The ECAS Knowledge Centre is an online collection of resources on two broad themes: EU Rights and Civic Engagement in Europe. It aims to help civil society campaigners, researchers, analysts, academics, advisors, policy makers and interested citizens navigate the large amount of information available in a user-friendly manner. It offers easy access to research, case studies, evaluations, papers, issue briefs, toolkits and more on the following topics:

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Participation : et si on changeait enfin les règles du jeu ?

February 19, 2018

Observateur et praticien engagé dans la restitution de la parole des habitants, l'auteur revient surles critiques adressées à la « démocratie participative » : à partir d'un exemple de réunion deconcertation érigé en forme d'idéal type, il dénonce l'incapacité chronique à dépasser des impassescent fois documentées. Constatant que l'énergie, l'envie et les idées sont là, il invite à considérer lesujet sous son angle politique.


Prospects for e-democracy in Europe

February 1, 2018

The drivers behind e-participation are digitalisation, the development of digital tools that can be usedfor citizen involvement – social media, deliberative software, e-voting systems, etc. – and growingaccess to the internet. In European countries, especially those that rank prominently among the top 50performers, citizens have more and more opportunities to have their say in government and politics.According to the UN, the largest share of e-participation initiatives relates to central and localgovernments giving access to public sector information and public consultation via digital tools.Recently there has been a growing focus on citizen involvement in policy making, although progressin this field has been modest so far.


Examining the Quality of Crowdsourced Deliberation: Respect, Reciprocity and Lack of Common-Good Orientation

December 31, 2017

We examine deliberative quality of crowdsourced deliberation in this paper. Analyzing data from two crowdsourcedpolicy-making processes, we found a good quality deliberation with respect, reciprocity, and storytelling according tothe standards in the theory of deliberative democracy. We identified a group of super-deliberators, whose deliberationwas above the average, and low-quality deliberators, whose deliberation was below the average. The findings show that even when crowdsourced policymaking was not designed for deliberation, it can facilitate a fairly high-quality democratic deliberation.


Motivating Participation in Crowdsourced Policymaking: The Interplay of Epistemic and Interactive Aspects

December 6, 2017

In this paper, we examine the changes in motivation factors in crowdsourced policymaking. By drawing onlongitudinal data from a crowdsourced law reform, we show that people participated because they wanted toimprove the law, learn, and solve problems. When crowdsourcing reached a saturation point, the motivationfactors weakened and the crowd disengaged. Learning was the only factor that did not weaken. The participantslearned while interacting with others, and the more actively the participants commented, the more likelythey stayed engaged. Crowdsourced policymaking should thus be designed to support both epistemic andinteractive aspects. While the crowd's motives were rooted in self-interest, their knowledge perspectiveshowed common-good orientation, implying that rather than being dichotomous, motivation factors move ona continuum. The design of crowdsourced policymaking should support the dynamic nature of the processand the motivation factors driving it.


eDemocracy and eParticipation: The Precious First Steps and the Way Forward

November 28, 2017

The amazing increase in the quantity and speed of information, provided by digital means that were unthinkable just 10 years ago, brings us ever-closer to a digital world. This makes the world perceivably smaller, yet more complex at the same time. Goods and services are delivered in shorter periods, while citizens' expectations towards public services and information, as well as political participation, changes. Whilst traditionally, the interactions of governing bodies with citizens were usually limited to the general acquisition of services, petitions, or referenda, citizens now question top down approaches of governance and demand more inclusion in the processes of modern democracies. New tools open the door for unprecedented interaction with and unprecedented scrutiny of institutions and governments. Citizens can make their voices heard and offer their expertise. They can bridge the often-perceived gap between administration and citizens. Therefore, eDemocracy and eParticipation are not isolated phenomena, but evolutionary steps in, and for, open societies. However, one should be cautious about the risks involved with every new technology and not dismiss those over the potential gains. Cyberattacks like WannaCry in May 2017 show justhow vulnerable software systems can be. Therefore, digital institutions need to be prepared against global cyberattacks. Influxes of false or biased information, both for and by domestic and foreign actors, are shaping opinions and polarising societies. This publication on the digitalisation of politics is intended to provide an overview of how the countries and citizens of the European Union try to reinvent their democracy, and how far along they are in adjusting their institutions and organisations to the needs of the digital era. It compares the realities in countries of Northern, Central and Southeastern Europe, analysed to provide the reader with information about their ICT potential and challenges. We are convinced that the European network of citizens through common learnings and exchange, will connect the best of both the EU and the digital realms. For a more democratic, free, and prosperous Europe.


