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Adenskog, M. (2018). After the Equilibrium: Democratic Innovations and Long-term Institutional Development in the City of Reykjavik. Analyse & Kritik. Zeitung für linke Debatte und Praxis, 40(1), 31-53
Open this publication in new window or tab >>After the Equilibrium: Democratic Innovations and Long-term Institutional Development in the City of Reykjavik
2018 (English)In: Analyse & Kritik. Zeitung für linke Debatte und Praxis, ISSN 0171-5860, E-ISSN 2365-9858, Vol. 40, no 1, p. 31-53Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although democratic innovations (DIs) are spread all over the world, there is little research on the institutional outcomes of implementing such innovations in governmental organisations. To remedy this, it is important to focus on cases where DIs have been implemented and formally connected to the policymaking process over a longer period. Reykjavik provides such a case. Drawing on observations and interviews with key stakeholders over a period of three years, this study analyses how the institutional logic of DIs influenced the local government in Reykjavik. The study presents two conclusions: First, it is clear that one equilibrium (representative democracy) has not been replaced by another (participatory democracy). Second, there is no peaceful co-existence between the two, but instead the outcome is an organisation in ‘a state of flux’. There are several factors contributing to this outcome, but three stand out: a populist power-shift, dissatisfaction with theworking of the implemented DIs and deliberative ambiguity. In the final part of the article, the institutional outcome is discussed in relation to overall consequences for the political system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lucius und Lucius Verlagsgesellschaft, 2018
Keywords
Democratic innovations, ICT, local government, institutional logics
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-69066 (URN)10.1515/auk-2018-0002 (DOI)2-s2.0-85048634224 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-09-26 Created: 2018-09-26 Last updated: 2018-11-19Bibliographically approved
Adenskog, M. (2018). Democratic innovations in political systems: towards a systemic approach. (Doctoral dissertation). Örebro: Örebro University
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Democratic innovations in political systems: towards a systemic approach
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There are many indicators that the representative democratic system is currently facing serious legitimacy challenges. Two central indicators of these challenges are changing patterns of political participation and a decline in system support. Against this backdrop, a growing number of governments claim that democratic innovations (DIs) could reconnect institutions with citizens. This thesis focuses on online DIs implemented in real political contexts, and the overarching aim of the thesis is to contribute to the emergent empirical scholarship on how DIs can influence political systems. In the last two decades, most empirical studies in the field have analysed DIs at the micro level.

This thesis takes a different stance by posing system-related research questions to the implementation of DIs and, by doing so, showing how DIs are interrelated with, rather than isolated from, the political system and that DIs can influence political systems. The thesis consists of one literature review and three empirical case studies, applying a multiple methodological approach. Its novelty lies in three main empirical findings that contribute to the development of the field. First, it shows that participation in DIs can influence citizens’ perceived trust towards local political institutions. In addition, the results suggest that predispositions and prior engagement mediate the direction of change in trust amongst citizens. Secondly, the results show that DIs can perform different political functions, such as facilitating spaces for citizens to provide original ideas and deliberation, while also having an agenda-setting function. Thirdly, the result suggest that long-term institutional change is complex and that the implementation of DIs can create a situation in which civil servants and politicians perceive their organisation to be in some ‘state of flux’, as they are torn between two competing institutional logics. In conclusion, this thesis should be understood as a piece in a broader movement that works towards a systemic approach to the study of DIs, and that by showing these empirical findings, the thesis contributes to deepening our understanding of what influences and functions DIs can have in political systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University, 2018. p. 126
Series
Örebro Studies in Political Science, ISSN 1650-1632 ; 42
Keywords
Democratic innovations, online political participation, political institutions, political trust, political systems
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-68711 (URN)978-91-7529-261-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-10-26, Örebro universitet, Prismahuset, Hörsal P1, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-09-04 Created: 2018-09-04 Last updated: 2018-11-19Bibliographically approved
Adenskog, M., Åström, J., Eirtö, T., Karlsson, M., Ruoppila, S. & Thiel, S.-K. (2017). Balancing Potential and Risk: The Living Lab Approach in Mobile Participation Research. Paper presented at 9th IFIP WG 8.5 International Conference on Electronic Participation, ePart 2017, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, September 4-7, 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (10429), 12-23
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Balancing Potential and Risk: The Living Lab Approach in Mobile Participation Research
Show others...
2017 (English)In: Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743, E-ISSN 1611-3349, no 10429, p. 12-23Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Living labs as a research approach have been said to hold many promises regarding the evaluation of state-of-the art technologies in real-world contexts, for instance by allowing close cooperation with various stakeholders. At the same time, a living lab approach is connected with substantial complexity and increased risk. This paper elaborates on a conducted living lab with the objective to explore challenges and opportunities of mobile participation. For this purpose, a novel mobile application enabling interaction between citizens and city authorities was tested over a period of five months in Turku, Finland. In this paper, we describe identified risks associated with a living lab approach to mobile participation research. We conclude with an overall evaluation regarding the appropriateness of the living lab approach within the e-participation research field and provide recommendations on how to balance potential and risk in future projects. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2017
Keywords
Mobile participation, citizen participation, urban planning, living lab, trust
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-64481 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-64322-9_2 (DOI)000431902300002 ()2-s2.0-85028959886 (Scopus ID)
Conference
9th IFIP WG 8.5 International Conference on Electronic Participation, ePart 2017, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, September 4-7, 2017
Note

