Aitamurto and Landemore on Deliberation in Crowdsourced Legislative Processes

Dr. Tanja Aitamurto of Stanford University and Professor Dr. Hélène Landemore of Yale University, presented a paper entitled Democratic Participation and Deliberation in Crowdsourced Legislative Processes: The Case of the Law on Off-Road Traffic in Finland, at the ComTech 13 Workshop on Large-scale Ideal Management and Deliberation Systems, held 29 June 2013 in Munich.

Here is the abstract:

This paper reports on a pioneering case study of a legislative process open to the direct online participation of the public. The empirical context of the study is a crowdsourced off-road traffic law in Finland. On the basis of our analysis of the user content generated to date and a series of interviews with key participants, we argue that the process qualifies as a promising case of deliberation on a mass-scale. This case study will make an important contribution to the understanding of online methods forparticipatory and deliberative democracy. The preliminary findings indicate that there is deliberation in the crowdsourcing process, which occurs organically (to a certain degree) among the participants, despite the lack of incentives for it. Second, the findings strongly indicate that there is a strong educative element in crowdsourced lawmaking process, as the participants share information and learn from each other. The peer-learning aspect could be made even stronger through the addition of design elements in the process and on the crowdsourcing software.

The online crowdsoucring platform described in the paper appears to be Joukkoistamista Suomessa — which appears to use IdeaScale software — and information about the project and the existing framework of traffic laws is provided at Sivusto maastoliikennelakiprosessista.

Dr. Tiago Peixoto of the World Bank has written a post about the paper at his blog, DemocracySpot.

HT @participatory

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3 Responses to Aitamurto and Landemore on Deliberation in Crowdsourced Legislative Processes

  1. Hélène Landemore discusses the theoretical background for her research on direct democracy and deliberation, set out in her 2012 book, “”Democratic Reason: Politics, Collective Intelligence, and the Rule of the Many”, in a new podcast interview with Robert Talisse: (shortlink: )

  2. An updated version of this report is available: CROWDSOURCED OFF-ROAD TRAFFIC LAW EXPERIMENT IN FINLAND:

    Report about idea crowdsourcing and evaluation (October 2013)

  3. Pingback: Citizens’ participation in lawmaking a focus of Participedia ’s 2013 Year in Review | Legal Informatics Blog

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