Working paper. Technopolitics, ICT-based participation in municipalities and the makings of a network of open cities. Drafting the state of the art and the case of decidim.Barcelona

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #157, October 2016

 

Cover of the workgin paper "Technopolitics, ICT-based participation in municipalities and the makings of a network of open cities. Drafting the state of the art and the case of decidim.Barcelona"
Cover of the workgin paper "Technopolitics, ICT-based participation in municipalities and the makings of a network of open cities. Drafting the state of the art and the case of decidim.Barcelona"

This research is part of the Voice or Chatter? Using Structuration Framework Towards a Theory of ICT Mediated Citizen Engagement research project led by IT for Change and carried on under the Making All Voices Count programme.

The research began in May 2016 and is about to end by January 2017.

The project consists in analysing several cases of ICT mediated citizen engagement in the world, led by governments with the aim to increase participation in policy affairs.

This subproject deals with the case of decidim.Barcelona, an ambitious project by the City Council of Barcelona (Spain) to increase engagement in the design, monitoring and assessment of its strategic plan for 2016-2019.

These specific pages focus on the socio-political environment where this subproject takes place, specifically speaking Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain, for the geographical coordinates, and for the temporal coordinates the beginnings of the XXIst century and most especially the aftermath of the May 15, 2011 Spanish Indignados Movement or 15M – with some needed flashbacks to the restauration of Democracy in 1975-1978.

The working paper Technopolitics, ICT-based participation in municipalities and the makings of a network of open cities. Drafting the state of the art and the case of decidim.Barcelona, thus, aims at explaining how and why such an ICT-based participation project like decidim.Barcelona could take place in Barcelona in the first months 2016, although it will, of course, relate to the project itself every now and then.

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Full text of working paper:
Peña-López, I. (2016). Technopolitics, ICT-based participation in municipalities and the makings of a network of open cities. Drafting the state of the art and the case of decidim.Barcelona. ICTlogy Working Paper Series #3. Barcelona: ICTlogy.

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2016) “Working paper. Technopolitics, ICT-based participation in municipalities and the makings of a network of open cities. Drafting the state of the art and the case of decidim.Barcelona” In ICTlogy, #157, October 2016. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=4481

Book chapter: The new infrastructures of democracy

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #153, June 2016

 

The Xarxa d’Innovació Pública (XIP, the Catalan Network for Public Innovation) has just published the booklet Programari lliure i de codi obert – Societat lliure i govern obert (Free and open source software – Free society and open government). The booklet is in Catalan and presents a collection of reflections and good practices on why and how to apply free and open source software in government.

I am collaborating with the first chapter, Les noves infraestructures de la democràcia (The new infrastructures of democracy), where I state that:

We can say without too much exaggeration, that the tools of democracy have gone through a deep process of democratization. The diagnosis of the needs of a community can be far more pluralistic today through the small but numerous personal contributions of its members, and beyond the contributions that their spokespersons and representatives could make. The identification and consideration of possible alternatives to fill a need can be much richer today by the concurrence in the deliberation of more players, better informed and with their arguments much better founded. The final assessment of the impact, effectiveness and efficiency of decisions made today can be much more transparent and accurate thanks to the ease of publishing decision-making protocols followed by publishing indicators and data to make any kind of assessment.

The full text of the chapter and the booklet can be downloaded below.

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Book chapter in PDF:
Peña-López, I. (2016). “Les noves infraestructures de la democràcia”. In Xarxa d’Innovació Pública (Coord.), Programari lliure i de codi obert – Societat lliure i govern obert, 6-7. Barcelona: Xarxa d’Innovació Pública.

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Full booklet in PDF:
Xarxa d’Innovació Pública (Coord.) (2016). Programari lliure i de codi obert – Societat lliure i govern obert. Barcelona: Xarxa d’Innovació Pública.

