Sociology Index


Cyberocracy means a bureaucracy changed by information technology. Cyberocracy is a form of organization that adds to traditional forms of Bureaucracy and Technocracy. Under Aristocracy, the high-born ruled; under Theocracy, the high priests ruled. In modern times, Democracy and bureaucracy have enabled new kinds of people to participate in government. Cyberocracy, by arising from the current revolution in information and communications technologies, may slowly but radically affect who rules and how.

The effects of the information revolution on business and government have given rise to cyberocracy as a form of governance or government. Cyberocracy implies that information and its control will be elevated to a key principle. Cyberocracy is not just a symbolic and cultural name given to bureaucracy.

Cyberocracy is a new term and is currently in vogue among technologists who are seeking names for new concepts and realities related to the information revolution. Cyberocracy will include new forms of Democracy, Totalitarianism, and hybrid governments. Cyberocracy, arising from the revolution in information and communications technologies, may slowly but radically affect who rules, how, and why.

Cyberspace-Cybersociology, and Cyberology are other terms related to cyberocracy. As cyberocracy develops, information and its control will become a dominant source of power, as a natural next step in man's political evolution. Although the shape of a full-fledged cyberocracy remains obscure, it should spell major changes in the nature and conduct of government. Cyberocracy should not mean that a nation's intelligence services, think-tanks and other sources of informational power will dominate government.

THE PROSPECTS FOR CYBEROCRACY - David Ronfeldt and Danielle Varda.
Abstract: The deepening of the information age will alter the nature of the state so thoroughly that something new emerges: cyberocracy. While it is too early to say precisely what a cyberocracy will look like, the outcomes will include new kinds of democratic, totalitarian, and hybrid governments, along with new kinds of state-society relations. Thus, optimism about the information revolution should be tempered by an anticipation of its potential dark side. This paper reiterates the view of the cyberocracy concept as first stated in 1992, and then offers a postscript for 2008. It speculates that information-age societies will develop new sensory apparatuses, a network-based social sector, new modes of networked governance, and ultimately the cybercratic nexus-state as a successor to the nation-state.

CYBEROCRACY IS COMING - David Ronfeldt - 1992 Taylor & Francis.

This essay fields a concept of cyberocracy to discuss how the development of, and demand for access to, the future electronic information and communications infrastructures may alter the nature of the bureaucracy. Although it is too early to say precisely what a cyberocracy may look like, the outcomes may include new forms of democratic, totalitarian, and hybrid governments.

The first cyberocracies may appear as overlays on established bureaucratic forms of organization and behavior, just as the new post-industrial aspects of society overlay the still necessary industrial and agricultural aspects. Yet such an overlay may well begin to alter the structure and functioning of a system as a whole. Just as we now speak of the information society as an aspect of post-industrial society in post-industrial thesis, we may someday speak of cyberocracy as an aspect of the post-bureaucratic state.

The differences between a bureaucracy of the 20th century and a cyberocracy of the information age highlight the importance of organizational adaptation. Whereas bureaucracy forces and often limits information flow through defined channels connecting discrete points, cyberocracy broadcasts large volumes of information among many interested parties.

Cyberocracy emphasizes soft skills such as policy management and understanding culture and public opinion. Whereas bureaucracy observes traditional boundaries between public and private sectors, cyberocracy breaks across these boundaries and allows for mixing of public and private interests.

Bureaucracies must transform into cyberocracies if the new techniques of the information age are to take hold. - Sun Tzu Art of War in Information Warfare. KNOWLEDGE STRATEGIES: BALANCING ENDS, WAYS, AND MEANS IN THE INFORMATION AGE by Lieutenant Colonel William R. Fast, US Army.

"We will evolve into a Cyberocracy. Into the great machine - a neural net of distributed nodes with vast processing power - will be fed yet more statistics, economic trends, monitored results, demographic details, information culled from our ID cards, spending patterns and ubiquitous CCTV cameras, audits by the Audit Office, and feedback from consultations, not forgetting the results of the all-important opinion polls, themselves conducted by text and email. Out will come further policies, spending programmes and legislation." - David Savvides on Cyberocracy.

Cyberocracy, cyberspace, and cyberology: political effects of the information revolution - By David Ronfeldt.
This paper considers how the information and communications technology revolution may affect politics and government in the future. Besides reviewing the effects that the information revolution is having on business and government, the author examines ways the modern bureaucratic state may give way to the "cybercratic state," one where information is a key organizing principle. He recommends the creation of a new field of study around the concept of information, and suggests areas for future research. RAND Research.