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This volume explores the nature of the Internet's impact on civil society, addressing the following central questions: is the Internet qualitatively different from the more traditional forms of the media? has the Internet demonstrated real potential to improve civil society through a wider provision of information, an enhancement of communication between government and citizen, or via better state transparency? does the Internet pose a threat to the coherence of civil society as people are encouraged to abandon shared media experiences and pursue narrow interests? in authoritarian states, does the Internet function as a beacon for free speech or as another tool for propaganda?