Funding Agency:

JPI Urban Europe

Available from: 2018-01-24 Created: 2018-01-24 Last updated: 2018-05-24Bibliographically approved
Åström, J., Jonsson, M. & Karlsson, M. (2017). Democratic Innovations: Reinforcing or changing perceptions of trust?. International Journal of Public Administration, 40(7), 575-587
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Democratic Innovations: Reinforcing or changing perceptions of trust?
2017 (English)In: International Journal of Public Administration, ISSN 0190-0692, E-ISSN 1532-4265, Vol. 40, no 7, p. 575-587Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Declining trust in representative institutions is considered one of the most significant political problems of our time. It is often suggested that democratic innovations—or mechanisms which aim to increase and deepen citizen participation in the political decision-making process—can help reverse this trend. However, empirical research about actual effects of participation on trust is scarce, and weakened by causality problems. With survey data representing 1,470 participants in a landmark Swedish e-petition system, the article shows that both generalized attitudes and process evaluations matter in how trust is affected by democratic innovations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2017
Keywords
Citizen participation; democratic innovations; e-petitions; public trust
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-48957 (URN)10.1080/01900692.2016.1162801 (DOI)000415699700004 ()2-s2.0-84978523941 (Scopus ID)
Projects
Building pervasive participation
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2016-03-04 Created: 2016-03-04 Last updated: 2018-09-26Bibliographically approved
Jonsson, M. E. (2015). Democratic Innovations in Deliberative Systems: the Case of the Estonian Citizens’ Assembly Process. Journal of Public Deliberation, 11(1), Article ID 7.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Democratic Innovations in Deliberative Systems: the Case of the Estonian Citizens’ Assembly Process
2015 (English)In: Journal of Public Deliberation, ISSN 1937-2841, E-ISSN 1937-2841, Vol. 11, no 1, article id 7Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

With the proliferation and application of democratic innovations around the world, the empirical study of deliberative and participatory processes has shifted from small-scale environments and experiments to real-life political processes on a large scale. With this shift, there is also a need to explore new theoretical approaches in order to understand current developments. Instead of analyzing democratic innovations in isolation, the recent ‘systemic turn’ in the field encourages us to broaden our perspective and evaluate democratic innovations as complementary parts of a political system.

This paper will draw upon a qualitative case study, based on interview and supported by survey data, of the ‘Estonian Citizens’ Assembly Process’ (ECA), in order to operationalize the systemic approach to deliberative democracy and illustrate how this can be applied to an analysis of democratic innovations.

