: the number ofpolitical actors grow and so will the institutional system mirror that inclusion of the (local andglobal) society into the political domain.”162 We come up against the problem, though, that inthe post-modern global-local structures and the new conflict situations neither the traditional,nor the twentieth century theories give (sufficient?) solutions and orientation. If therefore the role of local society or the intelligent civil society and localgovernance, as well as the regional-settlement public administration is strengthened, then it istotally understandable why the importance of public administration in the information agealso increases. As it is widely known, that concept of electronic public administration isabbreviated to e-public administration. The letter „e”, however, stands for far more thanelectronic, although this broadened power is inevitably ambiguous; after all, the task is notonly technological modernisation. We will also refer to the term digital rather than simplyelectronic, but even then we refer exclusively to the technological change. In the spirit of theinformation age we could refer to information public administration, as we have already doneit. This adjective in itself, however, is difficult to interpret when it comes to classic publicadministration or, generally speaking, the state. And we did not solve the problem either if weare to plan a developmental phase between public administration and public utility, or theservice-providing state and the service providing e-state. Currently the state needs to answer the following dillemas: • Although every state spends significant resources from its budget to healthcareand social problems, it is seemingly incapable of saving the most poor and most defenselesssegment of the population (3-5% of the population). • Although the state puts relatively large resources into alleviating natural andenvironmental crises, it partially or totally proves incapable of managing expected orunexpected ecological chatastrophies. • Although every state sustains and operates a relatively strong security sector, it isincreasingly incapable of preventing internal or external terror activities. • Although most states define themselves as neutral, in the vast majority of casesstates depend or will potentially depend on integrated political-economic power groups. • Although in most European states the division of the state and church took placelong ago, the state without content, credo, spirituality, sacrality looses or could potentiallyloose its mission. • Although the law and order of every state as well as every developedconstitutional state guarantees the individual rights of freedom and autonomy, the dependencyof the individual on the state might become total (especially when s/he is considered anopponent or enemy of the leading power groups) • Although every state makes a significant effort to provide its citizens withknowledge and to create the knowledge to sustain it, it is a general experience that the state162 Ferenc Horkay Hörcher (2000): Az interszubjektív állam (The Inter-subjective State) in Magyar Szemle,April 2000 187
  • grapples continuously with a lack of knowledge and it is not capable of increasing the level ofknowledge in its own apparatus to adequate levels. • Although the state was initially created to protect and ensure security for thesociety and its members, the state consistently under-performs or due to exaggerated stateintervention, civil society had to create its own institutional system, - to counterbalance statecontrol, that is. • Although in the global world, the acceptance of democracy as well asbuilding/strenghtening democracy has been rightly supported and appreciated, the recongitionthat the democracy model of the 19th-20th century is outdated is becoming ever the morewidespread and a new operational- decision making model needs to be worked out. We could provide a long list of dilemmas concerning state theory and state practice ofnarrower or broader significance. All in all, it is almost certain that the dilemmas occuring inthe practice of state development as well as the development of public administration need tobe solved in one way or another. It is currently unforeseeable which principles and mannerswill provide an answer to the above-mentioned difficulties. The short-term future is foreseeable at first sight, and so it is a rather simple matter torecognise that an e-state is needed for the establishment of e-public administration and viceversa. We would hereby also like to clarify that digital local government and digital state, e-public administration and the e-citizen presuppose each other and jointly embody or couldembody e-democracy, which is also participatory democracy, too. The central question,however, invariably remains whether the post-modern state is capable of finding solutions tothe problems we have mentioned above. Manuel Castells states the following: „The internetshould be used by people to observe the government, rather than the government to observethe people. In this way the web could be used as a bottom-top monitor, information and activeparticipation; moreover, it could become the tool of decision-making.”16313.5. The cardinal question: participatory democracy and/or e-democracy? The new state and republic model is unimaginable without new democracy and newpublic amdinistration. E-public administration, as an institution of participatory e-democracy,could inescapably become the basic institution of localisation that has an indicative role inglobalisation and the information and knowledge age. The cardinal qeustion is therefore notthe change of public administration but the shift in the democracy model. In spite of the horrors, failures and defeats of the twentieth century, its aftermath wasmarked by, the spread of democracy on the one hand, on the other hand, by the recognitionthat all democracy realities that have existed so far were but limited democracies. Thedifference lies between the scale and scope of the confines. It would be folly to demonstratesuch a positive utopia according to which within a relatively short period of time there will besuch type of democracy that would free us all from limitations. One of the most excitingquestions is as follows: the history of non-democracies and democracies alike relentlesslyinspires us to recognise numerous phenomena and processes which has prevailed in all ages,systems independent of the fact whether that was a dictatorship, monarchy or perhapsdemocracy.163 Manuel Castells (2000) p. 187. 188
  • We can nevertheless state without exaggeration that after the quasi-mass democracy,or to put it differently, the quantitative democracy of the twentieth century the first qualitativetype of democracy might be born. Having extended electoral rights, two tasks remained:electoral knowledge, the distribution of knowledge necessary for elections and paralelly, thebroadening of electoral participation in decision-making. The information age can onlyprovide the technological access and the digital institutions of this access. To achieve theseresults twenty to thirty years are needed instead of two hundred; however, contingentopposition of the political field could slow down the access. The politician and the citizenpoint their fingers to each to no avail: both of them are likely to think one-dimensionally. Bythe 2010s there e-public administration is going to be everywhere in Europe, e-work is goingto be frequently employed within local governments, direct democracy is going to spreadthanks to e-referenda and obviously, e-elections are going to be widely applied in one-twogovernmental cycles. Originally, democracy meant the acknowledgement of human rights, denial of socialpriviledges, equality, the existence of the conditions that allow the practice of free will, andthus the success of free will. According to this vision, (legislative and governance) rights arein the hands of the people (or society). However, since the establishement of the system, thestate and society have drifted very far away from each other and the members of the statecould feel on a number of occassions that the state is not meant for them, moreoever, indictatorships the state is unambiguously against them. The goal of modern democracyinstitutions is to make the state and public administration finally serve society. A multitude ofcitizens will only feel him/herself a friend of the state only under the condition that, inparticularly the local government and local public adminsitration become citizen-friendly. Thesystemlike and uniquely efficient system of this frequently announced change is possibly e-governance and e-public administration which could lead to the creation of e-state and e-democracy. The principles of democracy have been known for the last two thousand years;nevertheless, the theory of visions cannot replace the correct analysis of democracy realities.This, however, is not the lesson of politologists linked to the practice of politics, but it is thephilosophical task of political theory and in broader terms, social theory. We are obviouslyaware of the fact that democracy in principle is about the participation of the demos. In everyperiod the question arises that what the demos means both universally and in practice.Morevoer, it is also recognisable that at least in principle the people control their fate;however, it is hopelessley obscure, who the people are, what their fate is, what the meaning of„in their hands” is, as well as what control implies, etc. We do not only refer here to the extentmodern individualism is against the supposedly free institutions of modern society. The idealof democracy is naturally institutionalised in every modern age. On the one hand, who is inthe position to answer to what extent does institutionalisation suit the demands of demossince, for instance, those demands often exist in the social unconscious. The spread ofelectoral rights was achieved after heavy social fights while it was not only in the 1990s thatwe could notice that the existing models of participatory democracy, the practices of socialexistence and thinking almost exclude the realisation of the democratic ideal. It is almost 200 years ago that Alexis de Tocqueville wrote „In the Americandemocracy”164, that in North America people dictate in the narrowest sense of the word,-although according to the governmental form democracy is based on representation; in other164 Alexis de Tocqueville (1993) 189
  • words, there is no enduring barrier that would inhibit that the views, preconceptions, interestsand even emotions of the people appear in the everyday control of society. Today, there is nosocial scientist who would dare put this down. We should not think that Tocqueville was adazzled idealist; it is after all in the same book where he sets forth his view that the biggestdanger of the American republic is rooted in the tiranny of the majority. The essenceEuropean or Central European democracy or according to the strategy of the new era, theglobal and local (glocal) democracy could be drafted based on eight to ten interdisciplinaryscientific analyses of (post)modern democracy theory. Some of its elements are detectible perhaps, although there will not even be a partialdemocracy paradise if we are limiting ourselves to political democracy. E-democracy, on theother hand, promises potentially a new democracy model. The distribution of institutionalisedknowledge necessary for choosing and decision-making as well as the broadening andrealisation of personal participation in decision-making is on the one hand linked to a newsocial model, to knowledge society, on the other hand to a new global consciousnessconceptualisation, a new understanding. All this, however, is not yet widely comprehensiblein Hungary. Neither citizens nor the majority of decision-makers and scientists see up to thispoint, although the first breakthrough, the introduction of e-public administration is due totake place shortly. For this (also) to happen, the spiritual preparation is sorely needed. Thefuture most probably will not be cancelled due to individual or public foolishness. When will we reach this stage? Is the network state of the future and the e-operationof the state, e-public administration known as an idea? The perspectives are no longer obscurealthough the new practice of public administration is to a large extent unidentified yet. Wemight rightly be sceptical about the speed of the realisation of e-state although the Europeanstate practice could swiftly change even if e-public administration is „only” introduced at thelocal level. After the extension of electoral rights in the twentieth century, now or in one (ortwo?) decades the new task will be the spread of electoral participation in decision-makingand action provided that paralelly every social group will be enjoying electoral knowledge. Inthe first half of the zeroth decade of the new century the most important national priority isthe modernisation of the state internally, while in the second half of the decade the externalmodernisation (European role) of the state.Exoteric and esoteric democracy theory What suitable categories are there to describe new phenomena, processes,realisations? Amongst others, there is a well-known pair of concepts in the classicalphilosophical-theological approaches: exoteric and esoteric theory. The introduction of thetwin concept could enrich approaches to democracy with new perspective and recognitions.(The concept of esoteric philosophy is not identical to esoteric religions.) The adaption of oldconcepts promises alternative points of view today in the democracy theory. Exotericdemocracy covers quantitative, institutional-centred, representational (etc.) democracy, whileesoteric democracy is qualitative, participatory and collective consciousness-centreddemocracy. While the first interpretational framework uses the normal scientificaccomplishments, the second (multidimensional) interpretational system makes use of theresults of post-normal science. All in all, while the theory of exoteric democracy could be the point of view of theindustrial age, esoteric democracy theory could be the approach of knowledge age. 190
