e-Democracy driven by civil society: Developing a theoretical basis to design for bottom-up participation

van Der Merwe, Rean (2008). e-Democracy driven by civil society: Developing a theoretical basis to design for bottom-up participation. In: 5th Prato Community Informatics & Development Informatics Conference, 27-30 Oct 2008, Prato, Italy.

URL: http://www.ccnr.net/pratoconf2008/vandermerwe.pdf

Abstract

This short paper outlines initial ideas for a programme of research related to e-Democracy which commences in October 2008 and will be undertaken over the next three years. The research specifically intends to focus on factors in the architecture of online discursive spaces which may affect sustained and meaningful participation. It begins by describing the context as it relates to Community Informatics (CI). It then outlines the nature of one of the online communities that will be at the centre of the enquiry. Finally, it outlines four theoretical perspectives which seem to offer a route to analysis and sense-making, suggesting how a synthesis of these perspectives might contribute to original insights for CI.

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