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Context and Medium Matter: Expressing Disagreements Online and Face-to-Face in Political Deliberations

The 22-page case study, Context and Medium Matter: Expressing Disagreements Online and Face-to-Face in Political Deliberations (2015) by Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Lauren Bryant and Bruce Bimber was published in the Journal of Public Deliberation: Vol. 11: Iss. 1. This case study examines how participants' behavior differs depending on the medium, when expressing disagreements about political topics. From the abstract Processes of disagreement are important to public deliberation, but research has not examined the dynamics of disagreement in deliberation of political topics with respect to effects of the channel of interaction. This study analyzes the discussions generated via an experiment in which discussants were randomly assigned either to deliberate online via synchronous chat or face-to-face. The study compares the initiation of disagreement, its qualities, and how long it is sustained in the two environments. Discourse analysis suggests that in the online environment initial expressions of disagreement were less frequent, less bold, and were not sustained as compared with the face-to-face discussions. Reasons include the lack of coherence in synchronous chat, which may challenge interlocutors and prevent them from pursuing a disagreement over multiple turns. Implications of these findings for scholars and practitioners are discussed. Download the case study from the Journal of Public Deliberation here. About the Journal of Public Deliberation Spearheaded by the Deliberative Democracy Consortium in collaboration with the International Association of Public Participation, the principal objective of Journal of Public Deliberation (JPD) is to synthesize the research, opinion, projects, experiments and experiences of academics and practitioners in the emerging multi-disciplinary field and political movement called by some “deliberative democracy.” By doing this, we hope to help improve future research endeavors in this field and aid in the transformation of modern representative democracy into a more citizen friendly form. Follow the Deliberative Democracy Consortium on Twitter: @delibdem Follow the International Association of Public Participation [US] on Twitter: @IAP2USA Resource Link: www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/vol11/iss1/art1/

Deliberation, Democracy, and Civic Forums: Improving Equality and Publicity

Deliberation, Democracy, and Civic Forums: Improving Equality and Publicity by Christopher F. Karpowitz and Chad Raphael was published November 2014. The 409-page book, defines the various examples of civic forums that have grown in popularity in the last few decades. Karpowitz and Raphael explore the role of civic forums in citizen deliberation and how to increase the legitimacy of these kinds of forums in the future. From the intro...

Deliberation, Democracy, and Civic ForumsInnovative forums that integrate citizen deliberation into policy making are revitalizing democracy in many places around the world. Yet controversy abounds over whether these forums ought to be seen as authentic sources of public opinion and how they should fit with existing political institutions. How can civic forums include less powerful citizens and ensure that their perspectives are heard on equal terms with more privileged citizens, officials, and policy experts? How can these fragile institutions communicate citizens’ policy preferences effectively and legitimately to the rest of the political system? Deliberation, Democracy, and Civic Forums proposes creative solutions for improving equality and publicity, which are grounded in new theories about democratic deliberation, a careful review of research and practice in the field, and several original studies. This book speaks to scholars, practitioners, and sponsors of civic engagement, public management and consultation, and deliberative and participatory democracy.

Find the book through Cambridge University press or Amazon.

More about Christopher Karpowitz Christopher F. Karpowitz is an associate professor of political science and the co-director of the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University. He is a coauthor of The Silent Sex: Gender, Deliberation, and Institutions (2014) and of Democracy at Risk: How Political Choices Undermine Citizen Participation, and What We Can Do about It (2005). He has published in a variety of journals, including the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, the British Journal of Political Science, Perspectives on Politics, Political Communication, Politics & Society, PS: Political Science and Politics, and the Journal of Public Deliberation. Prior to joining BYU, he was a postdoctoral fellow in democracy and human values at Princeton University’s Center for Human Values. More about Chad Raphael Chad Raphael is a professor of communication at Santa Clara University. He is the author of Investigated Reporting: Muckrakers, Regulators, and the Struggle over Television Documentary (2005), which won the Frank Luther Mott–Kappa Tau Alpha Research Award for the best book on journalism and mass communication, the Donald McGannon Award for social and ethical relevance in communications policy research, and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication History Division Award for best book. He has published in many journals, including Political Communication, Politics and Society, Communication Law and Policy, Journalism Studies, the Journal of Educational Computing Research, the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, and Games and Culture, and in many edited volumes. He consults for non-profit organizations on their communication strategies and is former chair of the board at the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation and the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. Before entering academia, he was a community organizer on affordable housing and environmental issues. Resource Link: www.cambridge.org/US/academic/subjects/sociology/political-sociology/deliberation-democracy-and-civic-forums-improving-equality-and-publicity  