  • Exoteric democracy theory Esoteric democracy theory The approach in the best of conditions is The starting point is the new glocal spacebased on the new glocal space or the current state and it is based on the substantial examination ofof the world the current state of the world According to the theory the economy, the Next to the objective processes of thesociety and the politics are all objective processes economy, society and politics, the theory placesand therefore it is the objective situation that special emphasis on the individual and collectivedefines the collective and individual political needs of the real and beyond the realbehaviour The exoteric point of view does not take into This democracy theory does not onlyaccount that the so-called objective processes are provide an opportunity for the legal but alsoprimarily triggered by the collective and social and spiritual particiation; for this reason itindividual consciousnesses acknowledges the fundamental role of dual nature of virtual reality The theory presupposes limited realities and The theory accepts the premise: if the futurethe changes are only interpreted to a limited of society is going to be a basically knowledgedegree while it is the primordial prerequisite of and consciousness-centred society then thedemocracy that it understoods the present- and demoracy and its institutions could essentiallyfuture consciousness correctly be knowledge and consciousness-centred (post- industrial) systems The analysis is based on yes/no logic, logical The theory is based on quantum logics andspace is two-three dimensional and so the logical space has become n-dimensionalcharacterisation of the democracy model is and therefore the analysis is capable of takingsimplified and slubbered the slightest phenomena and changes into account Table 26.: Exoteric and esoteric democracy theory (Csaba Varga) While the interpreation of exoteric democracy is the dominant approach of past/recentpolitical theory, the vision of esoteric democracy and its practice could create the future (orrather, long-term future) political theory. The table above documents the differences betweenthe two realities, two ways of thinking. These two democracy concepts suit well with thedivision and qualitative differentiation of functional and substantantive processes ofglobalisation – localisation. While functional globalisation tolerates exoteric democracy forthe time being, it is possible that substantial globalisation requires and incites the creation ofesoteric democracy. This theoretical raising could later lead to new state and public administrationconcepts: informal state, spiritual state, substantial public administration, publicadministration serving public consciousness, etc. Finally, we state that today in Europe allstates are of exoteric nature.13.6. On a taboo matter: the e-parliament The major internal problem of the democray model is the fatigue of parliamentarismand the incapacity to adequately answer new challanges. We should raise the question openly: 191
  • does participatory democracy tolerate classical parliament in the twenty-first century? Isrepresentational democracy reconcilable with participatory democracy? Can we still sidestepthe reform of quasi-democracy called democracy and quasi-parliament called parliament?One of the most spectacular counter-arguments against participatory democracy was that it issimply impossible to convoke everybody on the ice of the Danube to jointly participate indecision-making. However, there is a real possibility opening up on the „ice” of the Internet, -the personal political participation of every individual constituent is now an option. We are going to highlight three cardinal problems among the many signs of crisis: 1. In the European nation states, and in Hungary too, the parliament is incapable ofmanaging the strategic control of a given country, it is thus incapable of coming up with aplan that would adequately answer the challenges of the ever changing universal andcontinental external and internal model changes as well as the governance of the country. Inthe new globo-local world the recognition is increasingly becoming obvious that there is noplanning and executive institution which could fill the role of responsible governance bybeing a sort of „the council of the elderly” or project manager. The political division oflabour in itself is unsuitable to attend to new tasks, namely that the parliament legislates whilethe executive power governs. It is not by chance that the social subconscious and publicopinion suggests to the constituents to support state presidents and prime ministers to eludethe law and order of democratic republic and take governance into their own hands. If there isno constitutional institution, then at least there should be an informal „king”. There is a similar situation when it comes to the constitution. We should not deny ittoday that in each and every country two constitutions exist: a written and an oralconstitution. The legitime constitution is often incapable of following changes and because ofits continuous belatedness and extreme regulatory mania, the present is repeatedly turned intothe past. The socially legitime oral-informal constitution, although that is not necessarily thecase, but it is mostly limited to the management of those problems that have been caused bythe legitime constitution. This focus on defense mechanism distracts attention from thoseattitudes that would wish to create a better country and a better world. 2. Well, similarly sweeping changes will be brought about by the phenomenon thatwithin fifteen to twenty years every single constituent and electable citizen is going to becomea virtual representative. Every single constituent is going to be able to vote thanks toinfocommunication technology and the services installed in every household and communitycentre. (Ensuring the security of e-elections is by far not an insolvable problem.) If everyconstituent could vote up to a few times per day digitally, then why would the representativeselected every four years still be needed, especially if we take into account that they are not thedirect mouthpiece of concrete constituent interests but rather serve the direct political interestsof given political parties? 3. Representative democracy has an advantage from the operational point of view;since it does not need the personal participation of the constituent and the citizen,representative democracy neither directly disturbs nor helps the decision-making of theparliament. (In the parliamentary elections that take place every four years, the constituentonly needs to answer one yes/no question about the representative of their choice and with its/he indirectly votes for a given political party and their programme. This fact does not refinemuch on the statement above.) Participatory democracy or/and e-democracy builds on thepersonal participation, responsible- virtuous decisions. What everyone is interested in is 192
  • whether the citizens are suitable for such political-community freedom. The experience ofancient Greek democracies is not the best although in the first period for instance „accordingto the law, the citizen who did not commit to a point of view in group debates, lost theirmembership in the polis.”165 These questions will result in permanent political upheavals. Almost noone dareschange the principle of parliamentarism because unstable political scenes could fall apart andwhole regions, countries, continents could suddenly become illegitime and incontrollable.This is why the possibility of e-parliament does not only subvert democracy theories, butmakes us aware of basic questions and opens a public debate about the practice and efficacyof representative democracy. This happens especially large gap in the physical and socialreality between state/ post-state and the citizen or if in the existing political system there isquasi-democracy, show-democracy in which partially openly, partially secretely a one-manshow has evolved. This is why it is not going to be politically shocking that in the informationage the symbolic buildings of the parliaments are going to be replaced by the building of thevirtual e-parliament. It will be a more delicate issue, however, whether virtual e-MPs couldreplace parliamentary representatives, whose numbers are otherwise excessive. And at thispoint we have not even take into account the major issue, namely, if in principle everyonecould become a potential MP, can at least the majority of citizens be prepared and madesuitable for the participation in representation and decision-making? The other side of thedilemma also holds true: if the state and democracy will not be able to prepare its citizens,then smaller or larger groups of society will necessarily start off unprepared to change theexisting democracy model. Last but not least, without the active-creative participation ofcitizens, the current form of state and democracy cannot be sustained and not only because theswollen state that oversteps its competencies cannot be financed. Every question that hascaused grave interpretational and operational crises in the Greco-roman age will be onceagain on the agenda. It is in noone’s interest in any country to cause unmanageable parliamentary and/orgovernmental legitimacy crises, - neither by rendering a problem more difficult, nor by hidingit. Some rather difficult decades are to follow in the history of democracies. We should now turn our attention to more simple questions: 1. Presently,parliamentary committee meetings that are not held in some comittee room by those MPs withleisure time at their hand, while with the virtual participation of every committee member ane-committee could be held. 2. Although it is unimaginable today, it will soon become realitythat there will be e-interpellations, e-debates or e-decisions taken by parliament members oncertain questions with the virtual presence of elected representatives, - also on those days thatthe parliament does not otherwise sit. 3. Those hopeful times will soon come when theconstituents are going to decide upon cardinal questions in e-referenda with which at leastwill be able to orientate the parliamentary decisions. 4. Parliamentary and local governmentalelections will be held with the help of new technologies (internet, mobile phone, cabletelevision, etc.) at the earliest within four, at the latest within eight years. 5. Etc. An e-parliament could have the following further advantages: a parliament withnumerous chambers could be easily created; the parliament could inspire concluding a socialcontract more directly and at more personal level; or: within the context of one-chamber e-165 Cynthia Farrar (1992): Az ókori görög államelmélet – Válasz a demokráciára (The Ancient Greek StateTheory – Answers to Democracy) Published in: John Dunna: A demokrácia (The democracy), Academiai Kiadó,Budapest, p. 40. 193
  • parliament the proportion of civil society organisations could be enlarged. András Sajó166isrigth in assuming that the weaknesses of e-democracy, e-parliament, internet democracy canbe warded off by preserving the processes of representative democracy. There is no reason for excitment as long as the digital age forces out onlytechnological change in parliaments (and in local governments). This is why it is not aproblem that MPs use PCs as their new work tools. This ideal, evolutionary situation cannotbe sustained for ever. The basic strategic dilemmas need to be answered by parliamentarismand governance; this is either supported or hindered by new technologies. We hope that thefollowing picture does not come true: there is a possibility of an open political war betweencurrent political elites and political societies. It is preferable that the war is limited to a virtual„war”. However, we should not forget: preventing or managing political wars, hostilities,conflicts could be only be solved by the mature, well thought over introduction ofparticipatory democracy. There is no other choice.13.7. The secret of the conceivable future: consciousness-guided(post)society and (post)democracy The global recipe of the recent past is as follows: give to a continent, a state or avillage a lot of knowledge, make people receptive for knowledge, support its application andsoon you will find that knowledge-guided society, economy and people are capable ofmiracles and paradise will come to earth. The recipe is not bad. We should disregard that factfor the moment that instead of knowledge it is mostly information or part-information offeredor rather only the new technology of new knowledge is „on the market” and for this reasonalone miracles can be born for a limited and temporary time. However, there were exceptionalregions, communities where the culture healing methods were not only taken seriously butthey believed in them and so economic-social innovation took place. The change, thedevelopment, the investment, the new approach came up against a hard wall: the personaland collective consciousness. Knowledge is thus a very important inspiring, motivating forceand transmitter, but in itself does not automaticall solve niether the generic, nor the specificproblems. In the last two decades the combined physical field theory has opened new gates to theinterpretation of field consciousness. If theoretical physics shows the interconnection ofquantum functions, then in the combined space and space-time theory we find an explanationfor the collective field of consciousness. In the combined field we are all one, atconsciousness level space-time intervals connect us. The social field of consciousness is equally definable with a cloud, fog or ethermetaphor. For times long gone the social field of consciousness was imagined as a cloud thatlevitates over local or national communities and which provides information. Later on it wasmore clearly perceived that the socialfield of consciousness is not a separated, external,isolated spatial field and so fog as a metaphor came into the limelight. This metaphordescribed the pheonmenon as if every single person existed in a thick field of consciousness;the fog did not permeate people. Finally, after the spread of quantum theories, an old categoryseemed suitable to express social consiousness, that is, ether. Collective consciousness is166 András Sajó: Internet-demokrácia? (Internet-democracy?) (www.beszelo.c3.hu ) 194