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2016) “Book chapter: The new infrastructures of democracy” In ICTlogy, #153, June 2016. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=4450

Communication at IDP2016. What is technopolitics? A conceptual scheme for understanding politics in the digital age

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #152, May 2016

 

Cover of What is technopolitics? (IDP2016)

What is technopolitics?. There are many definitions (or attempts to define), approaches, contexts. But the truth is that the concept is gaining momentum and catching the attention of scholars. Since the publication of Jon Lebkowsky’s TechnoPolitics and Stephano Rodotà‘s Tecnopolitica, both in 1997, the topic has seen an increase of popularity.

Can Kurban, Maria Haberer and I have made an attempt to define an conceptualize the term at What is technopolitics? A conceptual scheme for understanding politics in the digital age which will be presented at the conference IDP2016 – Internet, Law and Politics. Building a European digital space, organized by the School, Open University of Catalonia, and taking place in July 7-8 2016 in Barcelona (Spain).

Cover of What is technopolitics? (IDP2016)

We here share a pre-print version of our communication, before the last, official, one comes out with the proceedings of the conference.

Abstract

In this article, we seek to revisit what the term ‘technopolitical’ means for democratic politics in our age. We begin with tracing down how the term was used, and then transformed through various and conflicting uses of ICTs in governmental, civil organizations and bottom-up movements. Two main streams can be distinguished: studies about internet-enhanced politics, labeled as e-government and Politics 2.0 that imply facilitating the existing practices such as e-voting, e-campaign, and e-petition. The internet-enabled perspective on the other hand builds up on the idea that ICTs are essential for the organization of (or organizing of) contentious politics, citizen participation and deliberative processes. Under a range of labels studies have often used concepts in an undefined or underspecified manner for describing their scope of investigation. After critically reviewing and categorizing the main literature towards concepts used for describing ICT-based political performances, in this article we construct a conceptual model of technopolitics: A schema consisting of the six dimensions context, scale, direction, purpose, synchronization, and actors systematizing informal and formal ways of political practices. In the following section we explain the dimensions by real-world examples to illustrate the unique characteristics of each technopolitical action field and the power dynamics that influence them. We conclude by arguing how this systematization will help facilitating academic research in the future.

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Full paper:
Kurban, C., Peña-López, I. & Haberer, M. (forthcoming). “What is technopolitics? A conceptual scheme for understanding politics in the digital age”. In Balcells, J. et al. (Coords.), Internet, Law and Politics. Building a European digital space. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Internet, Law & Politics. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, 7-8 July, 2016. Barcelona: UOC-Huygens Editorial.

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2016) “Communication at IDP2016. What is technopolitics? A conceptual scheme for understanding politics in the digital age” In ICTlogy, #152, May 2016. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=4429

Communication at IDP2016. Activismo desde el consumo cooperativo de productos agroalimentarios: ¿Economía alternativa o tecnopolítica?

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #152, May 2016

 

Cover of Activismo desde el consumo cooperativo de productos agroalimentarios (IDP2016)
Cover of Activismo desde el consumo cooperativo de productos agroalimentarios (IDP2016)

Since 1995, cooperativism in general, and agro-food consumption groups in particular have grown in number very quickly in Barcelona, after decades of total sleep of the movement. The dictatorship of Francisco Franco killed most of the existing initiatives dating from the XIXth century, but the dictator died in 1975 and democracy was restored in 1977: why did it take so much time for cooperatives to flourish back? Is it a coincidence that their rebirth was at the same time that the Internet went public and digital mobile technologies began to be massively adopted? In other words, does cooperativism has to do with the digital revolution? Even more, does cooperativism has an activist component that is closely related with technopolitics?

This is the starting point that Ricard Espelt, Enrique Rodríguez and I took in Activismo desde el consumo cooperativo de productos agroalimentarios: ¿Economía alternativa o tecnopolítica?, a communication that has been accepted at IDP2016 – Internet, Law and Politics. Building a European digital space, organized by the School, Open University of Catalonia, and taking place in July 7-8 2016 in Barcelona (Spain).

A pre-print of the paper can be downloaded below. Note that some minor issues can differ from the final version to be published in the proceedings of the conference.

