Research and Publications

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A value-based design approach for online deliberation

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Design for Online Deliberative Processes and Technologies: Towards a Multidisciplinary Research Agenda

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Building an Online Deliberation Platform – Bottom-up Civic Engagement in Singapore

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The Main and Spillover Effects of Online Deliberation: Changes in opinions, informational media use and political activities


This paper presents a theory-driven approach for the design of online deliberation platforms. We start with a brief overview of recent trends in deliberative research, capturing in particular 5 salient values of deliberative democracy namely- Impartial accessibility, Reasonable discourse, Epistemic value, Binding Decisions and Dynamicity. These deliberative values will then be used to review the effectiveness of current online deliberation approaches. We then explicate the challenges involved in such value-based design for deliberation and propose our own set of 11 design approaches that can help improve the legitimacy of online deliberative processes.

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There has been rapidly growing interest in studying and designing online deliberative processes and technologies. This SIG aims at providing a venue for continuous and constructive dialogue between social, political and cognitive sciences as well as computer science, HCI, and CSCW. Through an online community and a modified version of world cafe discussions, we contribute to the definition of the theoretical building blocks, the identification of a research agenda for the CHI community, and the network of individuals from academia, industry, and the public sector who share interests in different aspects of online deliberation.

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Singapore, known for its authoritarian government leadership, is entering a more competitive democratic system [8]. To facilitate the bottom-up civic engagement, novel Information Communications Technology (ICT) tools that support alternative forms of democracy need to be explored. Our team is building an online platform for deliberative democracy. We plan to tackle the challenges of incorporating important deliberative democracy values into the online system and validating its effectiveness in the context of Singapore. This paper presents a brief overview of recent trends in online political deliberation research. Potential design implications for the system are discussed.

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This study examines the main and spillover effects of online deliberation. According to theoretical arguments of
deliberative democracy scholars, we defined the main effects as changes in opinions on discussion issues. The spillover effects refer to changes in behaviors that are not directly related to online deliberation activities. In particular, we look at the spillover effects on informational media use and political activities. Relying on two-wave surveys that interviewed 510 citizen participants who used an online deliberation platform for three weeks, we compared the pre- and post-deliberation measures of the outcome variables.
Our analyses reveal that most of opinions changed after deliberation but the nature of the changes depends on specific issues. The spillover effects are found to be particularly significant in online media use and social media based political activities. We conclude that both the main and spillover effects are unneglectable outcomes of online deliberation but their patterns are supported by difference mechanisms.

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