  • inside as well as outside humans, equally at the levelof subatom and parallel universes, it isomnipotently present as a creative force and created reality. The recognition of consciousness-centred reality is not new in itself either. For the lastmillenia we are aware of an inconceivable, almost inscrutable and inexhaustable field, space,energy: consciousness. We should also now disregard that the reality and post-reality we callconsciousness has been described in a variety of concepts. Perhaps that is perhaps definitivelyclarified that neither the brain, nor the mind is consciousness. So much ancient knowledge asmodern science distinguishes between vigilant consciousness (vigilant state, dream, deepsleep) and higher consciousness (clear consciousness, cosmic consciousness, Divineconsciousness, unity consciousness). The dilemma is what are the stages of social (orcollective) consciousness and to what extent are they linked to personal consciousness. Ifindividual consciousness embody several steps, then collective consciousness alsopresupposes a number of steps. This is why we can talk of clear, cosmic, divine and collectiveconsciousness. We can perhaps take the following as starting points: 1. Among communityconsciousness a lower (wakeful, normal, sleeping, etc.) and a higer (transcendent?, cosmic?,spiritual?, etc.) type of consciousness must exist. 2. Community consciousness comprises andmanifests smaller or larger social and regional unities (settlement, city, regional, national,European, universal). 3. Psychology, social psychology, transpersonal psychology described itlong ago that the social unconscious (subconscious) does exist and operates intensively. 4.Although the individuals are rarely aware of it, communal consciousnesses strongly define thecontent and quality of consciousness of the social members. (Social consciousness mostprobably better defines personal and social behaviour than the system of social realities.) 5.There is also an inverse process: the personal and communal consciousness of individuals aresimultaneously collected and summarised by the horisontal and hierarchical networks ofsocial consciousness.(Every single vibration, thought, gesture is retained and preserved in thecollective consciousnesses.) Quantum physicist John Hagelin167distinguishes between two types of collectiveconsciousnesses in enlightened societies: cosmic consciousness and unity conscious collectiveconsciousnesses. While the society of cosmic consciousness is in harmony with laws of natureand the intelligence of the world, the united conscious society is like the Meissner-effect inphysics according to him. This means that every unity is visible from the side and peopleexperience unity as existing reality. In this consciousness the nation and society are protected,settled and invincible. This is the state of balance and order. We have thus exposed this old-new recognition as it was suitable for our topic. Manysigns and experience show that the social and state behaviour, their democratic (or lessdemocratic) attitudes are mostly, although often secretely defined by social/communalconsciousness. This has a larger and blunter impact than any difficult social situation, limitedfield of movemetn or weak social knowledge, closed spiritual period. If that is true, and it issurely true, then the assumption is valid that post-modern civilisation should recreate at ahigher level the creation and ordering of collective consciousness. Consciousness-centredstate and democracy theory presuppose the integration of consciousness-centred individualand community conceptualisation of Eastern cultures.167 John Hagelin lecture at the conference of ISR, where the a Global Union of Scientists for Peace AchievingNational Invinciblity was introduced (27.01.2007.) 195
  • Having described the above, we must now conceptualise as a measured hypothesis asocial consciousness model, and in view of the model the sort of collective consciousness thatcould be developed. For the sake of simplicity, we can find hypothetical models from the newresults of quantum physics, space-time physics, information physics, consciousness physics. According to engineer and physicist István Dienes, it was physicist Roger Penrose168who realised that he should create such a complex state that is created from null geodesicscreated by abstract congruences. This would be the primary space behind quantum theory, thespace that was created by the fist photons in which quantum space curvature could be madeinterpretable. As the material that surrounds us is built up on elementary quantum particles,according to Roger Penrose the real spatial time could b born from this most basic space. Table 26.: The model of twisty-curvy social consciousness spaces As far as we are concerned, social consciousness is thus a primary and complex space,moreover it is the directly manifested consciousness space of spatial time. Previous metaphors(„cloud”, „mirror”, funnel”) do not suffice because the model of collective consciousnessspaces presuppose a multi-level, multi intervals, twisty, curvy social consciousness spaces. (Itis not our scope to introduce a comprehensive consciousness space-time theory at present.) Itwill be the task of transdisciplinary or rather metatheoretical research169of the coming decadesto create an accurate theory of individual and collective consciousness levels and systems. Insuch a model it will be perceptible and suggestible why and how a city or a continent wouldstep into a higher collective consciousness. The consciousness-centred democracy theory proves that the permanent conflictbetween interest-based and power-centred political realities is partially or totally aconsequence because the actors of democracy are not or not only actors of political interest,but they are also the personification of collective consciousness states. Simply put, therecognition is the following: in a parliamentary election it is not only political, economic,social interest groups competing but different social knowledge and consciousness groups,168 Roger Penrose (2004) The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of The Universe, Jonathan Cape,London, 2004169 Metaelmélet, metafilozófia (Metatheory, Metaphilosophy), ed. Csaba Varga, Institute for Strategic Resaarch,2006 196
  • which for the time being are not organised independently although cannot be forced intoparties while unnoticedly they bring party behaviour round. (This invisible procedure hasbeen decisive so far too, although the interest relationships of the industrial age and the spiritof the age hid away real events.) In the 21st century that civilisation, continent, country or culture is going to becomereally competitive and successful, which continues the building of consciousness societyworld model that starts the organisation of consciousness-centred society or the creation ofnew universal world state after the superficial, functional, material-centred quasi-modernisations. This partially overhangs earthly civilisation, while partially it goes furtherthan the subatomic level. It is not even sure that we will continue to talk about state anddemocracy at this stage. Even if we have some assumptions it is for the momentunforeseeable to what extent will the model be new. This is why one of the leading theories ofthe future could be the spiritual (collective consciousness-centred, real-time based,transcendent point of view, etc.) social, democracy, and science theories.170 The secret of theconceivable future: consciousness-centred post-society and post-democracy.170 David J. Charmels (2002): Philosophy of Mind, Oxford University Press; Science and The Primacy ofConsciousness, Intimation of a 21st Century Revolution (The Noetic Press, USA, 2000); A Tudat forradalma(The Revolution of Consciousness) Ed. Ervin László, Új Paradigma, Budapest, 1999; Metaelmélet, metafilozófia(Metatheory, Metaphilosophy) Institute for Strategic Research (ISR), 2006; Csaba Varga (2006) A globlokálvilág kultúrája (The Culture of the Globolocal World) in: Space, Society, Culture, VII. Educational SummerUniversity, Szeged, 2006); etc. 197
  • Chapter Fourteen: The characteristics of conceivablefuture scenarios We have already examined the future in this book. From this point on, however, wewould like to draft scenarios of state and democracy development. Future, this time round willdefinitely not simply be the linear extension of the present. There is an incredible number ofodds at stake because free will was given not only to individuals but also to humankind. Thefuture both in a positive and negative sense could be much unlike the yet sustainable present.The amplitude is always risky. Just because the 20th century was possibly the most foul andmost shameful century in the history of humankind, from this premise does not follow that thefuture cannot surpass the recent past that produced two world wars. It is in itself a risk factor that there is no nation, continent or culture that could single-handedly solve its own problems. Every actor could so much harm all other actors as theycould be beneficial, too. It is an another stressed risk factor that neither the old, nor the newhuman civilisation could solve its new conflicts that are so unlike those of today in the oldways. The biggest risk in itself would be if humankind and especially its leaders and themost influential global-local intelligentsia were not able nor wanted to find new solutions.The lack of new theories, hypotheses, new ways will pose a major difficulty for the future. If the challenges to the state, public administration and democracy are so mighty, thenan examination in an itemised manner is necessary to gain perspective in a broader and moreprofound way about the directions of these changes in the complex glocal world. We shouldnow discuss what future scenarios are on the agenda with regards to the development ofpolitical-social fields. What phases are we going to reach in the coming quarter or half acentury? We have already listed the most important characteristics of future scenarios in thechapter where basic notions were discussed. In order to help recollection, we are going torepeat the definition: future scenarios formulate the different alternatives of realising futurestrategies. One of the crucial elements of future state strategy in Hungary is that at the latest by2010 e-governance and e-public administration should be introduced at every level of publicadministration, in every institutional type and finally, in every Hungarian settlement andregion. Another critical factor is whether the establishment of participatory e-democracycould speed up in the 2010s and thus the conditions for a fourth republic could be graduallymet. The scenario stands also serious chances that states that nothing will change against therepeated state system crises beyond the development of e-public administration services.However, a reverse scenario could also happen: the political field under the pressure of socialnecessities or a new voluntary enlightenment will allow the state and democracy change totake place according to the demands established by the knowledge- and consciousness-centredage. The start was neither promising, nor dynamic. In the first year with the help of thenational development plan tenders, the realisation of some fourty e-public administrationprojects have commenced. There were applications invited in 2005. All in all, we might hope 198
  • that after the successful realisation of the almost fourty developmental projects, developmentsare continuing after 2006. The design will be most likely reformed and a unified (national,regional, small regional) system will or could come about. Based on the situation, middle-term scenarios that have started in either 2000 or 2005and will be realised by 2013, the end of the second national development plan. However, wemust examine and recognise realisable alternatives up to 2020 or 2030. The scenarios of e-public administration and e-state will naturally be based on the logics and recognitions offuture studies and future planning. In the last two decades of science, the so-called normalscience has reached the phase of post-normal science and has partially stepped into the periodof post-science. It is our professional duty to note that the scenarios of e-governance and e-public administration do not cross the border of normal and post-normal sciences. Finally, onefinishing remark: in this book there are no images of the future of knowledge and scenarios ofnew knowledge creation that could fundamentally influence e-public administration content. Long-term future scenarious offer different horisons and very different models. Thesedo not only cross the invisible border of post-normal science, but are also at home in thefuture world unconceivable at present. Familiarity could equally be true to cruel negative orsimilarly ruthless positive alternatives.14.1. The five types of complex future scenarios Future scenarios cannot elude neither complexity nor coherence. It is a majorrecognition that the future of e-public administration cannot be thought over in isolation andcannot be examined exclusively as a state development sequence of change either in publicadministration or in a broader dimension. The current and future public administration isequally dependent on economic, social and cultural changes. Local governance and publicadministration serves the interest of the citizen or, more broadly speaking, the interest of thecivil citizen, respectively; public administration thus significantly depends on the knwoledge,consiousness, mentality of each and every individual. The listed dependencies focused on thestate and local attachments so far, while in the framework of a new global and local worldstructure the local government of the smallest village is increasingly dependent on theperpetual changes of higher level civilisation and culture. According to the expected scenarios of the information age and knowledge age, thedifferent levels of world structures are as follows: • universal and global scenarios in the first third of the 21st century • European scenarios up until 2020 and further • the feasible five alternatives of Hungary (the vision of the first and second national development plan should serve as an example) • the scenarios of the Hungarian regions • future ways of settlements and small regions Any alternative at any level will necessarily have a global, European and Hungarianimpications just as it will influence the situation of public administration in Hungary, itsfuture atlernatives and developmental directions. One of the characteristics of the newsituation that certain levels of public adminsitration are dependent on the centralised state,European and finally, global public administration processes. E-public administration anywaydirectly allows all institutions at the lowest level to appear as actors at the highest continentallevel or global decision-making. 199
  • We will therefore attempt to summarise how at various levels of world structure whatsort of change sequences are currently taking place. Having analysed scenarios, we willdiscuss state, public administration and democracy development alternatives.14.2. Universal scenarios We are going to highlight four options of universal scenarios: 1. The scenario of internal destruction, self-destruction: the internal crises of humancivilisation (population, sustaining ability, ecological state, global economy, militaryconflicts, etc.) do not only continue but strengthen all of which culminate in hardlymanageable crises sequences. 2. The scenario of external destruction, devastation: the Universe, the Milkyway,solar system and/or the Earth is cosmologically endagered. We know at present too littleabout these dimensions so that we could approximately predict the time and manner of thesetypes of dangers. 3. The scenario of external support and assistance: Earth is offered a cosmic and/orspiritual life-belt. In this scenario other civilisations assist the Earth externally, withinformation and knowledge presently unknown. 4. The internal solution, the scenario of reform: external and internal destruction anddevestation is warded off, what more, solutions with a universal scope are found andcomprehensive positive steps are carried out. The people living in the present have but one option: to stay open and assume that alarge number of events could take place that cannot be reckoned with. Since currently wecannot talk about cosmic governance or public administration of the universe, seemingly thetask is „limited” to accepting the following: universal scenarios have an impact on the life allevery country and settlement. We can equally imagine that in the twenty to fifty years to comeeither some or no major universal crises will effect human civilisation, although the reverse isnot outlawed either and both a dramatic or an ideal turn is possible.14.3. Global scenarios By the global world we naturally understand the totality of human civilisation andculture, and thus only those future scenarios are to be listed under which have an impact onthe whole globe, or at least operate on a greater scale than one continent. According to our present knowledge, we can distinguish between four main types ofglobal scenarios that would have an impact on the European situation: namely, the globalscenarios of money-centred new capitalism, post-capitalism, the information age, andknowledge age. Money-centred new capitalism comprises at least seven partial scenarios: • The spread of global economy and transnational companies. • The sustainance of venturesome mass society and adventure society. • Changing world economy by a new control system. • The continuation of permanently unregulated present day monetarism.171171 Endre Kiss (2002): Monetarista globalizáció és magyar rendszerváltás (Financial Globalisation and theHungarian Regime Change) Ferenczy & Társa. 200
