Document Type

Book Chapter

Book Authors/Editors

Justo Corti Varela & Paolo Davide Farah


Routledge Publishing (London/New-York)

Publication Date



This chapter focuses on the circular and complex relationship between science, technology, society, and law. The technology/society connection focuses on the democratic deficit issue. The democratic deficit would be a consequence of the lack of adaptability of western democracy to complex (information) societies, where technology (and the increasing access to data that it permits) is separating the connection between information and knowledge (as well as the classical legitimacy couple of democracy-truth) moving these societies towards a technocracy. On one hand, the technology-law circle deals with the progressive reduction of law to a normative technique (since the law is always late and uncomplete face to technology, there is a transition from hard law to soft law, from norms to rules, from government to governance) but, at the same time and on the other hand, the technology aims to be recognized as a legal framework based on new “net/web” relationships, applied to new spaces (cyberspace) and based on accountability instead of sovereignty. This new legal structure operates in the “net” society (interactive, dematerialized and based on database memory) where cognitive acquisition (hypertextualization of knowledge, cyberculture) conducts political deliberation to simple expressions of subjectivism and emotive decisions based on casual and contingent information. As a result, in highly technologized and mass societies there is a dislocation between information and knowledge, which no longer identifies each other.