Public Sphere: Government 2.0 - Michael Depercy


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Public Sphere: Government 2.0 - Michael Depercy

  1. 1. Citizen Engagement & Policy Learning Forming, storming, norming and performing MICHAEL DE PERCY
  2. 2. Is there an Australian political culture? In the Dixonian tradition, political stability is achieved by „self-restraint in the interests of constitutionalism… when “reinforced by an informed and vigilant citizenry”‟ (Saunders & Le Roy 2003: 9; De Percy 2004: 9) MICHAEL DE PERCY
  3. 3. Is there an Australian political culture? In the 1970s, Australians were viewed as „not much interested in politics and displayed low rates of political participation‟. However: „One cannot be sure if that Australia has yet acquired a demonstrably civic culture‟ (Emy & Hughes 1993: 122) MICHAEL DE PERCY
  4. 4. Is there an Australian political culture? „National opinion polls tell us that public trust in Australia‟s governments and our political leadership is now at an all-time low‟. (Uhr 2005) MICHAEL DE PERCY
  5. 5. Why is the political culture important? As we move to a technology-driven, more open society: „[T]he operation and viability of any given political system depends also on the political culture which underlies it‟ (Emy & Hughes 1993: 113) Which leads me to some observations about an emerging online Australian ‘civic culture’ MICHAEL DE PERCY
  6. 6. Some Observations • An underlying Australian civic culture which raises some important questions: – Are Australians averse to conflict, generally? – Does Australia really have a democratic political culture? • Explosion of conflict on educational, community and media participatory forums Tendency for ‘knee-jerk’ reactions from authorities MICHAEL DE PERCY
  7. 7. Policy Learning In its broadest meaning, to borrow from Howlett & Ramesh (2003: 220): • Policy learning „includes both the intended and unintended… consequences of policy-making activities‟ and is „an iterative process of active learning on the part of policy actors‟ Learning (and conflict) will become more intense as the number of actors increases MICHAEL DE PERCY
  8. 8. What will be our approach to ‘Netiquette’? In light of our ‘civic culture’, what is our capacity to ‘learn’ through a process which essentially involves ‘conflict’? MICHAEL DE PERCY
  9. 9. Understanding new media ‘policy learning’ Forming: „Public Sphere‟, Open Forum, ABC Storming: Follow up debates, research, reactions Norming: Establishing the „rules of the game‟ Performing: Obtaining the benefits MICHAEL DE PERCY
  10. 10. One step away from politics? Specialist online policy research centres • We need decentralised spaces to experiment Emerging models: • Outsourcing citizen engagement Education will play a primary role • Many barriers to the legitimacy of social media MICHAEL DE PERCY