  • • Monetarism regulated by the market and/or the state (that is partially capable of self-regulation.) • The strengthening of symbolic monetarism. • Further strengthening of information finanancial economy. • The subsistence of increasing the degree of risk in the present world economy and society or its partial or total downfall. • Etc. This money-centred new capitalist model basically sums up the validity of monetaryworld model while it equally assumes its sustainability and insustainability.172 The break-down of this world model was forecasted repeatedly in the last decades; nevertheless, it hasnot yet come true. From all this, however, does not follow either that the sustainability of themonetary world model is guaranteed, even though it has considerable reform capabilities. The post-capitalist alternative comprises at least eight partial scenarios: • The continuation of successful technological revolutions. • Return to the natural economic order. • World crises caused by ecological crises. • Sustainable development, enviornmentally sound world. • New economy, the spread of information economy. • The development of locally sustainable islands. • The establishment of social capital-centred moral world model.. • The strengthening and practical development of global constitutional state. • Etc. The post-capitalist alternative comprises those developmental and crisis scenarioswhich are beyond the capitalist model covering the classical industrial age up to the newcapitalist alternative. In the following two decades similar scenarios could emerge and bevalidated. These alternatives could be summed up as the reform solutions of capitalism. Toput it differently, they are such future ways which go beyond one of more characteristics ofcapitalism while at the same time are part of the industrial-capitalist world reality. The alternative of information age comprises at least seven partial scenarios: • Classical IT development. • New information and communication world order. • The alternative of education-centred society. • Direct electronic democracy or quality democracy. • Tradition- and environment-centred information society. • Mediatised communication society. • Network citizen, digital citizen. • Etc. The information age started some decades ago, although its genesis is invariablydisputed. However, it has not yet come to an end for the time being; moreover, it is difficult ottell, when it is likely to end dominantly or its possible annulement. The information age couldbe still seen as a particular stage of new capitalism, while it comprises numerous elements172 For a detailed account see: D. Meadows, J.Randers, D. Meadows (2005) :A növekedés határai harminc évmúltán (The Limits of Growth: The Thiry Year Update) Kossuth Könyvkiadó, Budapest. 201
  • which could have a significant role in a global paradigm change. Its simple characteristics arethat the leading means of exchange and symbols are no longer money but information, which,theoretically speaking, is accessible to everyone. As the end of the information age paradigm, a new paradigm could evolve. This iswhy the alternative of knowledge age comprises at least eight partial scenarios: • New knowledge changes the world. • Knowledge is accessible to everyone – or respectively, it stays inaccessible to many. • It is the age of artificial intelligence. • New perspectives and new dangers in biology and biotechnology. • Humanity is integrated into the universe. • The alternative of knowledge society as a new mode of existence. • The rebirth of religions and a new type of transcendence. • The preparation of consciousness society. • Etc. Does history come to an end with the age of knowledge? Obviously not. What can beguessed or presumed based on current trends in itself offers numerous alternatives. Or thesame alternative could be referred to with various labels. After careful considerations we havecome up with the category of consciousness age. The alternative of consciousness age doesnot exist as present reality, but as a future reality it is intensively under construction. There isno guarantee that knowledge age or consciousness age model will indeed take place, althoughit is certain that the development of technology and the birth of new knowledge is going tocontinue. The global crises of the present and the future could obliterate this alternativealtogether or could push it to a more distant future. However, the development of knowledgeinto personal or social capital cannot be further delayed. The consciousness age cannot beimagined without radical changes in the state and state institutional system. Today, however,we cannot state with a certain finality that at the beginning of the twenty-first century a newstate or rather post-state will be born as it has been predicted by so many utopias. Post-scriptum (or rather the Thought of the Future): we should face the fact that theWest (or the Euro-atlantic culture) pointlessly, or with little efficacy is able to export itsmodel of representational democracy. This holds true even though for the East it is importantto learn and utilise democratic processes because that would help to exclude its own negativealternatives. We should also face the fact that East cannot be described as if it hadn’t had anydemocracy traditions or practices. In the vedic culture high level state theories wereformulated and have been applied for thousands of years.173 We should raise the question from a more general perspective: what are the similaritiesand differences beteen the Eastern and Western social governance and decision-makingculture and system? 1. The West: it has developed such a political-social democracy model,which aims at the governance of external reality and problem solving; it is a rational,institutional, and constitutional democracy174; 2. The East: it is not so much a political-social173 The title of the famous vedic book is Manusmŗti (Introduction by Dr. R.N. Sharma, Chaukhamba SanskritPratishtan, Delhi-110007)174 It is interesting to note to what extent the developed world does not understand nor has anything to add to thecurrent situation. Francis Fukuyama writes in his new book (America at the Crossroads, Századvég Könyvkiadó,2006) „The state is going to preserve one essential function which cannot be replaced by any transnationalelement: it is going to stay the one and only source of power which is capable of enforcing adherence to laws. So 202
  • but a sacrd order, it is a consciosness-based „democracy”, which initially „governs” internalreality (the world within the individual), and as a consequence the individuals with hihgconsciousness govern themselves and their world. The most ideal universal and global scenario would be if the two cultures did not onlymutually have an impact on each other, but the two democracy models could be unified andthis would become the general model of human civilisation. The West has not yet establisheda world government – for the moment and luckily for all of us. In the East (India), however,the centre of consciousness-world governance has been established. There are or could beperspectives and therefore we should look forward to its development. Extended footnote: What does consciousness-based governance entail? One of thepossibilities is the following: „The most important observation of vedic governance is therecognition of consciousness as an organisational force, and the identification of theorganisational force at every level of Creation. From this perspective, the organisations at everlevel of the Universe are the manifestations of the organisational force of consciousness,whether at a material, life or social level, thus the ability of organisation at every stage lies inthe force of consciousness. To put it briefly, we could say that social changes and thus thequality of governance is influenced and governed by the collective consciousness of thenation. Society, just as everything else in Creation, is a concept which is born in theconsciousness of individuals who create and make up society; its existence and sustainabilitydepends upon this consciousness.” „According to recent research, the field of consciousness isa topic of research in physics and it is parallel to the so-called unified field which is the homeof all natural laws that governs creation, which could scientifically explain the advent ofmaximal oraganisational force in the clear consciousness since natural laws arequintessentially that explicit manifestations of organisational force. It is these results andpractical application of knowledge that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi embodies when such smallercities have been built which ensure the continuous sustainability of greater meditating groups.The goal is that the group should achieve 50,000 people which is five times the size neededfor the order radiation to appear in the consciousness of human collectivity.” „The centre ofconsciousness-based world governance will be in the centre of India. The name of the newcity is Brahmastan. The name of the building: next to an earthly sized Ram Radz capitoliumthere will be a village for 16,000 pandits (vedic scientist). At present 8,000 pandits daily makethe Rudra Bishek routine,which in the collective consciousness evokes silence that bringsharmony to consciousness in the form of vedic mantra quavers; this will be done every dayciclically for close to 100 countries. The building will be inaugurated in 2007, mid-July at fullmoon. At this occassion the trained radzas by Maharasi will take place in the capitolium. Thistpye of consciousness-based sacral governance is the resusitation of vedic traditions.”17514.4. National scenarios If the new global and local world order is examined, then in this structure it is themiddle level (at national and nation-states level) that has reached a new role. The essence ofthis is the following: on the one hand, that the nation and the state raises us into the universaland global space-time, on the other hand, it functions as a screen from the negative effects ofthe universal global level. Moreover, the nation state integrates and supports the aspirations ofthat power stays effective, however, it should also be legimitate; permanent legitimacy presupposesinstitutionalisation that is at a far higher level than at present and is of cross-national nature” p. 22175 István Dienes (2007): Consciousness-based world governance in India (manuscript, 2007) 203
  • local levels and its development aims. On the other hand, it takes notice of the fact that locallevels must build screens against the encroachment and excessive impact. As far as Hungary is concerned, national scenarios comprise at least the following tencharacteristics, which simultaneously represent divergent alternatives: a) Because of the aging and decreasing population, the number of Hungarians to berelocated within the Hungarian borders should be maximised. b) And/or: because of the aging and decreasing population a few million non-Hungarian nationals should be invited to live in Hungary. c) The recreation of the economic nation primarily with the tools of the informationage; for achieving this new spiritual176and social resources and methods are drawn into. d) Instead of the state-centred nation a linguistic-cultural or knowledge nation shouldbe finally created; this should reach across current state borders. e) Or: after the geographical split of the nation state that had existed prior to Trianonthe national spiritual community is also pulled apart for good. f) The gradual but final extinction of national cohesion and identity – or perhaps itsintensive rebirth. g) In an optimal case: Hungary preserves its autonomy and culture within theEuropean Union and it becomes well known within the global world. Else, within the newglobal and local relations it will loose its national and cultural identity or within theframework of the European Union a peaceful quasi unification of nation will take placealthough even in the long run important parts of the nation will be left outside the borders. h) In a strong United States of Europe a „regional state” will be created instead of aHungarian nation state. A spiritual-sacred nation will be created, the universal Hungariantraditions will revive and be concentrated. i) etc. Thus if we are to research the future possibilities of the nation and the state, or in ourcase, the Hungarian nation and the state, then the enumerated characteristics shall be all takeninto account independently which one we consider to be potentially successful. If we take intoaccount the listed and not enumerated characteristics of the future options for Hungary, we areto discover at least five scenarios for the coming two decades: 1. black (the end of the world)alternative, 2. the dark gray scenario (serene immersion), 3. the light gray (see-saw)alternative, 4. the blue scenario (information and/or knowledge society), 5. white alternative(unified nation). In all of the five Hungarian scenarios a number of state, publicadministration and democracy models can be forecasted that differ from one another to a greatextent. The characteristics of the end of the world scenario: a) New capitalism fails partially or completely. b) Hungary drifts into a never-seen monetary world crisis. c) Hungary is part of the global and/or regional enviorenmental chatastrophy. d) The European Union disintegrates totally or partially, new regional wars and terror attacks take place. e) Hungary cannot withdraw herself from the effects of soft information world dictatorship. f) The radical decrease in population and the aging of population in Hungary further continues and accelerates. g) etc.176 László András: Spirituális gazda(g)ság (Spiritual economy, spiritual richness) see: Metatheory,metaphilosophy, p. 199 204