A New Land: What Kind of Government Should We Have? (NIFI Issue Guide)

The National Issues Forums Institute published the Issue Guide, A New Land: What Kind of Government Should We Have?, in 2015. This guide is to help facilitate deliberation the current and future state of the US union. From the guide… It is the spring of 1787. We are now iNIFI_NewLandn a critical period. Our new republic is unstable and the liberty we won just four years ago is threatened. We’ve lost the unity inspired by our fight against Britain. Trade is difficult and our physical safety is uncertain. There are conflicts within and threats from without. The current state of affairs has sparked conversations in pubs and shops, town squares and farmyards. Everywhere, people are asking the same questions: What should we do? How will we survive? How can our hard-won liberty be sustained? The questions boil down to this: What kind of government should we have? This historic decisions issue guide presents three options for deliberation: Option One: "Strengthen the Current Partnership Among Equals" The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union need to be amended. The current one-vote-per-state Confederation Congress assures that we are a union of equal members, but the current central government lacks the power to raise funds or make binding decisions. It needs to have the power to hold states accountable without impinging on their rights. We must figure out a workable balance that gives the central government more power and yet still respects each state’s autonomy. Option Two: "Create a Strong Central Government" To maintain our independence, we must ensure our stability. We need a strong central government to protect our liberty. Too much freedom at either the state or the personal level can be destructive. A republican form of federal government, with proportional representation from all of the states, guarantees that individual citizens will still have a say. A stronger central government in a new federal union of the states will also have the authority to safeguard our economic stability and physical security. Option Three: "Let States Govern Themselves" Now that we have our liberty, we should dissolve the Confederation and let the states govern themselves as independent republics. Local governance works best. We are too economically, geographically, and culturally diverse to form one nation. Each state has its own traditions of self-governance, some going back a century or more. Each has its own way of determining citizenship. We’ve proven we can successfully unite in the face of a common threat, and we can do it again if need be. More about the NIFI Issue Guides NIFI’s Issue Guides introduce participants to several choices or approaches to consider. Rather than conforming to any single public proposal, each choice reflects widely held concerns and principles. Panels of experts review manuscripts to make sure the choices are presented accurately and fairly. By intention, Issue Guides do not identify individuals or organizations with partisan labels, such as Democratic, Republican, conservative, or liberal. The goal is to present ideas in a fresh way that encourages readers to judge them on their merit. Issue Guides are generally available in print or PDF download for a small fee ($2 to $4). All NIFI Issue Guides and associated tools can be accessed at www.nifi.org/en/issue-guides. Follow on Twitter: @NIForums. Resource Link: www.nifi.org/en/issue-guide/historic-decisions-new-land

Airesis – Open Source E-democracy Social Network

Airesis is a free, web-based, open source E-democracy platform, structured as a social network and designed to maximize the collective intelligence of group deliberation. It is the result of 5 years of development, testing and pilot experimentation, organized and done by an Italian Association - Tecnologie Democratiche, which included the collaboration of more than 50 people. Airesis is the outcome of the fusion of two projects: Agorà 2.0 and DemocracyOnline, that came together in the association, Tecnologie Democratiche, with one of its main goals being the development of an innovative, open-source, e-democracy software. The goal of the team, made entirely of volunteers, is to give citizens and groups a software platform that allows them to cope with most of the problems of our society, by allowing the creation, discussion and voting on proposals in a transparent, democratic, constructive and participative way; allowing the collective intelligence to emerge. From Airesis

Airesis is a free software platform, built by a team of Italian developers and contributors, to enable communities and groups to organize themselves in a productive manner according to the principles of direct democracy and participation.

To achieve this goal, the application has been designed as a multifunctional system, which integrates all the tools that can help the development of a community, in particular "social" and deliberative tools.

