Keynote Delhi Svensson Schossboeck

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Keynote for the ICT4Democracy Summer School in New Delhi, March 2014.

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Keynote Delhi Svensson Schossboeck

  1. 1. E-Participation Dr. Jakob Svensson & Mag. Judith Schossböck ICT4Democracy Summer School Keynote – March 12 2014 New Delhi, India
  2. 2. Todays Keynote Participation – History and introduction to a loaded concept Bringing the E to participation Evaluating E-participation Case study: Results and lessons learned Questions
  3. 3. What is participation?
  4. 4. What is participation? A rights and a duty An equal right to participate in a democracy – but it is also our duty Important for the ”social contract” / ”civic bond”
  5. 5. The historical development of participation a) The Greek agora where people met and discussed with each other b) Development of religions (where political membership become dependent of a common faith) c) The development of autonomous city states in Europe d) The development of nationalism and the national state that followed from the French revolution e) The creation of the welfare state for the institutionalism of social rights Development of participation
  6. 6. Not only about political rights – and a relation to a state and common identity – this is also about social equality T.H. Marshall Development of participation?
  7. 7. T.H. Marshall Citizenship builds upon our equal right to participation – however capitalist societies are far from equal At the same time – it is the argument that we have the right to be different and develop our individualities – that capitalist then use to justify that society becomes unequal. Marshall discussions of social rights was a way to make the idea of every citizens equal right, more equal in reality Development of participation
  8. 8. Wide vs. narrow participation (Verba & Nie, 1972) Maximalist vs. minimalist participation (Carpentier, 2011) (can be traced back to Elitist (Schumpeter) vs. Participatory (Pateman) ideals of democracy) Different forms of participation
  9. 9. The idea is that participation may occur outside of Parliamentary institutions if we understand participation as the act to influence public decision makers (Verba & Nie, 1972) Lately participation has come to indicate the act to influence society in general (Esaiasson & Westholm, 2006) Activities that school citizens democratically and make them capable to govern over themselves (Pateman 1970) which is close to the definition of empowerment as recognizing your power to create/induce change (Lennie & Tacchi, 2013) – which in turn resonates with Sens (1999) understands development as a freedom which lends itself towards the capacity of individuals to assess and transform, their situations. Different forms participation
  10. 10. Tripartite delineation of participation (Svensson, 2011) Depending on where it is initiated and towards where it is directed 1) Parliamentary initiated participation (from within Parliament) 2) Activist initiated participation (initiated outside the Parliament but directed towards it - Both single-issue adhoc movements and more long- lived so-called social movements (demand – Laclau, 2005) 3) Popular cultural participation (Cultural Public Sphere – Hermes, 2006) Different forms of participation
  11. 11. Tripartite delineation of participation (Nilsson, 2005) Depending on its relation to parliamentary institutions 1) Integrated forms of participation (Elections and political party membership) 2) engrafted forms participation (civic/ users committees) 3) Independent forms of participation (village communities, political consumption) Different forms of participation
  12. 12. Participation today Parliamentary initiated participation legitimacy crisis Activist initiated and popular cultural participation Lifepolictics – Giddens Suppolitics – Beck Mundane citizenship - Bakardjieva Participation today
  13. 13. Participation vs engagement (Dahlgren 2009, 2013) Engagement is the subjective/ individual prerequisite for participation Participation vs interaction Participation is always linked to power and the political (Carpentier, 2011; Dahlgren, 2013) What is Participation
  14. 14. Parliamentary initiated participation Internet as a magic elixir (Strommer-Galley, 2000) Strategic communication Instrumental uses (in campaigns) Deliberation Communicative uses (engaging citizens in dialogues) Image-Management Expressive uses (negotiating your image as a politician) Bringing the E to participation
  15. 15. Activist initiated participation Internet as a tool for organization of participation and for mobilizing participation – smart mobs (Rheingold, 2002) Issue engagement (Verba et al., 1995) – you engage in issues that affects to (personally and emotionally) and issues that are controversial – more passionate than pragmatic participation. Participation needs a certain amount of emotional investment (Melucci, 1996) Connective action (Bennett & Segerberg, 2012) – messages memes that can easily be personalized and spread Clictivism and Slactivism Bringing the E to participation
  16. 16. Popular cultural initiated participation Pop-up (Manchester United, Docu-Soaps) Smaller parts of affinity portals to which political discussions are directed Bringing the E to participation