Abstract

El análisis de la cronología de los grupos de consumo de la ciudad de Barcelona muestra tres etapas: la primera, a lo largo de la década de 1990, con la aparición de los primeros grupos; la segunda, con el cambio de siglo, con un nuevo auge de cooperativas; y, finalmente, una tercera oleada, coincidiendo temporalmente con el movimiento 15M, caracterizado ―entre otros elementos― por su constitución en asambleas.

A pesar de que todas las organizaciones autogestionadas en el marco del consumo agroalimentario no tienen formato jurídico cooperativista (la mayoría son asociaciones e incluso identificamos algunas sin marco legal), comparten un modelo de toma de decisiones asambleario. Las asambleas son el espacio donde se gestiona el eje central de la actividad que da sentido a la constitución del grupo (el abastecimiento de productos agroalimentarios cumpliendo con los criterios de la Economía Social y Solidaria) pero, también, el compromiso social y político de la organización.

En este artículo se analiza la relación existente entre los grupos de consumo agroalimentario y el movimiento 15M en la constitución de nuevas organizaciones o en el refuerzo de las ya existentes en la ciudad. Por un lado, evaluaremos el papel del modelo de toma de decisiones en asamblea ―liderazgo horizontal y distribuido―, como parte fundamental de su funcionamiento autogestionado y desinstitucionalizado, con especial atención al papel de las Tecnologías de la Información y la Comunicación (TIC) en la organización de la misma. Por otro lado, estudiaremos la relación entre el compromiso social y político que los distintos grupos manifiestan y su vinculación con los movimientos de activismo social y político.

Esta investigación se ha realizado sobre la totalidad (60) de los grupos de consumo agroalimentario de Barcelona, con presencia en todos los distritos de la ciudad.

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Full paper:
Espelt, R., Peña-López, I. & Rodríguez, E. (forthcoming). “Activismo desde el consumo cooperativo de productos agroalimentarios: ¿Economía alternativa o tecnopolítica?”. In Balcells, J. et al. (Coords.), Internet, Law and Politics. Building a European digital space. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Internet, Law & Politics. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, 7-8 July, 2016. Barcelona: UOC-Huygens Editorial.

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2016) “Communication at IDP2016. Activismo desde el consumo cooperativo de productos agroalimentarios: ¿Economía alternativa o tecnopolítica?” In ICTlogy, #152, May 2016. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=4428

Communication at IDP2016. Structural Conditions for Citizen Deliberation: A Conceptual Scheme for the Assessment of “New” Parties

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #152, May 2016

 

Cover of Structural Conditions for Citizen Deliberation (IDP2016)
Cover of Structural Conditions for Citizen Deliberation (IDP2016)

Maria Haberer and I will be presenting our latest communication, Structural Conditions for Citizen Deliberation: A Conceptual Scheme for the Assessment of “New” Parties, also at IDP2016 – Internet, Law and Politics. Building a European digital space, organized by the School, Open University of Catalonia, and taking place in July 7-8 2016 in Barcelona (Spain).

Its content will be quite similar to what we presented at CeDEM2016 in Krems, Austria, though this version has been improved with the comments from the attendants of this conference and, of course, the reviewers of IDP2016.

A pre-print of the paper can be downloaded below. Note that some minor issues can differ from the final version to be published in the proceedings of the conference.

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate a conceptual scheme for assessing deliberative spaces within political parties that propose the direct input of citizens in policy-making as a possible solution for the crisis that representative democracy is facing. Theory on deliberative democracy has long been concerned with the question on how to assess the structural conditions for deliberation and the advantages deliberation has for the democratic process. Building on existing dimensions, we used a qualitative research design with data from observation, interviews and document analysis to investigate a neighbourhood group of “Barcelona en Comú” (BComú). This recently formed political party experiments with the incorporation of horizontal decision-making practices facilitated through ICTs to establish modes and bodies for citizen deliberation. We discovered relevant themes that allowed us to develop a conceptual scheme when critically assessing deliberative structural conditions. This scheme can serve as a map and a monitoring device for evaluating the actual practice of parties that claim to engage in citizen deliberation. We conclude by indicating the performance of BComú and by asking if the successful implementation of deliberative spaces can lead to a new party model and new trends in political practice including recommendations for further research.

