Online participation is any kind of voluntary activity that is aimed at a collective good and that makes at least some use of the Internet.
The focus of this wiki is on a particular subset of online participation, namely online participation in decision-making. Such participation might occur in the context of political decisions (e.g. budget consultations) as well as in other contexts such as for-profit organizations or NGOs. In this specific context online participation is defined as the involvement of those who are affected by a decision in the decision-making process with at least some use of internet technology.
Defining online participation
It is important to note that there is not yet a standard definition of online participation in the academic literature. Most definitions of online participation would accept that:
- it describes an activity
- it requires some form of publicness (even though it might not be public to everyone but just to some group)
- it needs to be voluntary
- it needs to have a significant online component
There is controversy on questions such as
- Is it limited to politics (or certain topics)?
- Is it limited to decision making processes?
- Are only those affected by the topic of the participation of interest?
- Is it always collective?
The definition outlined above is very broad. In particular it does not explicitly limit online participation to specific
- initiators: participation can be organized bottom up as well as top-down
- topics: participation is not fixed on certain topics (e.g. politics)
- structures: participation can be formally structured and centrally organised as well as self-organised and unstructured
- efforts: participation entails activities with low as well as high effort/involvement
- collective action: participation can take place collectively as well as by individual activity
- publicness: participation can take place in public as well as within groups
- online: online participation can take place exclusively online as well as in combination with offline activities
Other definitions of (online) participation
Rowe and Frewer(2004:512) "Public participation may be defined at a general level as the practice of consulting and involving members of the public in the agenda-setting, decision-making, and policy-forming activities of organizations or institutions responsible for policy development."
Gadras and Greffet (2014:262) focus on online political participation and define it as: "any type of online activity, either individual or collective, which expands the involvement of people in politics and/or questions politics, whether this is linked or not with a direct effect on public affairs."
Kneuer (2016) offers a two-dimensional approach distinguish top-down from bottom-up forms of online participation (e-participation) on four different levels: e-information, e-dialogue, e-monitoring and e-decision-making
This category has the following 9 subcategories, out of 9 total.
Pages in category "Online Participation"
The following 9 pages are in this category, out of 9 total.