  • All of the above negative scenarios would symbolically and realistically either meanthe end of the world in Hungary, or it would create end of the world type of situtations. Weput together these characteristics for the first time in 1998; at that point nobody believed thatEurope could be a victim of an environmental catastrophy or of terror attacks. This is why it isnot advisable to underestimate these frightful future paths. The characteristics of immersion scenarios are as follows: a) The crises of money-centred capitalism are difficult to manage. b) Post-capitalist reforms fail to come about, or do not take place not even in thedeveloped world. c) National income repeatedly does not exceed two percent and Hungarypermanently becomes uncompetitive. d) We do not integrate into the global information age; all we do is to to keep up withthe spread of infocommunication technologies. e) Partial return to classical national economy or the socialist nationalised economy. f) To a limited extent, the Hungarian economy and society renounces the currentsocial street practices. g) etc. The immersion scenario identifies those dimensions and trends which could lead to theimmersion of Hungary. These factors by themselves could lead to a temporary or permanentfall; if two or three crises lock into each other, they could even elicit an end of the worldsituation or mood. That, however, also cannot be excluded that these dangerous alternativessucceed to a minor extent. Even in this scenario, though, Hungary would gradually slidedownwards in the order of world development. The reasons for a see-saw scenario could be the following: a) Hungary continuously pitches and tosses among the whirlpools of world economy. b) New capitalism, post-capitalism, information age does not create permanentlysustainable social and economic development. c) Hungary, which exhibits a mix of complex post-feudalist, post-socialist andclassical capitalist structure, would be struck by repeated crises. d) We integrate into the European information society in an uneven, limited way whilethe development of the European information society would also be clogged up. e) The political, economic, communication groups of Hungary would not be able to –organically - modernise the country even after having unified their efforts. f) The knowledge and trust-centred organisation of society will not happen at all orwould take place in a rudimentary way. g) Individual and group innovation and creativity is stiffled or pushed out. h) etc. Although with varying dominant elements, the see-saw scenario has characterisedHungary in the past decade. This is the case even though there has been temporary growth. Ifwe are to look around in the Hungarian reality, it is unrealistic to assume that the see-sawscenario will be invalidated in the next five years. See-saw entails ups and downs; in theoptimistic version this means that sometimes it is a little up, while at other times it is a littledown; the most attractive scenario envisions the situation of a five-year-old who persistentlysits at the end of the see-saw and comes to a standstill a little higher. If we are to think thisvision through, we do not have much reason for enthousiasm: although Hungary was not hitby end of the world scenarios and we do not move permanently neither up or downwards, therational orbit of a great leap forward is likely to be very far from us. 205
  • The important characteristics of knowledge society alternative could be: a) By the mid or end of the first decade in the twenty-first century a Europeanknowledge society will be created and the European Union will partially catch up in the worldcompetition of continents. b) In such a European space Hungary could become one of the creative nations andstates of the European knowledge society and is admitted to the developed knowledge-centredcountries. c) Even if the European Union delays the building of knowledge society or it is donein a rudimentary fashion, Hungary could still fall in line with or alternatively, further dropbehind among the European states. d) The Hungarian knowledge-based (innovation, research and development oriented)economy and society will successfully be created by the mid-2010s. e) In the global and European knowledge market the Hungarian knowledge industrydoes not only maintain but also improves its current position and it could become one of thenational knowledge centres of the developed world. f) By realising or even going beyond European trends, it intensively executes theprogram of e-governance and e-public administration at every level, including theestablishment of regional and digital public administration. g) By the partial realisation of knowledge society alternative, the Hungarian societydiminishes differences in social, spiritual and consciousness opportunities. h) etc. The knowledge-society model offers a rather positive alternative to Hungary, or morebroadly speaking, to the Hungairan nation. This, however, has very strict requirements. Onthe one hand, the new type of global and local world knowledge society model could hardlybe an isolated, introverted movement, thus it depends significantly on the development of theEuropean continent. On the other hand, it equally depends on the accomplishments of thegovernments over three to four parlamentary cycles as well as the state of consciousness andactions of the Hungarian society. Moreover, we should not forget that this knowledge societymodel could be equally realised at a low, mediocre or high level and thus it could produceresults of highly dissimilar quality. The root causes of unity society (or knowledge-centred society) scenario could be thefollowing: a) In the next thirty years the simultaneously global and regional conflicts of theinformation and knowledge society could be managed at a high level. b) Human and especially European civilisation is able to find partial or possibly totalsolutions to basic environmental, energetic, demographic, financial (etc.) problems. c) If the above conflicts and world problems are not adequately managed, universalfunctional crisis could enforce a completely new world order, which could initially be calledthe unity creating age. d) An important requirement of which is that the majority of humankind reachknowledge-centred lifestyles and could apply the old-new knowledge of humankind in theirpersonal lives and collective problem-solving. e) The spiritual condition of unity society is that by the middle of the century a unifiedtheory of nature, society and religions be created and that would give way to new ways ofthinking, new paradigms and new philosophies. f) Human civilisation, which will come out strengthened by the world crises of thepresent and immediate future, is going to continue the establishment of knowledge-oriented 206
  • and knowledge-centred world model, which could lead in the second part of the twenty-firstcentury to a unity-creating age, which for that matter could be identical with theconsciousness-based society model. g) etc. Naturally, nobody knows or guarantees that human civilisation and culture willrealistically be able to reach an age of external and internal unity. The formulation of unity-creating age alternative is „only” meant to serve the purpose that humankind, Europe andwithin it, Hungary should start formulating its own really long term future perspective thatwill look well into the end of the 21st century. Without vision and perspective we couldhardly plan even for one or two decades in advance. The unity-creating age (or consciousness-oriented age) is already a universal alternative, which applies to even the smallest ofsettlements. Within the framework of this future vision, the perspective of a state and publicadministration development could be worked out without exaggerated illusions and withoutthe fears for the future which could make us hollow and inert. Post scriptum: if at the global level a governance guided by collective consciousness isa possibility, then this should also be feasible within the realms of the Hungarian nation. Ifthe collective consciousness field is describable by the theory of unified fields in physics, thensooner or later such old-new consciousness deelopment (or manipulating) techniques could bedrafted, with which the consciousness level of society could be hightened. For doing so, newknowledge of numerous disciplines has been available for quite some time (from research ofancient traditions to social psychology, from mind and consciousness research totranspersonal psychology, from media studies to future studies). The relationship between politics and soul, polis and consciousness, democracy andmorality has been known for a long time. „The advantages of the big picture of the polis isthat the invisible tendencies and forces of the soul manifest themselves in the form of externalsocial orders and classes. The big picture enlightens the internal and reveals an abundance ofmomentums which are in conflict with one another fighting for sovereignty.” „If throughnurturing the soul and by an active morality glimpse a new life is possible, then a new polismust be an option, too. What is implied that the essential glimpse of nurturing the soul shoulddart on the community, too; this is the way to construct the state of justice and training. Thestructure of a just soul in such a state should become apparent as part of the structure of socialorder and classes where responsibility does not inherit wealth, whose continuous growth isalso contained and which for the sake of the whole it settles for more modest possessions,where thus the dominance of responsibility is also discernable in the analogy of desire; wherepower is never autonomous and rests upon itself; because it is based and controlled by thehighest quality glimpse, it is able to mediate between both extremes.”177 To continue the analogy above, the new plan of the Hungarian nation is thus noneother but the vision of a new polis, where the new polis is but the manifestation of thecollective soul and consciousness. Every single real change should first and foremost takeplace in the collective consciousness. In order for the above to be achieved, it would be worthy to unfold and interpretancient democractic regulations found in ancient annals, veracities, legends and other177 Jan Potoćka (2001): Európa és az Európa utáni kor (Europe and the Post-European Age), Kalligram,Budapest, p. 99-100) 207
  • narratives as well as the types of decision-making processes applied. We should reach thestage to be able to qualify and apply the policies and methods of pre- and post-Hungarianconquest.14.5. Local scenarios One of the dominant poles of the new global-local order is locality, which is noneother but the ensemble of all levels below the nation state: namely, that of the region, county,small region, settlement. If after the millenium next to globalisation localisation is going tohold an important role, then local scenarios are going to become highly significant withinfuture perspectives. In the next decade it is expected that the independence of local regions inHungary (in an oversimplified way, the seven regions and 166 small regions) could beattained and thus its capacity for self-organisation and self-governance will also significantlychange for the better. Local regions and worlds are at any rate as differenciated and diverse asthe dominant or submissive groups of states in the global world. Within the framework of thissubject, we necessarily concentrate on the future perspectives of the local units in Hungary. The overall characteristics of Hungarian localities until the end of the 2020s are; • Based on social traditions of nature, objects and economy Hungarian regional unitswill be established for good. • In an ideal situation, at least three, maximum seven local-government regions willbe born and will be here to stay based on the established social and cultural units. • The strengthening of intelligent civil society and its broad institutionalisation isgoing to speed up in every region. • With the efficient participation and control of intelligent civil society the localknowledge-based eocnomy is going to stabilise and will gradually, although to a larger degreethan currently, is going to integrate in the the European and global economy. • As a result of the co-operation between the central state subvention and theregional society, local cultures (as the units of national culture) do not only maintain butstrengthen their identities. • Within regional levels or at lower levels of locality similar developments are goingto take place, which means that the emphasis does not fall any longer on counties but also onsmall regions and bigger settlements, while not even the smallest of settlements will be in aninextricable state. • Lifestyle and life quality developments are going to increasingly become supportpriorities within regional dvelopment, next to economic or public administrationdevelopments. • Etc. This future perspective is based on that assumption that the development oflocalities is not only possible but are necessary. This starting point regards the strengtheningthe role of localities as real alternatives; it assumes that it is not only European or Hungarianstate interest and thus the citizens of regions and small regions as well as civil societyorganisations are going to support the the process. It does not follow from this, however, thatthe nation state would loose its significance, function or honour. New globalisation andlocalisation is really characterised by the following: the nation state is substantially andfunctionally weakened and eroded from top to bottom by globalisation and from bottom to topby localisation. However, there are reverse processes that are expected to take place in themember states of the European Union, too. In the new world order the state and local levels 208
