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ItemCan Digital Technologies Create a Stronger Model for Democratic Participation? The Case of #Crowdlaw( 2018-01-03)This study attempts to critically assess the democratizing potential of "CrowdLaw," a form of online participation that its practitioners describe as crowdsourced policy-making. To do so, the study analyzes both the statements of Crowdlaw practitioners gathered at the third "online global conference on #CrowdLaw" and the design and performance of the CrowdLaw platforms for which the author could find a sufficiently complete online presence. Findings about the democratizing potential of CrowdLaw are mixed: on the one hand, the analysis of practitioners’ statements reveals an intention to create broad participation, and discussion forums that encourage deliberation. On the other, a look at the platforms’ design and performance reveals an uneven and incomplete implementation of these intentions.
ItemDigital Activism: a Hierarchy of Political Commitment( 2018-01-03)Political action has a long history. Information systems provide new affordances for political action that go well beyond sending an email to elected officials or "liking" a political Facebook page. Digital activism -- political action enabled by Information Systems (IS) -- not only provides citizens with enhanced opportunities for organization and communication, but also allows opportunities to take direct political action and create greater impact with fewer resources. This paper seeks to explore and build theory on the use and impact of digital activism by extending Milbrath’s hierarchy of political participation to reflect digital activism. The paper contributes to both the IS and political science literature with a digital activism framework that builds on digital activism theory.
ItemCross-National Network Diffusion of Crowdsourcing Innovation Policy: Peer to Patent( 2018-01-03)This study examines network factors in the cross-national diffusion of a recent crowdsourcing innovation in the public sector, called Peer to Patent. Policy diffusion theory, as applied to informational network exchange, suggests that information about innovation will be communicated through social networks among policy decision makers. Building on case studies from five countries-”the United States, Australia, South Korea, Japan, and the United Kingdom-”that have adopted Peer to Patent, this study finds that the pattern of adoption is best explained by the underlying network structure of professional and institutional actors that allow policymakers to exchange ideas and learn from others. The informational network framework includes epistemic communities, international organizations, and globalized corporate entities and is affected by other mediating factors such as regulations, peer-to-peer relations, and technology. Policy transfer is thus a complex concept that includes multiple streams of transnational communication and exchange.