Digital Platform Policy and Regulation: Toward a Radical Democratic Turn

Bart Cammaerts, Robin Mansell


This article considers challenges to policy and regulation presented by the dominant digital platforms. A radical democratic framing of the deliberative process is developed to acknowledge the full complexity of power relations that are at play in policy and regulatory debates, and this view is contrasted with a traditional liberal democratic perspective. We show how these different framings have informed historical and contemporary approaches to the challenges presented by conflicting interests in economic value and a range of public values in the context of media content, communication infrastructure, and digital platform policy and regulation. We argue for an agonistic approach to digital platform policy and regulatory debate so as to encourage a denaturalization of the prevailing logics of commercial datafication. We offer some suggestions about how such a generative discourse might be encouraged in such a way that it starts to yield a new common sense about the further development of digital platforms, one that might favor a digital ecology better attuned to consumer and citizen interests in democratic societies.


digital platforms, media content, communication infrastructure, regulation, deliberation, radical democracy

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