A Model for the Analysis of Online Citizen Deliberation: Barcelona Case Study.

9 February, 2021

International Journal of Communication
Special Section on Platform Politics in Europe: Bridging Gaps Between Digital Activism and Digital Democracy  
brings together six original papers plus an editorial introduction on the emerging research area of platform politics.

Through a range of contributions from European scholars in the fields of media studies, sociology, political science and communication studies, this collection of work advances our understanding of the impact of social media platforms and digital democracy platforms on four distinct but strictly related sociopolitical processes: political representation, deliberation, social learning, and grassroots activism.

Whereas digital parties—especially in their Southern European variant—have been reluctant to experiment with online deliberation (see Deseriis & Vittori, this Special Section), the new municipalist movements that have been governing many Spanish cities in recent years have integrated deliberative features in their DDPs. Such is the case of Decidim, the participation platform of the City of Barcelona. Rosa Borge Bravo, Joan Balcells, and Albert Padró-Solanet examine the public discussion of the Strategic Action Plan, which took place in early 2016. Combining the theoretical literature on the normative criteria of deliberation with a quantitative analysis of conversation structures, the authors examine the participated debate on the issuance of new licenses for tourist apartments, a highly controversial subject in Barcelona.

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