Critical Deliberative Democracy Tech: Questions, Tensions, Norms and Directions for Working with Institutions, Communities and Technologies to Scale Up Democratic Innovations
Association for Computing Machinery
Recent surveys show that citizens worldwide are increasingly worried about the socio-political conflicts emerging around the world and seek new ways to be engaged in democratic and inclusive discussions about how public interest decisions are made, and how social tensions can be prevented, mitigated, and even resolved, in new ways, and by mobilising grassroot collective actions. Still, the deliberative spaces that are available today for communities and institutions to co-create ideas and bridge ideas to actions are highly inadequate. Issues of loss of trust in public institutions, civic disengagement, unequally distributed power and lack of transparency of decisions only exacerbate these issues, and expose a dangerous disconnect between citizens asks and public government’s actions, and a fundamental inadequacy of institutional responses to citizens’ needs and aspirations. The Critical Deliberative Democracy Tech workshop aims to bridge this disconnect by bringing together a multidisciplinary scholars in social and political science, computer science, and urban planning who can contribute both stories of success and failure of engaging communities and institutions in real deliberative democracy innovations. From there we aim to develop a research roadmap around the key critical questions, tensions, norms and directions that need to be explored for working together with institutions and communities to realise scalable democratic innovations.