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Full paper:
Haberer, M. & Peña-López, I. (forthcoming). “Structural Conditions for Citizen Deliberation: A Conceptual Scheme for the Assessment of “New” Parties”. In Balcells et al. (coords.) Internet, Law and Politics. Building a European digital space. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Internet, Law & Politics. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, 7-8 July, 2016. Barcelona: UOC-Huygens Editorial.

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2016) “Communication at IDP2016. Structural Conditions for Citizen Deliberation: A Conceptual Scheme for the Assessment of “New” Parties” In ICTlogy, #152, May 2016. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=4427

Communication at CeDEM2016. Structural Conditions for Citizen Deliberation. A Conceptual Scheme for the Assessment of “New” Parties

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #152, May 2016

 

Cover of Structural Conditions for Citizen Deliberation (CeDEM2016)
Cover of Structural Conditions for Citizen Deliberation (CeDEM2016)

Maria Haberer and I have presented a communication, Structural Conditions for Citizen Deliberation: A Conceptual Scheme for the Assessment of “New” Parties, at CeDEM2016 – International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government 2016, organized by the Danube University Krems and that took place in May 18-20 2016 in Krems, Austria.

The research is a first approach to the phenomenon of the “network party” (or net-party) — though we are cautious about the naming and prefer so far a more neutral “new party” — and analyzes the case of Barcelona en Comú, the party now in office in the municipality of Barcelona and whose origin is deeply rooted in the 15M Spanish Indignados movement and other recent social movements with a strong technopolitical profile. The approach takes deliberation as the core around which all the organization spins while transitioning from a social movement to a (traditional?) political party.

Below can be found and downloaded the slides and full text of the communication.

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate a conceptual scheme for assessing deliberative spaces within political parties that propose the direct input of citizens in policy-making as a possible solution for the crisis that representative democracy is facing. Building on existing dimensions, we used a qualitative research design with data from observation, interviews and document analysis to investigate a neighbourhood group of “Barcelona en Comú”. This recently formed political party experiments with the incorporation of horizontal decision-making practices facilitated through ICTs to establish modes and bodies for citizen deliberation. We discovered relevant themes that allowed us to develop a conceptual scheme when assessing deliberative structural conditions. This scheme can serve as a map and a monitoring device for evaluating the actual practice of parties that claim to engage in citizen deliberation. We conclude by indicating the performance of Barcelona en Comú and by asking if the successful implementation of deliberative spaces can lead to a new party model and new trends in political practice.

Slides

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Full paper:
Haberer, M. & Peña-López, I. (2016). “Structural Conditions for Citizen Deliberation. A Conceptual Scheme for the Assessment of “New” Parties”. In Parycek, P. & Edelmann, N. (Eds.), CeDEM16. Proceedings of the International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government 2016. 18-20 May 2016, Danube University Krems, Austria. Krems: Edition Donau-Universität Krems.

logo of PDF file
Slides:
Haberer, M. & Peña-López, I. (2016). “Structural Conditions for Citizen Deliberation. A Conceptual Scheme for the Assessment of “New” Parties”. In Parycek, P. & Edelmann, N. (Eds.), CeDEM16. Proceedings of the International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government 2016. 18-20 May 2016, Danube University Krems, Austria. Krems: Edition Donau-Universität Krems.

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2016) “Communication at CeDEM2016. Structural Conditions for Citizen Deliberation. A Conceptual Scheme for the Assessment of “New” Parties” In ICTlogy, #152, May 2016. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=4426

ICTlogy Review

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About Me

    I am Ismael Peña-López.

    I am professor at the School of Law and Political Science of the Open University of Catalonia, and researcher at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute and the eLearn Center of that university. I am also the director of the Open Innovation project at Fundació Jaume Bofill.