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Democratic innovations in political systems: towards a systemic approach
Örebro universitet, Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap.ORCID-id: 0000-0001-6381-8692
2018 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
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.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Örebro: Örebro University , 2018. , s. 126
Serie
Örebro Studies in Political Science, ISSN 1650-1632 ; 42
Nyckelord [en]
Democratic innovations, online political participation, political institutions, political trust, political systems
Nationell ämneskategori
Statsvetenskap (exklusive studier av offentlig förvaltning och globaliseringsstudier)
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-68711ISBN: 978-91-7529-261-8 (tryckt)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-68711DiVA, id: diva2:1244989
Disputation
2018-10-26, Örebro universitet, Prismahuset, Hörsal P1, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (Svenska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2018-09-04 Skapad: 2018-09-04 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-11-19Bibliografiskt granskad
Delarbeten
1. The Challenges for Online Deliberation Research: A Literature Review
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>The Challenges for Online Deliberation Research: A Literature Review
2014 (Engelska)Ingår i: International Journal of E-Politics, ISSN 1947-9131, E-ISSN 1947-914X, Vol. 5, nr 1Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

While pure deliberation has still not been found online, the field of online deliberation research is blossoming. Born out of the “frustrations and possibilities” of the 1990s, a current theme in the field is to re-link deliberative theory with empirical political science. The aim of this systematic literature review is to sort out and examine important features of this development; to identify and categorise important research themes and issues as well as to pinpoint some research gaps. Using citation analysis as a method for article selection, 788 abstracts were retrieved and out of these, 130 items were chosen for further analysis. First the review shows that researchers from several different disciplines are involved in the field and that these researchers are studying online deliberation in a variety of arenas aided by a wide range of methods. Second the review reveals that the field struggles with a highly diversified concept of deliberation; that newer theoretical developments are underutilised in the operationalisation of theoretical concepts for empirical analyses, and that it there is a rather low degree of cumulativity in the field. Finally, more attention is paid on deliberation per se, rather than the political and democratic consequences of deliberation.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
IGI Global, 2014
Nyckelord
Deliberation, internet, deliberative democracy, literature review, online deliberation
Nationell ämneskategori
Statsvetenskap
Forskningsämne
Statskunskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-32418 (URN)10.4018/ijep.2014010101 (DOI)
Tillgänglig från: 2013-11-15 Skapad: 2013-11-15 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-09-26Bibliografiskt granskad
2. Democratic Innovations in Deliberative Systems: the Case of the Estonian Citizens’ Assembly Process
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Democratic Innovations in Deliberative Systems: the Case of the Estonian Citizens’ Assembly Process
2015 (Engelska)Ingår i: Journal of Public Deliberation, ISSN 1937-2841, E-ISSN 1937-2841, Vol. 11, nr 1, artikel-id 7Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) 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.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
International Association for Public Participation, 2015
Nyckelord
Democratic innovations, deliberative systems, crowdsourcing, ICTs, deliberative democracy
Nationell ämneskategori
Statsvetenskap (exklusive studier av offentlig förvaltning och globaliseringsstudier)
Forskningsämne
Statskunskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-39681 (URN)
Tillgänglig från: 2014-12-15 Skapad: 2014-12-15 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-09-26Bibliografiskt granskad
3. Democratic Innovations: Reinforcing or changing perceptions of trust?
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Democratic Innovations: Reinforcing or changing perceptions of trust?
2017 (Engelska)Ingår i: International Journal of Public Administration, ISSN 0190-0692, E-ISSN 1532-4265, Vol. 40, nr 7, s. 575-587Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) 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.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Taylor & Francis, 2017
Nyckelord
Citizen participation; democratic innovations; e-petitions; public trust
Nationell ämneskategori
Statsvetenskap (exklusive studier av offentlig förvaltning och globaliseringsstudier)
Forskningsämne
Statskunskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-48957 (URN)10.1080/01900692.2016.1162801 (DOI)000415699700004 ()2-s2.0-84978523941 (Scopus ID)
Projekt
Building pervasive participation
Forskningsfinansiär
Forskningsrådet Formas
Tillgänglig från: 2016-03-04 Skapad: 2016-03-04 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-09-26Bibliografiskt granskad
4. After the Equilibrium: Democratic Innovations and Long-term Institutional Development in the City of Reykjavik
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>After the Equilibrium: Democratic Innovations and Long-term Institutional Development in the City of Reykjavik
2018 (Engelska)Ingår i: Analyse & Kritik. Zeitung für linke Debatte und Praxis, ISSN 0171-5860, E-ISSN 2365-9858, Vol. 40, nr 1, s. 31-53Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) 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.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Lucius und Lucius Verlagsgesellschaft, 2018
Nyckelord
Democratic innovations, ICT, local government, institutional logics
Nationell ämneskategori
Statsvetenskap (exklusive studier av offentlig förvaltning och globaliseringsstudier)
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-69066 (URN)10.1515/auk-2018-0002 (DOI)2-s2.0-85048634224 (Scopus ID)
Tillgänglig från: 2018-09-26 Skapad: 2018-09-26 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-11-19Bibliografiskt granskad

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