The citizen’s disaffection towards the political scene, results in the redeployment of their activity in the civil society. This mistrust of the power can be a necessary sting to the political action (…)Because if the citizen goes less to the polls, he is more present in actions of petition, of demonstration, of solidarity, in other words in actions that show his implication in the society. Pierre Rosanvallon, the Against-Democracy. The politics at the age of mistrust, threshold, 2006 The tools of the Web 2.0 or the Internet 2.0 – i.e. The Internet of the second generation, faster because of the high debits, and more participative with the blogs, the online videos and other new applications – will they accelerate the evolution of these involvement citizen possibilities in the public debate, of the creation of new relations between the decision-makers and the actors of the civil society, of new public services more innovating and carriers of added value for the citizens and the enterprises? In other words, the following developments of what some people name the revolution Web 2.0 and of the social software (social networks) will they mark the citizen’s return as a major actor of the public debate and the emergence of a new form of citizenship expressing itself on his direct environment in the local level, and also on the main topics of society in which he will be also henceforth more directly implied?

Today several visions can be formulated and put on tensions:

  • In spite of the importance of the prophetic speech on the transformation of the debate orders and the reversing of the roles that would return possible the new mean of expression, many researchers who studied these questions and rather foresee a preservation of the existing orders (between profanes and practiced, dominants and dominated, professionals and amateurs …).
  • Other researchers more attentive to the formats of actions, try to show that a list of electronic diffusion on the contrary can offer a new space of self promotion (and a between oneself) for a « civil society « solicited and auto-proclaimed at the same time, but that they can be also the place for a fine articulation between collective electronic, competent individual and associations instituted. In the two cases, the dimension of deliberative training is present, as well as the articulation with the virtual activity.

This is what a recent issue of the Hermès magazine interrogates on (July 2007, n°47) Public Words title, to communicate in the city. The numeric citizenship at the hour of the Web 2.0 puts the challenges and the foundations of a new form of democracy 2.0 more participative and more centered on a relation more personalized, direct and playful between the different actors of the public sphere.