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In a collaborative e-democracy, every citizen participates in the policy process, either indirectly by delegating proxy representatives to vote on their behalf within the different policy domains, or directly by voting on a particular issue (green arrows)
In a collaborative e-democracy, every citizen participates in the policy process, either indirectly by delegating proxy representatives to vote on their behalf within the different policy domains, or directly by voting on a particular issue (green arrows)

Collaborative e-democracy is a democratic conception that combines key features of direct democracy, representative democracy, and e-democracy (i.e. the use of ICTs for democratic processes). The concept was first published at two international academic conferences in 2009 (see below).

Collaborative e-democracy refers to a political system in which governmental stakeholders (politicians/parties, ministers, parliamentarians etc.) and non-governmental stakeholders (NGOs, political lobbies, local communities, individual citizens, etc.) collaborate on the development of public laws and policies. This collaborative policymaking process is conducted on a governmental social networking site in which all citizens are members (collaborative e-policy-making).

While directly elected government officials (i.e. ‘proxy representatives’) would conduct the vast majority of law and policy-making processes (representative democracy), the citizens would retain their final voting power on each issue (direct democracy). Additionally each citizen would be empowered to propose their own policies to the electorate and thus initiate new policy processes where applicable (initiative). Collaboratively generated policies would consider the opinion of a larger proportion of the citizenry; therefore they may be more just, more sustainable, and thus easier to implement.

Theoretical background

Collaborative e-democracy involves following theory components:

Policy process

Collaborative e-policymaking is a process where public laws & policies are generated in collaboration of multiple stakeholders (e.g. affected people; domain experts; parties who can help to implement a solution). Each new policy cycle starts with the identification of a collective problem or goal by the collective of participants (i.e. citizens, experts, proxy representatives).

To be clear, CPM is automated as a software process that is conducted on the governmental social networking site.

Principles

Collaborative e-democracy is based on following core principles:

Benefits and limitations

The concept of collaborative e-democracy intends to achieve following benefits:

On the contrary the concept has several limitations:

Research and development

In 2009 the two conceptions, collaborative e-democracy and collaborative e-policy-making, were first published at two academic conferences on e-governance and e-democracy:

See also

References