The overarching argument here is that only a ‘whole polity’ perspective, an ‘information polity’ perspective, can be satisfactory as both a starting and finishing point for the predictive endeavour being set out in this special edition. The organising image is one of seeing two trajectories at work in the polity, trajectories that hitherto have too often been treated as separate but which are ineluctably intertwined. The first of these trajectories is that of information intensifying government/governance and the second, the trajectory associated with communications intensifying democratic character of the polity as both formally initiated in experimentation and innovation and in the informal, spontaneous democratic impulses that have emerged from the era of social networking, or ‘web 2.0’. Drawn together these trajectories make up the wider polity, an information- and communications-intensive polity. Separating them for analytical purposes allows examination of the different paces of change in each of these trajectories, enabling speculative conclusions to be drawn, perhaps more accurately than otherwise, about what to expect in this century's third decade.
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