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Centre for Digital Citizenship Institute of Communications ...Presentation Transcript
Centre for Digital Citizenship Institute of Communications Studies The Internet, Web2.0 and ‘having your say’ Ann Macintosh Professor of Digital Governance Email: A.Macintosh@leeds.ac.uk “ Now is the time to shift our view of computers from communications medium to negotiation medium, from knowledge processing to interest processing” Carl Adam Petri, 1962
Can digital technologies help citizens to participate in government as well as to elect it?
What’s gone before: a decade of online public engagement
Context: Three starting points Hay, C. 2007. Why we hate Politics . Cambridge. Polity Press. Stoker, G. 2006. Why Politics Matters : Making Democracy Work. Palgrave Macmillan Fishkin, J.S. 1991. Democracy and deliberation . Yale University Press. Dryzek, J.S. 2000. Deliberative democracy and beyond . Oxford University Press Blumler, J.G. & M. Gurevitch 2001. The New Media and Our Political Communication Discontents: Cyberspace. Information, Communication & Society 4(1) 1-13 . Dahlgren, P. 2005. The Internet, Public Spheres, and Political Communication: Dispersion and Deliberation. Political Communication , 22(2) 147-162.
Potential for technology to enhance democracy
Not a new research area : e.g.
Dutton, W. H.: Political Science Research on Teledemocracy. Social Science Computer Review 1992
Hague, B. N., & Loader, B. D. Digital democracy: An introduction. 1999
e.g. Recent survey:
Panopoulou E., Tambouris E., Tarabanis K.: eParticipation initiatives: How is Europe progressing?
European Journal of ePractice 2009
Real-world online engagement initiatives
Example from 2002 Macintosh A. & Smith, E. 2002. Citizen Participation in Public Affairs. Proceedings of 1 st International Conference on Electronic Government eGOV2002. France. http://itc.napier.ac.uk/e-consultant/scfrio/viewtopic.asp?TopicID=8
2002 example: forum
Example from 2007 Fagan, H., McCusker, P., Murray, M., Newman. D.R. & O’Donnell, D. (2007). Evaluation of the Houses of the Oireachtas Pilot e-Consultation for Proposed Broadcasting Bill. http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/econsultation/ECRG_Report.doc
2007 example: forum http://www.econsultation.ie/ec/econswip.nsf/(webstartpage)/5?opendocument
Potential for technology to enhance democracy –> so far not realised Macintosh, A., Coleman, S. & Schneeberger, A. (2009). eParticipation: The Research Gaps. In Macintosh, A. & Tambouris, E. (Eds), Electronic Participation: Proceedings of First International Conference, ePart 2009, LNCS 5694. (pp.1-11). Germany: Springer-Verlag. ISSN 0302-9743. Expecting too much of government & politicians Expecting too much of technology Expecting too much of citizens
Complexity of policy development How do you tackle urban deprivation? How do you end international drug trafficking? What do you do about climate change? Rittel, H.W.J., and M. M. Webber. 1973. Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Policy Sciences, 4:155-169 Not easily defined No clear stopping rules No right or wrong approach No clear measures of success An iterative process Solution are discovered Each are unique Level of detail a matter of judgement Strong moral & political pressure against failure.
Complexity of policy development R. Roger (2009) Mapping Public Web Space with the Issuecrawler. In Brossard C. & Reber B. (Eds.), Digital Cognitive Technologies: Epistemology and Knowledge Society . London: Wiley. 115-126. Policy issues discussed on social network sites
Some socio-technical questions
Make sense of unstructured text
Know what critical questions to ask
Identify which issues are important
Facilitate reasoned contributions
Determine relationships between contributions to policy development
Argument mapping: making sense of complex problems Visualisation language http://compendium.open.ac.uk/institute/community/showcase.htm#pubpol
Example from Scottish Parliament: Banning smoking in public places
Example from Scottish Parliament Renton, A. & Macintosh, A. (2007). Computer Supported Argument Maps as a Policy Memory. The Information Society Journal , 23(2), 125-133
IMPACT : I ntegrated M ethod for P olicy making using A rgument modelling & C omputer assisted T ext analysis
machine learning & data mining algorithms, to support reconstruction of arguments from information sources.
Policy modeling & analysis
computational models of argumentation, to enable comparison between effects of different policy proposals.
computational models of argumentation, where questions are generated automatically from existing debate.
Argument analysis, tracking & visualization
Walton, D. (2006). Fundamentals of Critical Argumentation . Cambridge University Press.
Summarising The need for online deliberation around policy development Current socio-technical design does not meet this need Social networking sites are changing the shape of discussion on policy issues Argumentation systems have the potential to provide a deliberative environment
Coleman, S. & Blumler, J. G. (2009). The Internet and Democratic
Citizenship . New York: Cambridge University Press
Macintosh, A., Gordon, T. F. & Renton, A. (2009). Providing Argument Support for eParticipation. Journal of Information Technology & Politics , ( JITP). 6(1), 43-59
Okada, A., Buckingham Shum, S. & Sherborne, T. (Eds.), (2008). Knowledge Cartography: Software Tools and Mapping Techniques . T. Springer: Advanced Information and Knowledge Processing Series
On-going research on how argumentation systems can add value to participatory policy development “ How can vast numbers of people engage in collective talk without the voices of individuals being drowned out by the noise of the crowd?”
Centre for Digital Citizenship Institute of Communications Studies Thank you