The past, present, and future of information policy: towards a normative theory of the information society.

Duff, Alistair (2004) The past, present, and future of information policy: towards a normative theory of the information society. Information Communication & Society, 7 (1). pp. 69-87. ISSN 1369-118X

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The profile of information policy in academic and policy-making circles has been rising in recent decades, a function, presumably, of the expansion of an 'information society'. Nevertheless, there is widespread confusion over its meaning and purpose. This paper seeks to produce a clearer picture, building on useful groundwork in information science and other disciplines. The history of information policy is traced, featuring exposition of the pioneering contribution of Marc Porat in the 1970s. The present state of information policy is then described, with particular reference to some salient themes of current literature: issue inventories (i.e. the scope of information policy); academic identity (including a critique of attempts to appropriate information policy for one discipline); and the ideal - or, it is argued, illusion - of a 'national information policy'. In the final section of the paper, some suggestions are made for the future direction of information policy. First, information policy should engage much more thoroughly with the tradition of political philosophy. Second, information policy may benefit from more forays into the field of futures studies. Finally, it is proposed that information policy could be positioned as a subset of the interdisciplinary specialism of information society studies, in which case its definition might be resolved in terms of the 'normative theory of the information society'

Item Type: Article
Print ISSN: 1369-118X
Electronic ISSN: 1468-4462
Uncontrolled Keywords: information technology; policy; society; media; interdisciplinarity; futures;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries > School of Arts & Creative Industries
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 000 Computer science, information & general works > 020 Library & information sciences
300 Social sciences > 320 Political science
000 Computer science, information & general works > 000 Computer science, knowledge & systems > 000 Computer science, information & general works
Library of Congress Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Item ID: 2166
Depositing User: RAE Import
Date Deposited: 01 May 2008 10:46
Last Modified: 10 May 2013 14:04

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