Engineering Software Assemblies for Participatory Democracy: The Participatory Budgeting Use Case

Abstract : The worldwide use of the Internet and social networking has transformed the constraints of time and space in human interaction: we can now be heard at a massive scale unprecedented in human history. As a result, ICT may enable citizens to undertake both government through direct assembly and collective action at a scale and an efficacy previously considered impossible. Our research concerns this opportunity to leverage a new sort of political life. We focus specifically on how software systems may enable partic-ipatory democracy, that is, the participation of citizens in democratic assembly, action, and governance. As an initial step, we have developed a service-oriented software platform, called AppCivist-PB, focused on a specific, yet representative use case of participatory democracy, namely, Participa-tory Budgeting (PB for short). PB is an allocation process used in many cities around the world through which they commit a percentage of their annual budget (often 5%) to implement citizen-proposed projects. In PB, residents of a city (or a higher level territorial organization), brainstorm, develop, and select project proposals that local government institutions are required to fund and implement. The key contribution of AppCivist-PB is to enable the cohesive creation of both citizen and software assemblies that together implement a given participatory budgeting campaign.
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Software Engineering in Society at ICSE, May 2016, Austin, TX, United States. To be published in Proceedings of ICSE 2016, SEIS track, 2016, 〈http://2016.icse.cs.txstate.edu/seis〉
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James Holston, Valérie Issarny, Cristhian Parra. Engineering Software Assemblies for Participatory Democracy: The Participatory Budgeting Use Case. Software Engineering in Society at ICSE, May 2016, Austin, TX, United States. To be published in Proceedings of ICSE 2016, SEIS track, 2016, 〈http://2016.icse.cs.txstate.edu/seis〉. 〈hal-01261012〉

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