Among social tools, Airesis offers blogs and a system of promotion of events and meetings with adjoining scheduling. Among deliberative tools it includes areas for the collection and deliberation of proposals and initiatives, and a voting system aimed to the election of candidates. The platform also allows you to create groups with access regulations policies and customizable permissions. Since the goal of Airesis is to stimulate participation, great attention has been spent in order to maximize the intuitiveness of the whole platform. The development philosophy is focused on continuous improvement, a kind of evolutionary process based on users feedback. The development team is available to meet the needs of the communities which want to use the software according to the spirit of direct democracy.

TecnologieDemocraticheMore about Tecnologie Democratiche In the political arena and by the citizen, the Internet is increasingly perceived as potential instrument for the democratic participation; however, few and undeveloped are the web platforms conceived to help parties and political movement to involve citizens in the preparation of programs and policy proposals. The association "Tecnologie Democratiche" ("Democratic Technologies" ndr.) was created to satisfy this need, providing an enhanced tool to exploit the "collective intelligence", the skills and experiences of citizens, their creativity, their critical spirit, while ensuring at the same time democratic values in the various stages of the elaboration of a policy proposal. Follow Technologie Democratiche on Twitter: @TDemocratiche Learn more about the Airesis team here. Follow Airesis on Twitter: @democracyo Resource Link: www.airesis.info/ This resource was submitted by Jacopo Tolja, the Internationalisation Team Leader at Associazione Tecnologie Democratiche via the Add-a-Resource form.

Understanding Participant Representativeness in Deliberative Events

The case study, Understanding Participant Representativeness in Deliberative Events: A Case Study Comparing Probability and Non-Probability Recruitment Strategies, by Jamie Griffin, Tarik Abdel-Monem, Alan Tomkins, Amanda Richardson, and Stacia Jorgensen, was published in the Journal of Public Deliberation: Vol. 11: Iss. 1. This case study examines participant representativeness within deliberative events and then reviews two public participation processes in Lincoln, Nebraska. From the Abstract

Deliberative event participants often differ in meaningful ways from the population they are intended to represent; however, less is known about whether various recruitment methods influence participant representativeness. Furthermore, a better understanding of where in the recruitment process lack of representation occurs is needed. We present a framework for understanding why event attendees might not represent the target population and then compare two different recruitment strategies using this framework. Specifically, we consider a Deliberative Poll that used a random-digit-dial telephone recruitment survey and a deliberative event that used a convenience sample web recruitment survey. For two stages in the recruitment process, we calculate nonresponse errors for statistics assessing demographic characteristics and confidence in local government. Notably, both recruitment methods resulted in event attendees that were older and better educated than the population they were intended to represent providing evidence that probability recruitment methods do not necessarily outperform nonprobability methods. Additionally, we demonstrate that aspects of the recruitment process other than the recruitment survey sampling method used can influence participant representativeneess. We conclude by discussing adjustments to the recruitment process that might improve the representativeness of event attendees.

Download the case study from the Journal of Public Deliberation here. About the Journal of Public Deliberation Spearheaded by the Deliberative Democracy Consortium in collaboration with the International Association of Public Participation, the principal objective of Journal of Public Deliberation (JPD) is to synthesize the research, opinion, projects, experiments and experiences of academics and practitioners in the emerging multi-disciplinary field and political movement called by some “deliberative democracy.” By doing this, we hope to help improve future research endeavors in this field and aid in the transformation of modern representative democracy into a more citizen friendly form. Follow the Deliberative Democracy Consortium on Twitter: @delibdem Follow the International Association of Public Participation [US] on Twitter: @IAP2USA Resource Link: www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/vol11/iss1/

Journal of Public Deliberation- Volume 11, Issue 1 (2015)

The Journal of Public Deliberation is a peer reviewed, open access journal that is published biannually. JPD is a collaborative effort between the Deliberative Democracy Consortium and the International Association of Public Participation that merged as a joint venture in November 2010. The principal objective of the journal is to synthesize research, opinion, projects, experiments and experiences of academics and practitioners in the multi-use disciplinary field of "deliberative democracy". Below is the contents of Spring 2015 edition- Volume 11, Issue 1:
Contents of Volume 11, Issue 1 Articles
Inclusion, Equality, and Discourse Quality in Citizen Deliberations on Broadband Soo-Hye Han, William Schenck-Hamlin, and Donna Schenck-Hamlin
About the Deliberative Democracy Consortium A network of scholars and practitioners who advocate public engagement and deliberative democracy. Follow on Twitter: @delibdem About the International Association of Public Participation IAP2 is an international association of members who seek to promote and improve the practice of public participation in relation to individuals, governments, institutions, and other entities that affect the public interest in nations throughout the world. Follow IAP2 USA on Twitter: @IAP2USA Resource Link: www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/vol11/iss1/

