Technology and the quality of public deliberation: a comparison between on and offline participation
by Laurence Monnoyer-Smith; Stéphanie Wojcik
International Journal of Electronic Governance (IJEG), Vol. 5, No. 1, 2012

Abstract: The empirical turn in deliberative democracy has recently generated a considerable amount of academic work. Scholars have tried to operationalise the theoretical dimensions of deliberative democracy into robust criteria in order to evaluate the quality of public discussion. Few of them however have systematically compared online and offline deliberation to analyse the link between the technological formats deployed in a deliberative procedure and the quality of the discussion. This is what this paper aims to do through a French case study of a national public debate. Drawing from a revised version of the Discourse Quality Index, we will theoretically discuss and propose a coding scheme for quality analysis which rests on an enlarged definition of deliberation. Our results suggest a dynamic appropriation of the various settings, each presenting features in which actors strategically position themselves.

Online publication date: Wed, 20-Jun-2012

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