  • could equally have new roles and competencies. From this perspective, localisation could gaingreater autonomy and role, although this new independence and will is going to need statescreening/umbrella. Here are the possible scenarios for the coming two decades of the Hungarian localregions or worlds: • Suffering scenario: the sometimes dynamic, other times agressive universal-globalscenarios cannot be warded off and local regions will have to undergo these universalchanges. • Joining the top team. By proper utilisation of European and state support all or themajority of the Hungarian local regions could be among the best European localities. • Locality-centred new type of nation scenario: In the Carpathian basin Hungarianlocal regions and settlements are going to co-operate with one another in order to create aknowledge society model that crosses borders. • The internal split scenario: in the Hungarian localities regional and socialdifferences and opposing interests are going to consoldiated between regions and amongregions. • Central Europe is the island of the future scenario: independently of the crisis inthe European Union, Central European and within it Hungarian localities are going tointensively develop and organise themselves into a big region of innovative, knowledge-based, sustainable development. • etc. We have briefly touched upon locality scenarios in order to show that in a locality friendly universal – global world local scenarios could take very divergent routes. The listed five scenarios do not deplete all possible scenarios, although they indicate that even under good global conditions, without the necessary internal will and awareness very divergent results are possible, which could for instance lead to a state of permanent split. If, however, at a continental and Hungarian state level we manage the local wishes and responsibilities, we could reckon with a highly developed locality network by the end of the 2010s in the Carpathian basin. Post scriptum: This book has presented one of the possible future visions in greatdetail, this is the Aba model. We should only add to this, that in Aba a local adult trainingcivil university was started in 2005. At the first lecture students created and identified thecollective consciousness of Aba (its symbolic name being Abasára Abafalvi). So far, we havelearned from the model experiment of Aba democracy develoment that the discovery and theorganisation of collective consciousness is the easiest if it takes off at the local level.14.6. On the chances that the scenarios are going to be realised (orleft unfinished) Above, we have listed the global, national and local possible changes and thescenarios that accompany these changes. We attempted to escape simplifying the matter toyes or no scenarios, we tried to indicate it at every possible step that it is not feasible to thinkin either positive or negative scenarios. If we agree upon that there are numerous presents andfutures, then it follows that there is a number of good, better, less bad or extremely badalternatives. The analysis was made more difficult by the fact that we cannot limit ourselves 209
  • to Hungary and its future since in the new world order changes at the global, state and localtake place paralelly, and thus they either help or damage the chances of the others. First of all, we should examine the chances of Hungary depending whether theuniversal, global and continental processes are either advantageous or disadvantageous to thiscountry or not. First of all, we should analyse if the changes in the external space are notadvantageous: a) If the global and European situation are that of crises, the situation of the worldeconomy and world society are full of conflicts, then one of the possibilities for Hungary isthat it helplessly slides back in the world developmental scale. b) A scenario that is even worse than the above one is if the disadvantageous situationis magnified and exaggerated by Hungary, if it is going to be guided by fear and in this casethe chances of failure are multiplied. c) The third scenario represents that assumption that Hungary together with theEuropean states attempts to defend themselves against crisis, but this unified defense provesfutile or it brings only very modest results. d) The reverse scenario comprises the following: the European Union and Hungary onthe one hand defend themselves effictively to avert world crises, on the other hand, Hungaryplays an important role in successful conflict management. e) Independently or alternatively, jointly with other active partners (although not withevery single member of the European Union) Hungary averts disadvantageous phenomenaand its results. We should secondly take notice of what and how could happen if the global andcontinental chances are going to be advantageous to Hungary: 1. The first scenario is still disconcerting and implies helplessness because it cannot beexcluded that Hungary, or more precisely the dominant Hungarian power groups do not orhardly undertand the possible road to be taken in the external space. 2. One of the independent scenarios is that Hungary is going to subtly decline, for onereason or another, the advantageous or semi-advantageous chances. 3. We are well experienced in the role of loyal vasals and as such how to conform tothe great powers surrounding us, and therefore it is always a realistic danger that we are goingto get lost in the empty, formal adaptation. 4. Due to the internal disintegration or habitual internal disagreement, Hungarianpolitics (including the economy and society) is not capable of fully utilising chances. 5. Within the European Union and the global world, Hungary is a continuously goodperformer and with this attitude it is able to cunningly and successfuly utilise the advantagesof the external space offered. 6. The ideal scenario would be if Hungary and all its comprising regions were able touse advantageous situations in a sovereign manner; moreover, if they were able to orientateamong concrete opportunities and therefore they could even achieve better results than theywould stand chances. As it could be seen above, the answers the Hungarian state might give to advantageousor disadvantageous global and continental change are numerous and highly divergent. Theexternal space does not in itself determine anything because the preparedness and attitudeswithin Hungary play at least as important a role. Recognising this, we should now examinewhat happens if our starting point is not the external conditions but the internal intensions ofthe Hungarians. Hereby we assume that the political-economic elite of the Hungarian societyidentifies itself to some degree with the expected action possibilities. 210
  • The first alternative: within the Hungarian society the unified and simultaneous willcannot be expected, and therefore such a scenario cannot even be theoretically imaginedwhere a country or a state unanimously support a future perspective or group that is able toaccept it. The second alternative: because of past and present divisions, it is realistic to assumethat only a minority is going to be unified and have a common will. In this case there is stillhope that the minority of Hungarians consciously would choose knowledge society as theirfuture. The third alternative: We cannot exclude, however, that against the will and/orconcept of the majority, the national-social program of the minority together with itsrealisation is partially or completely hopeless and therefore the immediate aim would limititself to partial and rudimentary realisation of the new future perspective. The fourth alternative: because of the lack of sufficiently developed national civilsociety, the key role is still attributed to the political, social, economic elite that representsHungarians to the external and internal world. At this moment we do not experience such acomprehensive political and social will above the political parties which could equal thesupport of a (new consciousness) new future. The fifth alternative: if the new alternatives cannot or are insufficiently represented bytraditional politics by the middle of the century, then the main goal is going to be to organise asocial, spiritual will that is independent of politics. The sixth alternative: if the minority of the Hungarians is partially consciouslypositive about the new world because they understand and they supoort the new alternativewhile simultanously the interest and value groups of the majority do not pose unsurmountablehurdles, and moreover, the intensions and problems of the majority are further strengthenedby the universal and continental future alternatives, then... The previous sentence did not need to be finished because for many it would beobvious that if the internal and external conditions were advantageous, then Hungary withintwo to three decades could get close to the realisation of aims that are close to ideal.Naturally, not only the materialisation of disadvantageous but advantageous scenarios couldbe left unfinished. At this point we should also note that it is not the habit of the scenarios totake place in a clear form, or to put it differently, the reality is always the result of thecombination of scenarios. On the other hand, the future always creates more, unexpected,uncalculated, unforecasted new conditions and new opportunities, especially in the presentcomplex situation. We do not have a reason to either give up, to step back or become desperate. Bycomparing trends we would like to emphatically note that against the difficulties the future isenvisagable, that the future perspectives can be worked out and the reality of the future, atleast partially, can be tallied to our chosen goals and values. Well, do we still hope or believein the ability to change? 211
  • Chapter Fifteen: The combined future of the new state, newe-public administration and participatory democracy Hopefully, we have so far succeeded in clarifying concepts related to the future, itsmost important connections and the vital scenarios of the future. In this chapter the task is todraft the future image of the state, e-public administration and participatory and/or e-democracy for the coming fifteen to twenty years (or longer). It follows from our approachthat the future comprises not one but several alternatives. Every single alternative has incommon, however, the fact that it is not simply the continuation of the current ways ofthinking and action plans, since the European and necessarily, the Hungarian state and publicadministration theory and practice could undergo a number of paradigm changes. Naturally,the first paradigm change is the widespread introduction and hopefully the success of e-governance and e-public administration that follows from the ideology and practice ofinformation society. However, the slow (unorganic and unevolutionary) sequence of change is ultimatelygoing to quickly reach the limits of the currently valid and practiced system. What is going tohappen in the grey zone between the changes? We haven’t reached the greyzone so far. In the first sequence we necessarily andnaturally need to interpret and apply the currently valid European and Hungariangovernmental and professional strategies and the consequences that follow from them. Sincethe accepted governmental plans are of very similar mentality and represent a highly identicalfuture prospect, it is a relatively simple matter to interpret them in a comprehensiveconceptual framework and developmental activity. For this reason, we are going to introducein the sections below the indispensable social developments needed for e-publicadministration, technological developments required for the introduction of e-democracy,public administration (local government and state administration) reforms as well as thepractical application of new knowledge needed for the paradigm change in publicadministration. In the last subsection we are going to give an itemised account of the newstate and democracy, initiated by the results of e-public administration developments.15.1. What comes after new infocommunication techonologies havebeen introduced? One of the curiosities of the European and Hungarian e-public administration and e-public administration development model is that the first steps of the new programme werenot initiated neither by public administration, nor by civic action but that they were essentiallyenforced by the technological developments pervading the global world. As so many times inhistory, new technology was far more advanced than either politics or economy. Newtechnology has arrived in Hungary in the last decade, which is called information andcommunication technology, and which has the label of infocommunication technology. Theestablished concepts nevertheless do not comprise the characteristic on the one hand, that it isessentially a mediatised infocommunication technology, on the other hand, that thistechnology is continuously outmoded. Even experts do not refer to post-infocommunicationtechnologies, although based on the technological forecasts it is unequivocal that practically 212
  • every five years a technological paradigm change is expected in the world (changes in thehardware and software culture). The future perspectives of e-public administration should therefore be able to forecastwith considerable safety the characteristics of newer and newer infocommunicationtechnology development, such as: • The circle of information carrying devices (telephone, television, computer,mobile phone, etc.) is going to flare relatively fast and basically all devices used by people(cars, fridges, glasses, clothing, watches, etc.) are becoming an information carrying andmediating tool. • The spread of nanotechnology is going to continue at an astounding pace in thenext decade. • The majority of tools that carry and mediate information will become mobile. • Suitably to the communication demands of the age, the listed devices aresimultaneously becoming – with few exceptions – communication and media tools. • The boundaries between the state and civil institutions interested in providingpublic administration services will be dissolved completely. • In the new age of infocommunication tools and services, approximately from the2010s on the role of artificial intelligence is going to increase significantly and will eventuallybecome dominant. • One of the big technological turns of the coming years is that the new generationof infocommunication technology is going to be in direct contact with the human body andthus technology will have acces to the individual and collective consciousness. • The use of infocommunication tools is no longer dependent on wires and in thecoming decades new networks are going to be established on considerably new theories andtechnologies (the introduction of quantum and organic computers, etc.) in everydaycommunication. • By the midtwenty-first century, the current infocommunication network, system,services is going to look like a fossilised technology. Irrespective of the fact that presently learning and applying current technologyrepresents a major obstacle for every single Hungarian local government and theiremployees, it cannot be denied that in the mid-term perspective and already within a decadethere are going to be further technological changes, - even against the limited state budget.Weshould therefore note that while new findings, new discoveries, new services are reported on aweekly basis, one thing is certain, namely, that the further development of infocommunicationtechnology is erratic, which could imply an unceasing source of conflict for publicadministration.15.2. New public administration and office work: k-publicadministration While discussing the concepts of public administration and e-public administration,we have already noted that there is a fundamental difference between on the one hand, thestate and public administration of the industrial age, information age and knowledge age, andthe state and societies of the various periods on the other hand. In this future perspective, acomparison between paradigms of the industrial and informaiton is no longer necessary.However, we should also turn our attention to the state and public administration models 213
