Book Chapter Details
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Vanessa Liston, Clodagh Harris, Mark O'Toole, and Margaret Liston
2013 May
Internet in the humanities: an insight from Ireland
Digitally enhancing democracy through e-deliberations
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In this chapter we show how a new type of political knowledge can be harnessed from everyday communication flows between citizens to support community and policy development processes. The emergence of this new knowledge will be enabled by an e-supported deliberation process (SOWIT) that aims to improve political communication and deliberation between citizens, civil society organisations, local councils and councillors. To explain the SOWIT project and its innovative approach to political engagement we first outline its motivation with respect to political reform in Ireland. We then discuss the modelís framework and features in functional terms. The core innovations are rooted in SOWITís foundation in the fields of Q-methodology, discursive representation and meta-consensus theory. Finally, we explain how the model departs from the epistemic norms of current political paradigms particularly with respect to public opinion and random selection as a basis for representativeness in deliberative fora. SOWIT is currently being developed as a pilot in collaboration with Fingal County Council in Dublin.
Cathy Fowley, Claire English and Sylvie Thouesny (eds)
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