The ECA spanned more than a year (November 2012 to April 2014) and covered three political arenas: the public sphere, democratic innovations and representative institutions. The systemic analysis highlights the deliberative strengths and weaknesses of arenas and institutions, and illuminates how various arenas and democratic innovations did and did not complement one another in the creation of a deliberative process. The systemic analysis offers two possible interpretations of the ECA. The more affirmative interpretation is it constituted a deliberative system, as it did perform the three main functions fulfilled by different arenas and institutions. The more critical interpretation is that the ECA partly failed to be a deliberative system, due to social domination and decoupling of institutions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Association for Public Participation, 2015
Keywords
Democratic innovations, deliberative systems, crowdsourcing, ICTs, deliberative democracy
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-39681 (URN)
Available from: 2014-12-15 Created: 2014-12-15 Last updated: 2018-09-26Bibliographically approved
Karlsson, M., Jonsson, M. & Åström, J. (2015). Did the Estonian Citizens’ assembly help restore political legitimacy?: Analyzing changes in vertical and horizontal trust among participants. In: ECPR General Conference Université de Montréal 2015: . Paper presented at ECPR General Conference Université de Montréal 2015, Montreal, Canada, 26-29 August, 2015.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Did the Estonian Citizens’ assembly help restore political legitimacy?: Analyzing changes in vertical and horizontal trust among participants
2015 (English)In: ECPR General Conference Université de Montréal 2015, 2015Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Estonian Citizens’ Assembly Process (ECA) was initiated in 2013 as a direct consequence of a legitimacy crisis of Estonian political parties and representative institutions. The spark igniting this crisis was the unravelling of a scheme of illegal party financing. The response from the governmental institutions took the form of a democratic innovation drawing on public crowdsourcing and deliberative mini-publics. This study is conducted on the basis of a broad survey among the participants in the initial crowdsourcing for proposals of the ECA (n=847). The focus of this paper is on the relationship between citizen participation and political trust. Two main research questions guides this paper: (1) How has participants vertical and horizontal trust developed in relation to their participation in the ECA?, and (2) What factors explain variations of change in trust among participants? While existing research questions whether citizens engagement in political participation functions as a source of trust, participatory processes alike the ECA are continually being initiated with the explicit aim of impeding developments of growing public distrust and fostering a greater trust in governmental institutions.

National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-45782 (URN)
Conference
ECPR General Conference Université de Montréal 2015, Montreal, Canada, 26-29 August, 2015
Funder
VINNOVA, 2011-03523
Available from: 2015-09-11 Created: 2015-09-11 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved
Åström, J., Jonsson, M. & Karlsson, M. (2014). Can democratic innovations generate trust?: an e-­petitioning case study. In: : . Paper presented at 8th ECPR General Conference, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK, September 3-6, 2014.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Can democratic innovations generate trust?: an e-­petitioning case study
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Declining trust in representative institutions is considered to be one of the most significant political problems of our time. It is often assumed that democratic innovations or mechanisms that aim to increase and deepen citizen participation in the political decision-making process - can help reversing this trend. However, skeptics claim that any impact on perceived trust is dubious at best. With survey data representing 1,470 e-petitioning participants in Swedish local government, this study aims to empirically assess the relationship between democratic innovations and trust. First we ask whether e-petitioning primarily engage dissatisfied or already satisfied democrats. This is interesting considering that conventional participation usually is biased towards satisfied democrats, while unconventional participation usually is biased towards dissatisfied democrats. How about democratic innovations? Second we ask to what extent the participants´ perceived trust in local government is affected by their participation. Results show that e-petitioning successfully engages both satisfied and dissatisfied democrats, as well as that political participation affects their trust in local government. However, changes in perceived trust vary according to participants’ predisposition toward government.

National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-39880 (URN)
Conference
8th ECPR General Conference, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK, September 3-6, 2014
Available from: 2014-12-18 Created: 2014-12-18 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Jonsson, M. (2014). Democratic innovation and gradual institutional change: the case of better Reykjavik. In: : . Paper presented at Superdemocracy - Assessing the Participatory Turn and "New Democracy", Helsinki, Finland, December 11-12, 2014.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Democratic innovation and gradual institutional change: the case of better Reykjavik
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Democratic innovations have a tendency to be short-lived, and/or ad-hoc islands of participation with little or none formal connection to the policy and decision-making process. The participatory online platform for creating citizen initiatives Better Reykjavik (Betri Reykjavik) and the participatory online budget process Better Neighborhoods (Betri Hverfi) in Reykjavik, Iceland, are, however, two exceptions. The Better Reykjavik platform was born out of the financial and political crisis in 2008 by a non-profit grass-root organization and has since the local elections in 2010 been connected to the policy and decision-making process in City Hall.While research on democratic innovations is focusing on the institutionalization of participatory and deliberative practices, there exists few, or none, links to the existing frameworks in the tradition of ‘new institutionalism’. This study is departing from a comprehensive institutional framework focusing on the interrelationship between the characteristics of the political context, the characteristics of the political institutions and the dominant change-agents. By applying such a broad approach, the article aims to answers the questions on how the implementation of Better Reykjavik and Better Neighborhoods occurred, and how we can understand the implementation in relation to the institutional framework.This study is based on two rounds of interviews (N=8) with key stakeholders in both the Better Reykjavik and the Better Neighborhoods projects and secondary literature about Icelandic civic and party culture.The analysis shows that when the Icelandic political system was hit by an exogenous chock (the financial crisis), a ‘window of opportunity’ opened up. Due to the weak party institutions in Iceland and the contemporary ‘discourse’, the ‘dominant change actor’ (the political party the Best Party) could invoked a range of participatory tools that became implemented and (normatively) institutionalized.

