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What does it take to make online deliberation happen?: A comparative analysis of 28 online discussion forums
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Örebro School of Public Affairs)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5485-8577
2010 (English)In: Online deliberation: Fourth international conference, OD2010 / [ed] Fiorella De Cindio, Ann Machintosh, Cristian Peraboni, University of Leeds , 2010, 142-156 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper investigates determinants of online deliberation by way of a comparative study of 28 online forums initiated by the EU-commission as a part on the 2009 European Citizens Consultations.  The cases analyzed in this paper share the same design (technological, as well as process), have the same connection to the policy process, were moderated in the same way, and implemented simultaneously. Still, great divergences are apparent in the level of deliberation occurring on the forums. Some of the forum discussions between participants were scarce and voting was the dominating form of participation, while on other forums discussionwas much more intense. The empirical analysis is conducted through a hypothetic deductive approach investigating four hypotheses about determinants of online deliberation grounded in prior studies and deliberative democratic theory. The analysis investigates the effects on the level of deliberation of: the number of participants, the diversity of opinion, the occurrence of a aggregative dynamic as well as the level of engagement among participants. The results of the analysis indicate that diversity of opinion on the forum and a high level of engagement among participants seem to have reinforcing effects on online deliberation while the number of participants and the aggregative dynamic on the forums seem unrelated to the level of deliberation. These results paint a picture of online deliberation as a more robust form of political participation than earlier studies have claimed. As a recommendation for practitioners of online deliberation, the results can be interpreted as saying: do not fear mass participation, controversial topics, or combining voting and deliberation. Instead, focus your attention on finding forms and issues that promote a high level of engagement and interest from participants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Leeds , 2010. 142-156 p.
Keyword [en]
Online Deliberation, Comparative study, European Citizens Consulations
National Category
Social Sciences Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-12693ISBN: 0-96678-186-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-12693DiVA: diva2:376215
Conference
Fourth international conference on Online deliberation, OD2010, Leeds, UK, June 30 – July 2, 2010
Note

Conference programme: http://www.od2010.dico.unimi.it/index.php?pgid=3

Available from: 2010-12-14 Created: 2010-12-10 Last updated: 2017-03-03Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

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http://www.od2010.dico.unimi.it/docs/proceedings/Proceedings_OD2010.pdf

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Karlsson, Martin
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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