The Prospects of E-Democracy: An Experimental Study of Collaborative E-Rulemaking
Journal of Information Technology & Politics (Forthcoming)
78 Pages Posted: 2 May 2018
Date Written: April 16, 2018
The recent literature on e-democracy reflects a certain disillusionment with the capacity of e-ruling initiatives to generate processes that serve concurrently the goals of democratization and of “good governance”. The main challenge has been to create e-ruling platforms that facilitate a deliberative process that is sufficiently inclusive and also makes a significant contribution to the policy debate. The present article contributes to this debate through the analysis of a wiki-styled system that combined a forum and a collaborative writing tool. This system enhances the opportunities of citizens to influence the policy debate beyond conventional ‘notice-and-comment’ platforms. The experiment sought to test the capacity of this platform to facilitate an epistemically complex dialogue in a setting that closely resembles real regulatory consultation. We also examined the dynamics of the deliberative process, focusing on the influence of differences in social value orientation on participation levels (distinguishing between active participants and lurkers). The analysis is based on a field experiment held at Bar-Ilan University in December 2014. The topic of the experiment was a debate over the Bar-Ilan University Code Concerning Political Activity on Campus. The Code establishes procedures and rules for conducting public and political activities on campus.
Keywords: Collaborative E- Rulemaking, Wiki-Governance, Lurkers, Social Value Orientation
JEL Classification: K10, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation