The workshop (jointly organized by the Düsseldorf Institute for Internet and Democracy and the PhD programme NRW Forschungskolleg Online Participation) brings together an international group of scholars that provide different perspectives on the effects of political online participation.
The area of interest of this special issue is public participation that utilizes digital information and communication technologies. By public participation we are referring to participation that is implemented by state authorities to provide citizens with opportunities to influence political and administrative decision-making. In this special issue the interest is primarily focused on the effects of such innovative forms of online participation, in particular on the questions:
- What kind of effects could be expected and what causal mechanisms can be modelled?
- How do these effects compare to the effects expected of offline participation?
- How can potential effects be operationalized, measured and evaluated in practice?
- What effects have already been observed empirically?
So far, the field of online participation research has been marked by a lack of theory about possible effects and their underlying social mechanisms, a diversity of approaches to evaluate effects and an emphasis on single case studies that have produced only few findings which can be generalized. Therefore, this special issue aims to include approaches from different academic disciplines and different methods of measurement to apply them to different forms of participation.
The program includes different contributions from various disciplines, e.g. Computer Science, Communication Studies, Law, Political Science, and Sociology. In particular, in the session of the 20th of November at 12 am, the paper “Are we game for gamification? Potential and limits of game-design elements to foster civic engagement and encourage participation” will be presented.