Participatory Budgeting case study: Vallejo, CA

This case study by ParticipediaParticipatory Budgeting- Vallejo (CA), published June 2015, gives a brief overview of the participatory budgeting (PB) process in Vallejo from 2012 to present. The case study reviews: the history in Vallejo behind why PB was implemented, information about who participated, influences, objectives and lessons learned. From the Abstract

Vallejo was the first city in the United States to implement city wide Participatory Budgeting Practice, as thousands are participating to make calls and to brainstorm ideas that would affect them and they are working with Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) to help increase the living standards of the residents to the better by representing the people and giving them better services and to give training workshops, also to allocate millions of dollars the tax payers money to something the locals would choose on where to use it at, it is making the people make their decision on how to spend the money, the people had formed 12 projects which affects their civic life and making constant meetings for residents to gather and make decisions

Learn more about PB in Vallejo from the Participatory Budgeting Project: www.participatorybudgeting.org/vallejo/ More about Participedia ParticipediaParticipedia harnesses the power of collaboration to respond to a recent global phenomenon: the rapid development of experiments in new forms of participatory politics and governance around the world. Participedia responds to these developments by providing a low-cost, easy way for hundreds of researchers and practitioners from across the globe to catalogue and compare the performance of participatory political processes. Follow on Twitter: @participedia Resource Link: http://participedia.net/en/cases/participatory-budgeting-vallejo-ca-us

America’s Energy Future: How Can We Take Charge? (NIFI Issue Guide)

The National Issues Forums Institute published the Issue Guide, America's Energy Future: How Can We Take Charge?, in January 2015. This Issue Guide puts forth three options for deliberation of how America can address its energy consumption and how to deal with it in the future.    NIFI_USenergyFrom the guide…

Americans depend on easy access to energy. Most of us take it for granted that we will be able to light up a room with the flick of a switch, adjust the temperature of our homes at will, and climb into our cars every morning to go to work, often at distant sites.

We use more energy than any other country. Americans make up only 4.5 percent of the world’s population, yet we consume about 20 percent of the world’s energy production. Collectively, we drive more, heat more, air condition more, and plug in more electronic devices than anyone else. We use 22 percent of the oil consumed in the world each day.

Worldwide energy use is on the upswing as well, and is projected to keep increasing, as rapidly developing countries, such as China, India, and Brazil, become bigger players in the worldwide market for energy supplies, especially oil. And— sooner or later—the world’s available supply of oil will run out.

The Issue Guide presents three options for deliberation: Option One: "Produce the Energy We Need to Maintain Our Way of Life" We need to control our own sources of energy so that we do not have to depend on other, possibly unfriendly, countries for our supplies. We have abundant sources of energy in this country and off its shores. We should develop and use them. Option Two: "Put More Renewables and Clean Energy Sources into the Mix" Not only is our lavish use of fossil fuels causing untold damage to the environment, but someday we will run out of oil, coal, and natural gas. We need to make the switch to renewable sources of energy, such as wind and sun, as soon as possible. Option Three: "Find Ways to Use Less Energy" The most practical way to deal with our current energy problems in not to produce more energy but to use less of it, and to do more with the energy we do use. This will involve both stricter government regulations and changes in our individual lifestyles. More about the NIFI Issue Guides NIFI’s Issue Guides introduce participants to several choices or approaches to consider. Rather than conforming to any single public proposal, each choice reflects widely held concerns and principles. Panels of experts review manuscripts to make sure the choices are presented accurately and fairly. By intention, Issue Guides do not identify individuals or organizations with partisan labels, such as Democratic, Republican, conservative, or liberal. The goal is to present ideas in a fresh way that encourages readers to judge them on their merit. Issue Guides are generally available in print or PDF download for a small fee ($2 to $4). All NIFI Issue Guides and associated tools can be accessed at www.nifi.org/en/issue-guides. Follow on Twitter: @NIForums. Resource Link: www.nifi.org/en/issue-guide/americas-energy-future

