Emerging Technologies and Democracy

Rapid technological advances are testing democratic principles. Autocrats are leveraging technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things to deepen state surveillance and manipulation, as well as to shift global norms in ways that legitimize repression.

Yet emerging technologies also present opportunities. Making technology work for rather than against democracy will depend on civil society deepening its understanding of promising tech tools; guarding against digital authoritarian threats; and actively shaping the development of next-generation digital norms.

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Smart Cities And Democratic Vulnerabilities: Digital Risks Amid Global Backsliding

Will smart cities spread authoritarian influence and speed the erosion of democratic norms, or can societies find ways to harness digitalization for democracy?

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Beth Kerley is a senior program officer at the National Endowment for Democracy's International Forum for Democratic Studies, where she manages the emerging technologies and democracy portfolio.

What is Digital Subversion?