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Redesigning the Relationship between Government and Civil Society: An Investigation of Emerging Models of Networked Democracy in Brazil

Abstract : The concept of networked public sphere [3] modifies the original Habermasian definition of public sphere by considering the dissemination of new interactive technologies that potentially allow new relations between civil society and government. The objective of this paper is to investigate the emergence of the networked public sphere based on the in-depth study of two Brazilian cities that have created conditions for their citizens to influence public policies through the use of Internet-based virtual platforms. To develop our study we adapt the method for analyzing political participation called democracy cube [13] that considers mechanisms of participation along three dimensions: a) who participates, b) how participants communicate with each other and make decisions, and c) how these decisions relate to political action and public policies. Our investigation shows that citizens of the two cities presented in this study use the virtual platform to engage in lively discussions and exchange of information as a way to propose and implement new public policies that are eventually adopted by their city governments. We conclude that, albeit at an early stage, the use of virtual platforms to share opinions on topics that citizens want to be recognized helps to mobilize public opinion and participation and influence the opinion of local public officials on policy implementations.
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Eduardo Diniz, Manuella Ribeiro. Redesigning the Relationship between Government and Civil Society: An Investigation of Emerging Models of Networked Democracy in Brazil. 10th International Conference on Human Choice and Computers (HCC), Sep 2012, Amsterdam, Netherlands. pp.299-309, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-33332-3_27⟩. ⟨hal-01525116⟩

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