HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Director, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professor of Citizenship and Self-Government


Despite accumulating challenges, digital information and communication technologies retain considerable democratic potential. They have enabled movements, mass protests, and open-data initiatives in cities. But as we have all learned from the failures of an earlier wave of techno-utopianism, the democratic exploitation of technological affordances is deeply contingent—dependent on ethical conviction, political engagement, public regulation, and good design choices. In particular, and in the spirit of Habermas’ remark quoted at the outset, we think that the democratic potential will only be realized if participants in what we will be calling “the digital public sphere” deepen their sense of responsibility for how communication proceeds there.


Cohen, Joshua, and Archon Fung. "Democratic responsibility in the digital public sphere." Constellations (March 2023): 92-97.