Digital Agoras: Democratic Legitimacy, Online Participation and Uber's Petitions

Theory and Practice of Legislation (2016) (Forthcoming)

33 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2016

See all articles by Sofia Ranchordas

Sofia Ranchordas

University of Groningen, Faculty of Law

Date Written: October 5, 2016

Abstract

This article discusses the impact of social media and new technologies of participation on citizen participation in lawmaking. This article focuses on electronic petitioning and examines how Uber, a controversial ride-sharing digital platform, has employed a traditional instrument of civic engagement for lobbying purposes. Notwithstanding the platform’s ability to mobilize thousands of citizens, it is unclear how these and other online petitions should be evaluated from the point of view of their democratic legitimacy. Drawing on the analysis of Uber petitions and the review of the legal and social science literature, I argue that technology has shaped civic engagement in the case of e-petitioning, by mobilizing citizens at a faster pace, promoting political and legal discussions in apolitical platforms, and providing more information at lower costs. I suggest that technology has nonetheless not solved the democratic deficits of online petitioning, partially due to its limited influence and the leadership of participatory initiatives.

Keywords: civic engagement, online petitions, Uber, sharing economy, citizen participation, crowdsourcing, democratic legitimacy, participatory democracy

JEL Classification: K1, K2

Suggested Citation

Ranchordas, Sofia, Digital Agoras: Democratic Legitimacy, Online Participation and Uber's Petitions (October 5, 2016). Theory and Practice of Legislation (2016) (Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2849401 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2849401

Sofia Ranchordas (Contact Author)

University of Groningen, Faculty of Law ( email )

Oude Kijk in 't Straat
Harmoniecomplex
9700 AS Groningen, Gn 9712
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.rug.nl/staff/s.h.ranchordas/

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
93
Abstract Views
436
rank
278,008
PlumX Metrics