Knowledge in Decisionmaking in Finland - Towards geater dialogue

November 13, 2017

The interface between knowledge and decision-making is broken. Societal discussion surrounding this interface over the past few years reveals several disappointments and a frustrated atmosphere. The results from a survey Sitra conducted in the summer of 2017 reinforce this notion. Problems have been identified both in knowledge production and decision-making. Resolving complex societal problems requires a more comprehensive perspective with a more dialogical approach and a broader perspective on what is considered as knowledge and expertise. Despite acknowledging the problems in the interface between knowledge anddecision-making, no determined effort for improvement has been made. Why? Where are the greatest obstacles? What type of new thinking does achieving change require?


Using mobile crowdsourcing and geotagged social media data to study people’s affective responses to environments

November 3, 2017

When travelling in space, humans perceive the environment and evaluate itaffectively. This chapter illustrates how mobile crowdsourcing and social mediadata can be used to study people's affective responses to different environments.It also showcases how these affective responses can be used to provide a betterunderstanding of human−environment interaction, as well as to enable smartgeospatial applications (particularly navigation systems). This chapter also discussessome essential challenges that need further investigations when crowdsourcingpeople's affective responses. Some of these challenges are participationmotivating, data quality and privacy.


Participatory Budgeting Case Study: Spirit of Ruchill & Possilpark and Digital Tools for Participatory Budgeting

June 30, 2017

This case study presents the experiences of Spirit of Ruchill and Possilpark (SoRP) andtheir use of digital tools for the 'Spirit Marketplace' participatory budgeting initiative in the Possilpark and Ruchill area of Glasgow, which took place in early 2017. The initiative provided the opportunity for people to vote for community projects that could receive a proportion of a £15,000 funding pot made available by the Scottish Government Community Choices Fund.


Digital Democracy A summary report for practitioners

May 31, 2017

Thanks to digital technologies, today we can bank, read the news, study for a degree, and chat with friends across the world - all without leaving the comfort of our homes. But one area that seems to have remained impervious to these benefits is our model of democratic governance, which has remained largely unchanged since it was invented in the 20th century.There has been a failure to change, despite the fact that disillusionment with existing political institutions is widespread, trust in our elected representatives is chronically lacking and election turnout is low.1, 2 At the local level, councils are facing the challenges of increasing pressure on services with tougher demands for accountability from localresidents. Membership of political parties is significantly lower than a few decades ago. The rise of alternative social movements, both online and offline, is resulting in a move away from traditional forms of political participation. Recently, a small number of national parliaments, local government bodies and political parties have seen the potential for technology to help address these issues. Has the time for digital democracy finally come?


Participatory Budgeting Case Study: The City of Edinburgh Council and the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership

May 31, 2017

This case study presents the experiences of The City of Edinburgh Council and the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership's use of digital tools as part of the £eith Decides participatory budgeting initiative during Autumn 2016. The initiative encouraged people to vote for community projects to receive funding from the £44,184 Community Grants Fund made available by the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership. The Council was supported by a team from The Democratic Society to select, embed and test a digitaltool. This was provided through the 'Digital Tools for Participatory Budgeting in Scotland' programme, made possible through grant funding from Scottish Government to The Democratic Society.


Participatory Budgeting Case Study: Fife Council

May 31, 2017

This case study presents the experiences of Fife Council's use of digital tools for the'Oor Bit Fife – Places and Spaces' participatory budgeting initiative in the Cowdenbeath area, which took place in late 2016. The initiative provided the opportunity for people to suggest ideas that could receive a proportion of a £250,000 funding pot made available by the Cowdenbeath Area Committee.


Citoyen hackeur

May 2, 2017

Pour accroître la participation citoyenne et la réactivité politique, de nouvelles civic tech revendiquent aujourd'hui de « hacker » la démocratie. Au delà de la séduction qu'elles peuvent exercer, ces technologies peuvent-elles transformer la politique en profondeur? Quel projet portent-elles?


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