Title: Digital participation in Chilean "Citizenry dialogues" (2015)

Authors: Francisco Soto; Yanina Welp

Addresses: Faculty of Law, Department of Public Law, University of Chile, Santiago de Chile, Chile ' Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy, Graduate Institute, Geneva, CP 1672, Switzerland

Abstract: This paper analyses the constitutional consultation developed in Chile, propelled during Michelle Bachelet's government ("Citizenry Dialogues") between 2015-2018. There was a considerable interest from citizens and public opinion in this process which involved direct offline meetings and online participation throughout digital platforms. Its success was based in the application of a participative methodology that channelled the demand for constitutional change. Even more, fuelled by an initial enthusiasm, civil society organisations presented additional recommendations. Notwithstanding, the overall result is bittersweet. Even though there was a broad participation, a lack of an appropriate 'return' of the results of such inquiry to citizens caused disappointment even within the supporters of such initiative. Therefore, we conclude that methodological standards for deliberative processes require to be duly identify in order to ensure the possibility of tracing the results through the use of internet.

Keywords: constitution-making; citizens participation; deliberation; democratic innovations; digital platforms; transparency; accountability; Chile; e-participation; legitimacy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEG.2021.116899

International Journal of Electronic Governance, 2021 Vol.13 No.2, pp.192 - 207

Received: 24 Sep 2019
Accepted: 21 Mar 2020

Published online: 29 Jul 2021 *

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