  • beyond knowledge age. At this stage, we are going to limit ourselves to the state modelrepresenting and developing knowledge age; and thus we hereby are going to draft possiblefuture perspectvies of the state institutional system and public administration model. Public administration – service-providing public administration – community public administration e- public administration – service- providing e-public amdinistration and m-public administration – t-public administration Table 27.: New concepts of public administration (Csaba Varga) The official definition of e-governance had already been defined in earlier stages:„Both in the state jargon as well as in every day language use, electronic governance (e-governance) has already grown into a remedy of universal future perspective. The meaning is accordingly not „uni-dimensional”, it rather attempts to grasp theongoing processes of reality at more levels. The most typical contents of its meaning are: • the comprehensive reform of public administration (and jurisdiction), • technological modernisation of public administration, • multi-functionality of services and of channels that make services available, • the establishment of institutionalised, consultative, partner relations between thegovernment and citizens as well as between its communities, which jointly lead to a newdemocracy situation.”178 Future is necessarily not limited to such public administration strategy. Taken that thestate of the information age is digital in nature and that the public administration of theinformation is e-public administration or m-public administration, then, according to thesecategories, the state and public administration of knowledge age is knowledge state and k-public administration. The letter k obviously does not only refer to knowledge but to theconsciousness of new public administration and the aspiration to place the cooperationbetween the new state and citizen to a new standard. Because it has not yet been clarifiedneither in the European nor in the Hungarian thinking on public administration andknowledge society what k-public administration actually means beyond being a higher levele-public administration development, we relatively get a free hand when it comes to definingthis future perspective. However, we can rest assured that experts are going to makenumerous new concepts public in the next decade. K-public administration (K/c as knowledge and consciousness) is going to be definedby the following recognitions: • Firstly, e-governance and e-public administration should be introduced at everysignificant level of public administration on every settlement. As a consequence, every citizenand every community would be able to manage administrative issues faster, easier and in amore efficient, online way.178 MEH e-Governance Centre (Hungarian abbreviation: EKK) 214
  • • Within public administration, e-public administration services should focus oninteractive intelligent administration between the public administration institutions and thecitizen in such a way that the public administration should make use of the opportunitiesprovided by the new infocommunication tools, technologies, services with as little delay aspossible. • The traditional European state model will alter gradually, and so from the model ofruling state a shift is going to take place towards the model of service-providing andsocialised state. The state is going to get closer to its citizen and, at least theoreticallyspeaking, the citizen is going to be closer to the state, too; both will be motivated by publicand communitiy interests. This is going to be or could be the communal publicadministration. • The first public function of the state will not only be supported by the fact thatstate and non-state institutions intensively create and transmit high-level knowledge for everygroup of society; it will also entail that the state and state apparatus is going to continuouslylearn and apply this new knowledge in a mandatory way. • Artificial knowledge should be employed in all state institutions, and where it ispossible artificial initelligence should redeem an institution, state machinery and/or service. Isit realistic to assume that the artificial communal intelligence will be reached? • If civil society and all its new institutions that are independent but supported bythe state will be created and strengthened, then the k-state (or intelligent state) andknowledge-oriented civil society (intelligent society) should enter into a new type of contract. • From 2010 onwards, a new network world community will be created, thus it isgoing to be a system of numerous poles in a global world state; surely the United EuropeanStates would come into being as part of a parallel process, which would not necessarily havethe characteristics of the current model of nation states. Finally, regional „small” states will becreated, which would not constitute the miniature version of the previous nation state model. • Just because in the past centuries the state ruled over its citizens, it does not followthat in the next few hundreds of years the citizens should rule the state. If intelligent civilsocieties are going to be created, if new types of social contracts are going to come into being,then a double paradigm change should take place, or put it differently, a new and real balancebetween the state and the citizens could be achieved only if there are not only legal, but socialand cultural guarantees, too. • If the external and internal threat does not diminish either significantly or at all atthe global and local levels, then the new state should find remedies with the help of newtechnology, new methods and new approaches to cure the underlying reasons of dangers. Onthe other hand, we should not forget about the the essentially intelligent state network, whichwill simultaneously exist at the global, continental, national and local levels, will bepermanently threatened if the first half of the twenty-first century is not going to be able togive birth to a new type of (knowledge-centred, intelligent, successful conflict manager)world community. • These new issues for debate could be further developed. We should thus conclude that firstly, public administration is going to undergo at leastevery ten years newer and newer paradigm changes; secondly, the direction and lifespan ofthese cannot be the result of a spontaneous development; thirdly, based on our currentknowledge and future perspective, public administration is going to reach the period ofcommunity-based k-public administration. 215
  • 15.3. Is new knowledge and new consciousness unavoidalbe inpublic administration? If we examine any of the lower level paths leading to new state and publicadministration, we are confronted with the recognition that in every instance the developmentof public administration based on post-modernisation simultaneously requires new knowledgeand new consciousness. There should be no misconception about it: new knowledge and newconsciousness is needed in the political system and local society alike, as well as in the statemachinery and the families and citizens concerned. From the two requirements it is newknowledge that could be somewhat easier defined because it could be logically thoughtthrough. For new technologies, new services and new co-operation or for newcommunication, too new knowlede is needed, that is, all kinds of new knowledge. For themore or less harmonious co-operation between the communal state and citizens newconsciousness and new consciousness quality are required, notions that are currently unclearand undefined. As far as we are concerned, the knowledge and consciousness content of publicadministration is primarily defined by the following characteristics: • If in the system and practice of public administration continuous transformationsare taking place, then it is but natural that we need new information and new knowledge tounderstand and perform change. • The first group of indispensable new knowledge belongs to new technologicalknowledge which are necessary for public administration services. • The second group of indispensable knowledge is public administration knowledgethat makes the operation of public administration possible (for example the digital library oflocal legislation, the information science database of the settlement and/or region), theknowledge centre of public administration strategies, programs and developments, the nameand address list of the local population, etc.) • From the new knowledge types necessary for public administration we shouldhighlight those and list them in a separate group which are necessary for the oversights ofpublic services, thus refer to the economy, trasport, education system, medical network orregional development of a given public administration region. These types of knowledgewould be useful to collect and make public in a (regional, small regional, city) informationcentre; this centre should for obvious purpose be accessible online, too. • In the next decade thus every single type of knowledge requisite to publicadministration should be made accessible to every single citizen and community as well aseconomic association,etc. This implies that we should be obliged to bridge information gapsor information gulfs. • If public administration is going to join the k-public administration (or some othersimilar public administration) model, then artificial intelligence could play a dominant rolethus by applying artificial intelligence we could reach a new stage of knowledge and higher-level knowledge operationality. • The second part of this chapter’s title is not by chance about change inconsciousness. For the present-day and subsequent public administration new consciousnessand consciousness contents are needed: current public administration expects from its co-workers service consciousness, while from the local society – what shall we call it? – service-receiving consciousness. • K-public administration and intelligent public administration based on artificialintelligence, however, requires a new state of consciousness and consciousness quality from 216
  • both sides (the employees of public administration and the public administration receivinglocal citizens) which could be called simultaneously individual and community-centred, pastand future-oriented as well as knowledge and consciousness-guided settlement/regionalcollective consciousness. • Etc. Among the expected changes, it is the knowledge and consciousness content of thenew modernisation, or post-modernisation of public administration that is the most arduous tosummarise. If this future perspective is realised and a new type of state and publicadministration system is going to materialise in the whole of Europe and Hungary, as part ofit, then the requirement and result of it will be the new communal public administrationknowledge and consciousness. In the coming decades thus development does not only meanthat the quality of knowledge and consciousness of public administration and localadministration institutions changes for the better, but also those of local and regional societies,too. This implies on the one hand a new type of thinking, on the other hand, a new identity.To put it differently, the alienation between the citizen and state should be sooner or later besucceeded by a new relationship between the citizen and the public state that is ultimatelybased on new technology and the utilisation of artificial intelligence.15.4. Intelligent civil society – and what comes after it We should repeatedly note that the future perspective of e-public administration and e-democracy is based on such a central future requirement according to which the relationshipbetween public administration and local society is closer than ever. Two directions ofdevelopment could be envisaged: one from the civil service, the other from local society. Thequestion is thus what direction of development are settlements and smaller regions going totake and what requirements they pose to public administration as well as the way it couldstrengthen self-development in public administration. This is why the most importantpropelling force of future public administration is, more than ever, the expected developmentof local socities, - or the contrary could also happen, namely, the lack of development andcontinuation of local „commmunities” characterised by frustration and limited cohesivepower. In our opinion the following significant recognitions are going to characterise localsociety (or civil society) in the future: • Especially in the last decade, Hungarian public administration has tried tointroduce and amend service-providing public administration, while in the coming decadesmultidimensional small regional public services are going to be established and strengthened.These processes could help the development of community co-ordination in local societies, orshall we rather say that the fragmented local societies could be on a good path to develop theirinternal network systems. • The European and Hungarian information society in the next few decades is goingto be established also at a local level and that will create a new quality. If the publicadministration system of the age is e- or m-public administration, this process will on the onehand require, on the other hand support the development of intelligent civil socities where thestrenghtening of the social fabric will be done so much by information as knowledge and co-operation. This is why we have introduced the concept of intelligent civil society. • One for the new alternatives could be that local society is going to enter into a newsocial contract in two different ways: on the one hand, an internal contract would regulate thestatus of social groups with one another, on the other hand, the social contract will shed light 217
