Direct deliberative governance and the Web: The collaborative work of democratic decision-making mediated by an online social environment

Van Der Merwe, Rean and Meehan, Anthony (2010). Direct deliberative governance and the Web: The collaborative work of democratic decision-making mediated by an online social environment. In: Lewkowicz, M.; Hassanaly, P.; Rohde, M. and Wulf, V. eds. Proceedings of COOP 2010. Computer Supported Cooperative Work. London, U.K.: Springer, pp. 183–202.

URL: http://www.springer.com/computer/communication+net...

Abstract

Direct deliberative democracy presents a conceptually attractive model of civic governance – particularly relevant at local scale. We outline the 'work' of direct deliberative democracy by considering its underlying principles and objectives, and discuss four fundamental challenges that are commonly proposed: the difficulty of coordinating direct participation, the expertise required of participants, the often underestimated dynamics of power in direct action, and that deliberation is not necessarily the sole, ideal mode of participation. At hand of a case study of an online 'community of interest', the paper investigates the potential role of social media to facilitate this work, and to mitigate the challenges cited.

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