Combating Childhood Obesity in Somerville

This four-page case study (2014) from The Intersector Project outlines the cross-sector collaboration used by the Friedman School of Nutrition and Tufts School of Medicine, with The City of Somerville to reduce childhood obesity in Somerville, Massachusetts. From the Intersector Project One in six American children was affected by obesity in 2000. In the city of Somerville, outside of Boston, 46 percent of Somerville first and third graders were overweight or at risk for becoming so. Dr. Christina Economos, an associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition and the School of Medicine at Tufts University worked with her colleagues in collaboration with the entire City of Somerville to design and implement Shape Up Somerville (SUS). Recognizing that children have limited control over the food and physical activity options available to them, the program sought to prevent obesity in early elementary school-age children through a community-wide initiative focused on environmental and policy strategies to impact energy balance. Over the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 school years, Shape Up Somerville led to a statistically significant drop in Body Mass Index (BMI) among early elementary school children. As of 2012, Shape Up Somerville is part of the Somerville Health Department and an integral part of community efforts to improve healthy and active lifestyle options for the community. IP_Somerville

“A top-down plan cannot address the needs of a diverse community. It cannot sustain over the long haul, because leadership has limited time to devote any single program, and leadership also changes over time. Cultivating a strong grassroots effort is the only way to see an effort like this take root, sustain and grow.”– Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, Somerville, Massachusetts

This case study, authored by The Intersector Project, tells the story of this initiative. More about The Intersector ProjectThe Intersector Project The Intersector Project is a New York-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that seeks to empower practitioners in the government, business, and non-profit sectors to collaborate to solve problems that cannot be solved by one sector alone. We provide free, publicly available resources for practitioners from every sector to implement collaborative solutions to complex problems. We take forward several years of research in collaborative governance done at the Center for Business and Government at Harvard’s Kennedy School and expand on that research to create practical, accessible resources for practitioners. Follow on Twitter @theintersector. Resource Link: http://intersector.com/case/shapeupsomerville_massachusetts/ (Download the case study PDF here.) This resource was submitted by Neil Britto, the Executive Director at The Intersector Project via the Add-a-Resource form.

Effects of the Internet on Participation

The 38-page study, Effects of the Internet on Participation: Study of a Public Policy Referendum in Brazilby Paolo Spada, Jonathan Mellon, Tiago Peixoto and Fredrik M. Sjoberg, was published February 2015. It explores how online voting increases voter participation during an annual participatory budgeting vote in Brazil and what factors were influential for citizen engagement. You can download the paper here. From the Abstract

Does online voting mobilize citizens who otherwise would not participate? During the annual participatory budgeting vote in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil -- the world's largest -- Internet voters were asked whether they would have participated had there not been an online voting option (i-voting). The study documents an 8.2 percent increase in total turn-out with the introduction of i-voting. In support of the mobilization hypothesis, unique survey data show that i-voting is mainly used by new participants rather than just for convenience by those who were already mobilized. The study also finds that age, gender, income, education, and social media usage are significant predictors of being online-only voters. Technology appears more likely to engage people who are younger, male, of higher income and educational attainment, and more frequent social media users.

More about Paolo Spada Paolo is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions at the University of British Columbia. He specializes in comparative public policy, with a focus on policy diffusion, policy analysis and institutional design. Check out his site here. More about Jonathan Mellon Jonathan is a Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Oxford - Nuffield College, working on the British Election Study. He also works for the World Bank as a data scientist analyzing online civic engagement in developed and developing country contexts, for the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe, running statistical analysis of election observer reports, and for the BBC on their election night coverage. Check out his wordpress here and follow on Twitter: @jon_mellon. More about Tiago Peixoto Having worked for 10 years as a practitioner and researcher in the field of ICT and participatory governance, Tiago is currently an open government specialist at the ICT4Gov program of the World Bank’s Open Government cluster. Read his blog, DemocracySpot, which is focused on the intersection of participation and technology. Follow on Twitter: @participatory. More about Fredrik M. Sjoberg Dr. Fredrik M Sjoberg is a data analyst and political scientist with extensive experience in the developing world. He currently manages a research team on Digital Citizen Engagement at the World Bank and is a Research Affiliate with Data-Pop Alliance. Learn more about him here and follow on Twitter: @fsjoberg. Resource Link: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract
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