Research Output

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

  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'

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    01 March 2004

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Publisher

    Taylor & Francis

  • DOI:

    10.1080/1369118042000208906

  • ISSN:

    1369-118X

Citation

Duff, A. (2004). The past, present, and future of information policy: towards a normative theory of the information society. Information, Communication and Society. 7, 69-87. doi:10.1080/1369118042000208906. ISSN 1369-118X

Authors

Keywords

information technology; policy; society; media; interdisciplinarity; futures;

Available Documents