  • to the relationship between local sociey and local quasi-power. This is also linked to ademocracy model, which distinctly attempts to integrate the citizens of local society intodecison-making and execution of decisions in a direct and regular fashion. • By and large, through the broadening of opportunities for the intelligent civilsociety, most Hungarian settlement and small regional civil societies could become integratedinto the new global spatial structure of the Central-European and European continentalsociety. This opportunity offers on the one hand, the broadening of horisons, on the otherhand, an opening for co-operation. • If the age of information and knowledge-society is going to be followed by furthersocial models, then we should face the challenge of establishing a public administration ornew local social model in the value-centred and/or consciousness-centred and/or unified agetaking note of those external crises that could endanger the period in question as well as theadvantageous/disadvantageous situation of new technologies. This is why we carefullyforecast that the age of intelligent civil societies will materialise when the individual andcommunity consciousness is developed and operated by the local unity society. • Etc. Hoping that in the next twenty to thirty years both globalisation and localisation isgoing to support so much individualisation as a new kind of individualisation linked tocommunity, then we could partially or totally return to an organic social develomental model.This on the one hand follows all previous models, and thus such a society form is going to beestablished, that could offer numerous alternatives to Hungarian local societies. From theabove, we have highlighted the intelligent civil society and consciousness-developing localunity society.15.5. Finally, is the new state and new democracy vision born? We have so far attempted to summarise those elements which jointly make up themiddle- and long term e-public administration future vision and perspective. The state visionconstitutes simultaneously the base and summit of this vision which could also materialise innumerous alternatives, although the state future perspective necessarily goes hand in handwith a new democracy model. As the final element of a pubic administration future vision, weare going to draft a multi-version state and democracy vision. We have repeatedly noted thatthese visions aim at positioning, they attempt to offer optimal solutions although they do notrepresent an exclusive solution and could not offer any guarantees whatsoever. We shouldalso highlight that all imagined future alternatives have so far only partially come true inhistory and therefore such visions need continuous corrections, - if they were not to failaltogether. As far as we can tell, the following recognitions are going to define the new state anddemocracy in the coming decades: • The essence of dilemmas cannot be grasped by such notions as small state or bigstate, inexpensive state or costly state because these offer alternative answers based on thecharacteristics of the state. For a public administration perspective our starting point must be afundamentally new state model, state structure and operation altogether. • Independently of the political systems and regimes, there have been very fewchanges in the last hundred and fifty years in Hungary. The nationalised state model wasprimarily built on the realisation of centralised political rule and the bottom-up social desireswere taken into account only to a limited extent. 218
  • • The first substantive attempt to create a balance between the central and non-central state elements is offered by the introduction and application of informationtechnology. It is not by chance that the notion of e-state and e-governance has beenintroduced in Europe, which is far from being identical with the modernisation of statetechnologies. As a result, the state has become more transparent and the publicity of itsoperation has also strengthened. It is the responsibility of the political elite in each and everycountry to continue this modernisation by the introduction of new technologies or whether thedevelopment is stopped at some point. • E-state and e-public administration requires the state to become a service-providing state, while local society should be willing to co-operate and should use theopportunities of the service-providing state. • The systems of state aims that is operated in a faster, more precise, fairer and moretransparent fashion also lead to new state models. As we have already summarised this in thechapter dealing with the conceptual framework, the new alternatives could be calledknowledge state, communal state, integrating state, sacred state, etc. Every new model,however, is linked one the one hand by the fact that the state is value-centred without actuallysupporting all the accepted norms of a particular era; on the other hand, based on valueparadigms the development strategies that will define the state will of innovation, creativity,national state strategies. Even though it sounds awkward, this is the vision of a non-neutralneutral state. It is simultaneously a competitive and a new welfare state, although these twoconcepts are not identical in meaning to those we meantby them in the twentieth century. • The new type of state is spiritually and practically possible if the citizens take upan active role and co-operate with the new state, - and they are thus no longer isolated. This iswhat we mean by the socialised state and the state developing society. • Democracy and the institutional system of democracy is on the one hand the frameof the operationality of the state and society, on the other hand it is a procedural andmethodological system. For any new state to develop, it is essential to keep to the rules ofdemocracy and of legislative procedures. Within Europe it is well known that the concept andprogramme of e-democracy is the first stage of development. This, however, is not onlylimited to the modernisaiton of democracy with infocommunicational means. • For decades the world has been talking about participatory democracy arguing thatthe representative democracy should be replaced by this new model. Although e-democracy isalready partially participatory democracy, it also represents one of the early models of virtualdemocracy. If e-elections are going to become a general practice while local e-society will beoperational, this in itself will not mean a radical shift in the democracy model. Long termfuture is presumably such a new model which is organically linked to the new state model andfor the moment we can only but guess its name: knowledge democracy, knowledge-centreddemocracy, unity democracy, sacred democracy... • Etc. It is of special interest how the Hungarian government imagined the future of e-governance in 2005. What did the power centres expect and count with? • the establishment of real bi-lateral relations between state and citizens; • more efficient, more transparent, less expensive public admnistration; • the establishment of electronic democracy; • ensuring the free flow of information. To sum up we should note that in the present a global, European and national society anew state and democracy model is gradually going to be established as divergent alternatives.The Hungarian model will be partially and necessarily dependent on the European direction, 219
  • on the new ideals chosen by the majority of the Hungarian population as well as the old andnew contraints of the scenarios Hungary will be part of. As far as we can tell today, thedirection which e-governance and e-democracy choose to take is an alternative to besupported, although this only refers to the first kilometers of the long path. 220
  • Chapter Sixteen: Diverging (and decisive?) alternatives ofthe near future As a first step, we are not yet going to call Europe to account about the new state andnew democracy practices. We should at present settle for the question whether electronic stateand democracy is going to be established at all as a first possible developmental stage. The alternatives likely to materialise predict the popular and chosen ways aas well asthe scenarios according to which they could be realised. In a previous chapter we drafted ingreat detail those universal, global, national and local scenarios that are feasible. In thischapter we are going to examine how the future perspectives of e-public administration and e-democracy could be linked with the delineated future scenarios. Here we will pay specialattention to national/state and local scenarios. All in all, we are going to draft six alternative scenarios below.16.1. The e-state and e-democracy scenarios We should first formulate the scenario which is closest in time but which could unfoldin a number of ways. What do the e-state and e-democracy scenarios look like? ■ According to the national doomsday scenario and the local suffering scenario everysingle further modernisation and development of the state is going to be annuled. ■ Furthermore, the national immersion and see-saw scenario, as well as internaldisruption local scenario could be connected; if that takes place development could also cometo a hault, although the immersion and see-saw scenarios could join more positive localscenarios (joining the top team players, for instance). In this latter case, however, internaldevelopment could enforce a devleoped local e-state and e-public administration at settlementand regional level. ■ The national development scenario of knowledge society if it met the local joiningof top team players scenario would make it possible to establish a knowledge-centred stateand local government, as well as the development of local, digital, participatory democracy. ■ In the new global and local world structure, the development of e-democracy and ahigh level e-public administration could also unfold if at national level we are not capable ofstepping over the see-saw scenario. ■ The ideal future could be created if the global knowledge age and unity age of thenational unity society scenario as well as the local Central European island of the futurescenario could mutually reinforce each other. It goes without saying that the five alternatives listed above have by far not exhaustedall the scenarios that could be realised, although it adequately characterises the complexityand divergent outcome of the reality of future building.16.2. The European Union, - the odds of an e-federal state 221
  • We should not pretend that the near future and the future of the European Union isclear, transparent and manageable. It is not simply a matter of accepting or rejecting the newconstitution. The continental dilemma is grave and cannot be answered: in the information orpost-information age, among a global competition of states and state federations what shapeand content shall the European federation take? ■ The scenario of universal internal destruction or self-destruction could meet theglobal alternative of monetary new capitalism scenario. In this case, the chances of any sort ofEuropean state federation would be zero. ■ If by accident the universal external and internal destruction scenarios would takeplace at the same time, then there is no better solution possible for the European continent. ■ If a universal scenario of some sort of chatastrophy did not wreck the global post-capitalist information and knowledge age scenarios altogether, then in theory at least, it wouldexclusively depend on Europe which alternative it chooses: the Union could partially ortotally disintegrate, it could equally become an e-state federation with the help of informationor knowledge age developments. ■ If any closer European integration or e-state federation was to be opposed bymember states, information and knowledge age technologies and services would still beoffering higher-level possibilities for a virtual cohesion and co-operation. ■ If the world advances so much towards unification as differentiation, then the mostlikely alternative is that in this multi-layered world structure every element, and thus at thecontinental level is simultaneously going to integrate and strengthen their autonomy. The enumerated and non-enumerated alternatives equally show that there are not onlynumerous positive models possible, but that positive model includes the ideal or theunacceptable outcome wished by nobody.16.3. The alternatives of e-governance in Hungary until 2013-2015 Similarly to other European Union member states, Hungary has not developed its ownfuture plan and therefore it is not aware of its e-governance alternatives and more generally, ithas not realised what to expect from the future. ■ If we are to think in a middle-run future, one of the likely alternatives is that theposition and internal division of the European Union is going to continue. In spite of this,however, the establishment of e-public administration will be completed. If Hungary fellbehind in this process or the process was long delayed, this would significantly damage thedevelopment, competitive power, concensus and operation of the country. ■ If the preceding situation remains stable, but Hungary does not fall behind in theprocess but keeps up with the pace, then important and smashing developments could beattained. In such a case, the adoption of e-governance and e-public administration should besuccessfully completed by around 2010. ■ If the European Union (supported by a new, more normal world order) resolves itspresent organisation, financial, operation problems, then Hungary should not only completethe introduction of e-public administration by 2010-2012, but it should also establish at a highpace an institutionalised, national, state and local e-democracy. ■ If the unifying world takes considerable steps yet Hungary only attempted to makeup for the the industrial age where it finds itself in arrears and it only marginally met thechallenges of the new age, then in this scenario we would not be in line with the developedworld, but would even lag further behind. 222
  • ■ If everything went well, which is not to be excluded either, Hungary could becomeone of the leading states of the knowledge age by 2014. This would further strengthen theconditions with which it could step into the next age. As it is clearly visible, alternatives come and point to numerous directions, but thebreakthrough does not only depend on external and internal rational requirements, but also onthe knowledge and consciousness state of the country. All in all, Hungary is one of theEuropean states which will introduce e-governance and e-public adminstration to somedegree, although this developmental direction is at the mercy of current power relations.16.4. The scenarios of Hungarian regional, small regional,settlement e-local governance and e-public administration Is Hungary capable of recognising the opportunities in localisation independently oronly partially dependently on the mediatised political-power or state games and modernisationattempts? ■ If the optimal future developments of local scenarios forcast that regional and smallregional units are to develop permanently, while simultaneously the local government regionsand small regions are to be established, then Hungary could act upon these requirementseither in a positive or negative fashion. ■ If due to a negative response the regional and local e-public administration is notestablished in the period of the second national development plan, then Hungary could be in adisadvantageous position and would lag behind with a decade in terms of regionaldevelopment. ■ If the positive answer is supported by every single government in the next decadealso in terms of finances, then the development could materialise at a low level. This wouldimply, however, that although the infocommunication modernisation of public administrationtakes place, there will be no budget for further developments. Moreover, while the majority oflocal governments will make online administration possible, the unprepared and unmotivatedmajority of the local society is not going to make the best of the opportunity. ■ If the better solution is going to be followed by high level realisation, then in thiscase the