About Me

Ismael Peña-López

I am Ismael Peña-López.

I am Director General of Citizen Participation and Electoral Processes at the Government of Catalonia.
Formerly, and during nearly 13 years, I was professor at the School of Law and Political Science of the Open University of Catalonia.
I have also been senior researcher at Open Evidence and fellow director of Open Innovation at Fundació Jaume Bofill.

My main areas of work are the impact of ICTs in society (e-Readiness, the digital divide), especially in development (e-inclusion, ICT4D), and educational (e-Learning, digital competence) and political (e-participation, e-democracy) institutions.

News

Opinion Factsheet. Local and Regional Authorities in the permanent dialogue with citizens

Cover of the opinion factsheet "Local and Regional Authorities in the permanent dialogue with citizens"
Opinion Factsheet "Local and Regional Authorities in the permanent dialogue with citizens"

The European Union is entering a sort of constitutional process. The Conference on the Future of Europe will be a two-year time span devoted to reflect what the EU should be like in many issues, and aiming at institutionalizing this reflection in the form of formal agreements, maybe a new treaty, maybe even a/the constitution.

There is —amongst many others— a big fear driving the conference: the huge disconnection between European institutions and citizens' daily lives, that increasingly leads citizens to take shortcuts in the forms of populism. A populism that increasingly turns to be sheer fascism. This fear, though, can be turned into an opportunity to engage citizens more and better in public decision-making at the European level. This is the take of the European Committee of the Regions, that believes that ...

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Article. Open government in new digital states: which libraries for which citizens?


Open government data in new digital states: which libraries for which citizens?

I just published a short article on the future of libraries.

As the Information Society advances, the need of a dire transformation in what libraries do and their mission —among may other institutions— is becoming more and more urgent. My point in the article is that libraries need to transform themselves to help other institutions in their own transformation. Governments, Administrations and, all in all, all democratic institutions need to rethink themselves almost from scratch. And they will not be able to do it unless they find an active citizenry also rethinking its role as full citizens.

My line of thought, thus, in the article is how libraries can help citizens to become more active and empowered and, at their turn, these active citizens can help democratic institutions to become central in society again.

The article has been published as Open government in new digital states: which libraries for which citizens? ...

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ICT4D Blog

06/02/2020

REDEM (V). Membership and Voice: Local and Global

Notes from the conference Reconstructing Democracy in Times of Crisis: A Voter-Centred Perspective, organized by SciencesPo/CEVIPOF, and held in Paris, France, on 5 and 6 February 2020. More notes on this event: redem2020

Marcus Carlsen Häggrot, Goethe University, Frankfurt a.M.

Nomads are usually excluded from the electoral process as they cannot be assigned to a specific constituency. Maybe we should reconsider the concept of constituency, especially when residence is decreasingly important in an increasingly mobile society — and most especially within the European Union, with so many expatriates.

Single member plurality systems:

  • Pros: popular self-government, accountability, eliminates extremist parties
  • Cons: unequal power over policy, vertical inequality, anonymity

Two round election systems put voters in a trade-off between maintaining their integrity or having to vote (in the 2nd round, considering their 1st option did not pass) the lesser undesired one.

José Luis Martí, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona. Globalizing democracy, deterritorialisation and Crowdlaw

A new reality:

  • Growing complexity
  • Globalisation
  • Digital revolution: deterritorialisation
  • Crisis of democracy: dissatisfaction with institutions, populism, concentration of power, etc.

Globalising democracy: in the XVIIIth century, due to a new social, economic, technological and political scenario lead to a ...

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Sociedad Red Blog

21/09/2019

Artivismo, hacktivismo y cooperactivismo

En junio de 2019 me escribió Bernat Puigtobella. Me invitaba a reflexionar para las páginas de la revista Barcelona Metròpolis sobre un tema interesante:

En los últimos años ha aparecido una nueva concepción de la cultura que ha puesto el foco en la participación y las prácticas comunitarias. La incubación de proyectos culturales hoy ya no se valora sólo a partir de su retorno económico o impacto mediático sino por su capacidad transformadora para crear conciencia ciudadana, ataduras, tejido ciudadano, comunidad, etc. [...] Estas nuevas prácticas comunitarias nos invitan a preguntarnos qué rol tendrán los artistas y creadores en ...

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