Digital democracy in Belgium and the Netherlands: A socio-legal analysis of technologies, embedding and expectations of two fourth wave innovations

Koen van Aeken

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

    Abstract

    The research question is how technologies characterized by ubiquitous Web 2.0 interactivity may contribute to democracy. Following a case study design, two applications were evaluated: the Belgian CitizenLab, a mobile, social and local private application to support public decision making in cities, and the Dutch governmental website Internetconsultatie. Available data suggest that the Dutch consultation platform is mainly visited by the ‘usual suspects’ and lacks participatory functionalities. In contrast, CitizenLab explicitly aims at policy co-creation through broad participation. Its novelty, however, prevents making sound empirical statements.

    A comprehensive conceptualization precedes the case studies. To avoid instrumentalist reduction, the social setting of the technologies is reconstructed. Since its constituents, embedding and expectations - initially represented as the nation state and representative democracy - are increasingly challenged, their transformations are consequently discussed. The new embedding emerges as a governance constellation; new expectations concern the participatory dimension of politics. Future assessments of technologies may benefit from this conceptualization.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDigital democracy in a globalized world
    EditorsCorien Prins, Colette Cuijpers, Peter L Lindseth, Monica Rosina
    Place of PublicationCheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA, USA
    PublisherEdward Elgar
    Chapter13
    Pages274-300
    Number of pages26
    ISBN (Print)978-1-78536-395-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Keywords

    • digital, democracy, innovation, Citizenlab, internetconsultatie, consultation, participation, governance, embedding, Belgium, Netherlands

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