By F. Bolkestein, J. van den Hoven, I. van de Poel, E. Oosterlaken, A. van Gorp, P. Kroes & B. Taebi
Technology is a political factor of importance. The HSL, the Joint Strike Fighter, the North-South line, the electronic patient file, nuclear energy, underground CO2 storage, smart electricity meters, cabinets and governments can struggle with it, political parties can attract or lose voters with their position on these files. New techniques that seemed desirable sometimes create unexpected new problems that require a political solution, such as guaranteeing privacy in the electronic patient file, the distribution of child pornography via the internet or controlling the risk of transporting dangerous substances. At the same time, technology helps to solve many political problems. Technology is therefore part of the political problem as well as part of the political solution.