Our final deliverable of D-CENT project has been released: Networked Models of Democracy. In this work we analyse two different online platforms for democratic and deliberative processes. We first assess the collaborative process of building the Municipal Action Program in Barcelona within the platform Decidim.Barcelona. Then, we examine how deliberation is affected in the online platform Menéame by the change of the way in which discussion threads are presented to users.
Disclaimer: This report is currently awaiting approval from the EC and as such cannot be not considered as final version.
This document is the final D-CENT deliverable in WP2: Network driven data analysis, modeling and
visualisation. The research presented here, grounded in findings from previous deliverables about
collective intelligence, data analysis, and data visualization, examines networked models for democratic
participatory processes. The deliverable is structured in two chapters:
- The first chapter contains the assessment of Decidim.Barcelona, the new online platform where
citizens from Barcelona collectively decide the strategic city plan. First we discuss the
technopolitical context that explains the development of this participatory process in Barcelona.
We then describe the main functionalities of the platform as well as the principles and objectives
of the process. These principles are evaluated by analysing and visualizing data from
Decidim.Barcelona. In particular we present a comprehensive analysis of the online sphere
(proposals within the platform), offline spaces (physical meetings), and the connection between
- The second chapter reflects on how collective behaviour on this kind of platform is affected by
the way information is presented. Features such as web and interaction design will have an
influence on the structure of arguments that build the dialectical debate. This structure is crucial
since decision-making processes (e.g. voting a proposal under discussion) will be biased by the
way in which people acquire information from the debate. This reflection motivates an
experiment for a similar case study, which gave us the unique opportunity to analyse the effect
of a change in the user interface in a similar platform to Decidim.Barcelona. Our findings,
obtained through statistical data models, prove that the new interface for discussions, showing
discussion threads in a hierarchical view, promoted rhizomatic structures and increased
participation. Since this is the interface adopted in Decidim.Barcelona, our empirical results
validate the platform design as ultimately favoring deliberative processes.