Keywords
Political participation, institutional change, ICT, democratic innovations
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-39685 (URN)
Conference
Superdemocracy - Assessing the Participatory Turn and "New Democracy", Helsinki, Finland, December 11-12, 2014
Available from: 2014-12-15 Created: 2014-12-15 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Karlsson, M., Åström, J. & Jonsson, M. (2014). Did the Estonian Citizens’ assembly help restore political legitimacy?: Analyzing changes in vertical and horizontal trust among participants. In: : . Paper presented at Superdemocracy conference, 11-12 December 2014, Helsinki, Finland.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Did the Estonian Citizens’ assembly help restore political legitimacy?: Analyzing changes in vertical and horizontal trust among participants
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Estonian Citizens’ Assembly (ECA) was initiated in late 2013 as a direct consequence ofa legitimacy crisis of Estonian political parties and representative institutions. The spark igniting this crisis was the unravelling of a scheme of illegal party financing. The response from the governmental institutions took the form of a democratic innovation drawing on public crowd sourcing and deliberative mini-publics. This study is conducted on the basis of a broad survey among the participants in the culminating deliberative process of the ECA (n=847). The focus of this paper is on the relationship between citizen participation and political trust. Two main research questions guides this paper: (1) How has participants vertical and horizontal trust developed in relation to their participation in the ECA?, and (2) What factors explain variations of change in trust among participants? While existing research questions whether citizens engagement in political participation functions as a source of trust, participatory processes alike the ECA are continually being initiated with the explicit aim of impeding  developments  of  growing  public  distrust  and  fostering  a  greater  trust  ingovernmental institutions.

Keywords
Democratic innovations, political participation, democratic legitimacy, vertical trust, horizontal trust.
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-39881 (URN)
Conference
Superdemocracy conference, 11-12 December 2014, Helsinki, Finland
Available from: 2014-12-18 Created: 2014-12-18 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Jonsson, M. (2014). Explaining deliberative participation in e-petition systems: the case of Malmö City. In: : . Paper presented at Statsvetenskapliga förbundets metodinternat, Enköping, Sweden, June 9-10, 2014.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Explaining deliberative participation in e-petition systems: the case of Malmö City
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

With the proliferation and application of democratic innovations around the world, the study of deliberative and participatory processes has got the opportunity to shift its main focus from artificial environments and experiments into study of the real life political processes. The implementation of e-petition systems in local governments in Sweden is one example of such institutionalized form of democratic innovations in action.Being essentially platforms for aggregation of opinions, the Malmö City e-petition platform also provide space for discussion among citizens. But what factors explains deliberative participation on the platform? This paper, based on survey data (N=1470) from users of the Malmö City e-petition system, provides insight into this question.In a comparison between the default option (aggregation of opinions by signing petitions) and the more demanding form of participation (deliberation on posted petitions) two major results is revealed. First, two factors (prior political activity and non-participation in political parties) explains the degree of both forms of participation. Secondly, and most importantly, four factors explains deliberative participation; gender (being a woman), political efficacy, political satisfaction and positive attitudes towards the use technology in political processes.The main conclusion that can be drawn from the analysis is, thus, that the barriers to aggregative participation in e-petition systems are low and is highly correlated to prior political participation, while the barriers to deliberative participation is higher and related to more individual features such as gender, efficacy, satisfaction and attitudes towards technology.

Keywords
Democratic innovations, e-petitions, deliberative systems, political participation
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-39684 (URN)
Conference
Statsvetenskapliga förbundets metodinternat, Enköping, Sweden, June 9-10, 2014
Available from: 2014-12-15 Created: 2014-12-15 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-6381-8692

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