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  • 1.
    Adenskog, Magnus
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    After the Equilibrium: Democratic Innovations and Long-term Institutional Development in the City of Reykjavik2018In: 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)
    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 The study presents two conclusions: First, it is clear that one equilibrium (representative democracy) has not been replaced by another (participatory democracy).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.

  • 2.
    Adenskog, Magnus
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Democratic innovations in political systems: towards a systemic approach2018Doctoral 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.

    List of papers
    1. The Challenges for Online Deliberation Research: A Literature Review
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Challenges for Online Deliberation Research: A Literature Review
    2014 (English)In: International Journal of E-Politics, ISSN 1947-9131, E-ISSN 1947-914X, Vol. 5, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) 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.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    IGI Global, 2014
    Keywords
    Deliberation, internet, deliberative democracy, literature review, online deliberation
    National Category
    Political Science
    Research subject
    Political Science
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-32418 (URN)10.4018/ijep.2014010101 (DOI)
    Available from: 2013-11-15 Created: 2013-11-15 Last updated: 2018-09-26Bibliographically approved
    2. Democratic Innovations in Deliberative Systems: the Case of the Estonian Citizens’ Assembly Process
    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
    3. Democratic Innovations: Reinforcing or changing perceptions of trust?
    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
    4. After the Equilibrium: Democratic Innovations and Long-term Institutional Development in the City of Reykjavik
    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
  • 3.
    Adenskog, Magnus
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. Urban Studies.
    Åström, Joachim
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. Urban Studies.
    Eirtö, Tatiana
    Department of Social Research, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Karlsson, Martin
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. Urban Studies.
    Ruoppila, Sampo
    Department of Social Research, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
    Thiel, Sarah-Kristin
    Austrian Institute of Technology, Vienna, Austria.
    Balancing Potential and Risk: The Living Lab Approach in Mobile Participation Research2017In: Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743, E-ISSN 1611-3349, no 10429, p. 12-23Article in journal (Refereed)
    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. 

  • 4.
    Jonsson, Magnus
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Democratic innovation and gradual institutional change: the case of better Reykjavik2014Conference paper (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.

  • 5.
    Jonsson, Magnus
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Explaining deliberative participation in e-petition systems: the case of Malmö City2014Conference paper (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.

  • 6.
    Jonsson, Magnus
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Introducing Democratic Innovations as a Response to the Crisis: The Deliberative Ecologies of the Estonian ’Citizens’ Assembly Process’2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    We live in an era of multiple crises, which provides an interesting venue for empirical analyses. While some governments tend to see greater participation and democratic innovation as an unnecessary luxury in times of crises, it is has instead become an absolute necessity for others.With the recent ‘systemic turn’ within deliberative research, scholars in the field are encouraged to broaden the perspectives of deliberative analysis by studying the deliberative system as a whole instead of individual institutions, practices and arenas. Contrary to the study of the particular, the systemic approach asses’ institutions, practices and arenas “according to how well they perform the functions necessary to promote the goals of the systems” (Mansbridge et al. 2012, p. 10).This paper will draw upon a qualitative case study of the ‘People’s Assembly’ in Estonia, which followed a political scandal involving a scheme of illegal party financing in the autumn of 2012. The latent distrust towards the political system in Estonia soon developed into a legitimacy crisis, characterized by anti-political sentiments and antagonism, which culminated in the pamphlet Harta 12 (Charter 12) and an online petition with more than 18,000 signatures. The process that followed introduced a number of state-of-the-art innovative solutions, including online crowdsourcing to collect policy proposals from citizens, and a modified version of a ‘Deliberation Day’ in which a random sample of citizens from the whole country was invited to participate.Departing from Mansbridge et al’s (2012) ‘systemic approach’, and adding some insights from the field of ‘democratic innovations’, this article analyses the different parts of the ‘Peoples Assembly Process’ from their epistemic, ethical, democratic and policy-making function, and how the individual parts relates to the deliberative system as a whole.The main conclusion of the article is that the ‘Citizens’ assembly process’ did indeed involve all the deliberative functions that a systemic approach sets up, and that the process thus must be considered to be a well-functioning deliberative process, although at an early developmental stage.

  • 7.
    Jonsson, Magnus E.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Democratic Innovations in Deliberative Systems: the Case of the Estonian Citizens’ Assembly Process2015In: Journal of Public Deliberation, ISSN 1937-2841, E-ISSN 1937-2841, Vol. 11, no 1, article id 7Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 8.
    Jonsson, Magnus E.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Does Pervasive Participation Equals Normalization?2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As mobile technology enables political processes to be integrated in the everyday life of citizens in new ways, it becomes interesting to study the normalization process of ICT tools in urban planning and its relationship to political participation. In this paper, I discuss the potential benefits of the concept of pervasive participation, the possibilities to implement mobile technology in the policy making process, and the importance of political climate and -context, and sum up with postulating some questions for further discussions and further research.

