Article title Threats to E-Democracy in the Context of Preserving the Constitutional System in Ukraine

Head of Legal Department, LLC "Help"(Poltava, Ukraine)


Name of magazine Legal journal «Law of Ukraine» (Ukrainian version)
Issue 2/2020
Сторінки [274-288]

Scientific and technological progress has penetrated practically into each area of social life not being limited to purchases on the Internet or cloud storage. Therefore, democracy as a concept is undergoing constant transformation under the influence of information technologies and acquires new features, forms, and qualities, such as electronic (digital) democracy. Well, what is this concept? How can society benefit from its implementation? What dangers does it pose to the State’s constitutional system and how can they be prevented?

This article aims at studying the essence of e-democracy as a phenomenon, at analyzing its pros and cons, and at modeling potential dangerous situations in the case of its implementation.

The main dilemma brought into focus by the study of this phenomenon is a radical change of the existing traditional democratic institutions – on the one part, and preservation of the constitutional order – on the other part. So, how a balance can be found between revolutionary changes and the fundamentals of Ukraine’s existence as a non-totalitarian State?

In today’s Ukraine, elements of the e-democracy concept are partially implemented in the form of e-governance: public registers, electronic administrative services, the possibility of submitting online petitions and appeals, and etc. A structural analysis of this concept demonstrates that the process of its implementation is possible with the following prerequisites available at the same time: 1) political maturity of the nation; 2) political will of the elite at the time of implementation; 3) technological capability. Absence of one of these conditions engenders risks to the existing constitutional system of the State.

Furthermore, we can assume that the potential threats to the constitutional system are dispersion of responsibility; flippant attitude of citizens to their duties and, thus, the paralysis of operation of the State mechanism; a threat of external interference; distortion of voting results. Hypothetically, this list is not exhaustive, and so we will try to model the main possible threats to the constitutional system in the event the e-democracy concept is

The concept of e-democracy involves a gradual, step-by-step implementation of its main elements: dealing with local issues through local electronic referendums, digitalization of administrative services, monitoring of operation of public authorities etc. By integrating society during electronic voting into a single system, the highest degree of legitimation of the decisions made is achieved. At the same time, transformation of the legislative process is the most difficult aspect of e-democracy which bears the lion’s share of risks and threats to the constitutional system of the State.


Keywords e-democracy; e-government; constitutional system; direct democracy; political elite; constitutional human rights


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