  17. 17. From “techno-optimism” to realism Ann Macintosh, Angus Whyte, (2008) “Further research is needed in two main areas; first, on the applicability (where) of eParticipation tools to particular contexts, and second, to integrate fieldwork methods to assess social acceptance of eParticipation (why) and represent the diversity of views obtained from citizens, community groups and other stakeholders.” • Cognitive impact (agenda setting, by whom?) • Idea of direct impact on policy making • Agenda setting in hybrid media environment Evaluating E-participation
  18. 18. • AT • CZ • GR • UK Discussion in 4 languages and pilots in four countries Integration of Social Media and Networks Involvement of Young people Decision makers and institutions ePart for young people in the EU
  19. 19. • Creating a e-participation platform and community on EU level • Forward the results of the deliberation process to decision makers and institutions. • To make young people familiar with decision makers • Features: Mobile communication channels, Facebook Integration, Google Translate Large scale e-participation – aims
  20. 20. 1. Topic creation: Suggest a theme and rate a theme 2. Discussion: Discuss a theme and provide comments and proposals; rate comments 3. Voting: Vote for the proposals 4. Summary and results: Show results and get feedback from relevant bodies and persons. 4 stages deliberation model 4.189 registered participants (03/14) The averge user looks at 6+ pages and stays for 6+ minutes.
  21. 21. Dedicated online campaigns, selected topic campaigns and topic promotion on banners, Video advertisement in mass media, social media promotion (regular means of marketing no effect) Topic campaigns
  22. 22. Points system for motivation Gamification elementsGamification Elements
  23. 23. • Likes • Thumbing • Voting for Proposals • “Lurkers” • Inclusiveness and transparency – Moderators inform users about reasons for deleting content – User diversity: throughout political spectrum – Empowerment: Users and decision makers are same users Low participation threshhold
  24. 24. Thumbing 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 Platform Activity Threads Users Thumbs Posts
  25. 25. Methodology – Online Questionnaires • Feedback Questionnaire (310 filled out, 76 counted) • Long Questionnaire (420 responses) – Interviews with decision makers and users (21) – Discourse Analysis – Focus Group (December 2013) – Platform Data and Google Analytics – Facebook Data Evaluation of E-Participation Projects
  26. 26. 4 evaluation levels • Political – Relevancy and Popularity of selected deliberation themes – Effectiveness of communicating the trial results to decision makers and relevant public bodies – Degree of influence on decision-making process and political actions • Technical – Platforms and tools usability – Platform purpose suitability Methodology based on Macintosh
  27. 27. • Social – Effectiveness of integrating multiple evaluation tools – Digital connections created between users – Quality of discussion and deliberation process • Methodological – Effectiveness of dissemination activities – Effectiveness of user engagement tactics Methodology based on Macintosh
  28. 28. Users: • Do you think platforms like OurSpace are got to get involved or more interested in politics? • Did you get more interested in the life of a politician? • Do you think they can improve trust in politics? • Do what extent do you feel empowered? Decision makers: • Did the platform have an influence on daily political work? • Did the platform have an influence on policy making? Political level
  29. 29. ”...In the work of a politician” Did you get more interested in the work of a politician that you met/that posted on OurSpace? Yes Rather yes Neutral Rather no No Responses AT 18 % 25 % 30 % 10 % 17 % 167 CZ 17 % 28 % 16 % 19 % 21 % 43 GR 6 % 14 % 42 % 15 % 22 % 85 UK 21 % 19 % 37 % 6 % 16 % 62 ALL 15 % 22 % 32 % 12 % 18 % 357
  30. 30. • Most users did not find that the platform could improve trust in politics and politicians, however, a lot of them were rather indifferent (35%). • Czech users slightly varied: 81% found that the platform has helped them to improve their trust in politics and politicians. • Greek users: 18% said it could help them. ”...level of trust improvement” ”...empowerment...” • Majority of users feeling empowered or very empowered (59%) by the platform.
  31. 31. • Different levels of user activity in pilot countries – Thumbing more often in AT than UK – Most active users in CZ – Most registrations in Greece • Decision maker participation – Positive response in Austria (40% of MEPs) – No decision maker participated in Greece Comparative perspective
  32. 32. • Language and cultural conditions still major obstacle in cross- country deliberation • Gender was no barrier (e.g. female politicians very active, diverse user group) • EU Legislation difficult • Transferring people from established media (e.g. Facebook monopol, leaflets) Barriers in cross-country e-part
  33. 33. • Young people are generally very positive regarding e- participation as a tool for political engagement and informed decision making • Potential for empowerment and decision making processes out of classical institutions • They are criticial regarding political impact on policies • Engagement beyond politically active target group is difficult • Sen (capabilities) young people need guidance (vs. „Digital Natives“) Lessons Learned
  34. 34. Questions?
  35. 35. Thank you for listening! jakob.svensson@im.uu.se judith.schossboeck@donau-uni.ac.at

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