  • 9.
    Jonsson, Magnus E.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Online deliberation and the challenges for political science2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper aims to identify research gaps within the field of online deliberation and suggest ways forward. Using citation analysis as a method for selection, 788 abstracts were retrieved, and from these 130 items were chosen for further analysis. The main conclusion is that the field still struggles with a highly diversified concept of deliberation and, as a consequence, incomparable studies. We also conclude that the scope of research in the non-institutional arena is narrow, that the field does not focus enough on the online deliberative citizen, and that there is limited focus upon questions related to policy connection. The review suggest four propositions that could lead the field forward; to focus more on the alternative online political forums and platforms, to focus more on institutional forums with a strong connection to policy making, to focus more on the notion of the ‘deliberative citizen’, and a strive towards more systematical, stringent and robust empirical studies.

  • 10.
    Jonsson, Magnus E.
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Åström, Joachim
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    The Challenges for Online Deliberation Research: A Literature Review2014In: International Journal of E-Politics, ISSN 1947-9131, E-ISSN 1947-914X, Vol. 5, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 11.
    Karlsson, Martin
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Jonsson, Magnus
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Åström, Joachim
    Did the Estonian Citizens’ assembly help restore political legitimacy?: Analyzing changes in vertical and horizontal trust among participants2015In: ECPR General Conference Université de Montréal 2015, 2015Conference 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.

  • 12.
    Karlsson, Martin
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Åström, Joachim
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Jonsson, Magnus
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Did the Estonian Citizens’ assembly help restore political legitimacy?: Analyzing changes in vertical and horizontal trust among participants2014Conference paper (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.

  • 13.
    Åström, Joachim
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Hinsberg, Hille
    Praxis Center for Policy Studies, Tallinn, Estonia.
    Jonsson, Magnus E.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Karlsson, Martin
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Crisis, innovation and e-participation: towards a framework for comparative research2013In: Electronic Participation, EPART 2013 / [ed] Wimmer, MA, Tambouris, E., Macintosh, A., Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2013, Vol. 8075, p. 26-36Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Why and how do e-participation policies sometimes flow with politics as usual and sometimes lead to challenging powerful elites and institutions?  With the aim of investigating this question, we introduce a framework for comparative research that includes not only systemic but also circumstantial factors. The approach is tested in a comparative case study of three northern European countries--Sweden, Estonia and Iceland--that are all experimenting with e-participation but which are experiencing rather different levels of crisis. The results show that innovation and elite challenging aspirations are very much related to the type and degree of crisis. It is therefore argued that the interplay between institutional constraints and circumstantial catalysts needs further scholarly attention and elaboration.

  • 14.
    Åström, Joachim
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Jonsson, Magnus
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Hinsberg, Hille
    Praxis Policy Center.
    Karlsson, Martin
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Case studies on e-participation policy: Sweden, Estonia and Iceland2013Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    New e-participation services are heralded as an important means to achieve “citizen-centric government”. The project “Citizen-centric e-Participation” is a trilateral collaboration project between Sweden, Estonia and Iceland, combining research with networking to enhance e-participation in three countries. The project network includes partners from local governments, experienced researchers in the field as well as software companies that are exploring new possibilities and markets. 

    The project, which is running between 2012-14, is funded by Vinnova, Rannis, Nordforsk & Estonian Ministry for Economic Affairs and Communications. The main partners include Örebro University, Praxis Center for Policy Studies, Citizens Foundation, imCode Partner, the City of Reykjavik and Haparanda and Borås municipalities. 

    Engaging citizens in policy-making is an important aspect of the design and delivery of better public policies and a core element of what is sometimes called ”good government” or ”citizen-centric government”. Using information and communication technologies (ICTs) to gather and analyze public input is expected to stimulate public deliberation. The project explores links between standardized e-participation models and the particularities of local contexts. 

    This report presents case studies of the e-participation policy development in Sweden, Estonia and Iceland. The case studies give readers a background to the political context and policy as well as technological development in each country and present analyses of important e-participation initiatives in each country.

  • 15.
    Åström, Joachim
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Jonsson, Magnus
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Karlsson, Martin
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Can democratic innovations generate trust?: an e-­petitioning case study2014Conference paper (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.

  • 16.
    Åström, Joachim
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Jonsson, Magnus
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Karlsson, Martin
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Democratic Innovations: Reinforcing or changing perceptions of trust?2017In: International Journal of Public Administration, ISSN 0190-0692, E-ISSN 1532-4265, Vol. 40, no 7, p. 575-587Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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