By Julian Culp

In this article Julian Culp offers a new conceptualization of democratic citizenship education in light of the transformations of contemporary Western societies to which the use of digital technologies has contributed. His conceptualization adopts a deliberative understanding of democracy that provides a systemic perspective on society-wide communicative arrangements and employs a nonideal, critical methodology that concentrates on overcoming democratic deficits. Based on this systemic, deliberative conception of democracy, Culp provides an analysis of the public sphere’s normative deficits and argues that current political communication may be systemically distorted. Drawing on this analysis, he suggests that practices of democratic citizenship education in digitized societies must not concentrate narrowly on the effective and responsible use of digital technologies. Instead, these practices should also focus on the economic and cultural conditions that are co-responsible for the structural problems of political communication as well as address the democratic deficits that are reflected in inadequate communicative arrangements.