Parliamentary Information Visualization as a Means for Legislative Transparency and Citizen Empowerment?

  • Aspasia Papaloi University of Athens, Greece
  • Dimitris Gouscos University of Athens, Greece
Keywords: Information Visualization (IV), Parliamentary Information Visualization (PIV), legislative openness, legislative transparency, transparency indicators, citizen empowerment, visualization effectiveness, Parliamentary Informatics (PI), e-Parliament,

Abstract

The objective of this article is to highlight the contribution and importance of parliamentary information visualization (PIV) with a view to legislative transparency and citizen empowerment. The constant appeal for parliamentary openness regarding information on laws and bills and accountability of elected representatives calls for transparency in parliamentary procedures and at several areas of parliamentary informatics, in order to enhance democratic control and re-establish constituents’ trust. On the other hand, the provision of easy to understand and analyze information plays a central role to the achievement of transparency. In this respect, this paper provides an overview of the characteristics and capabilities of information visualization that can contribute to delineating the institutional, but also technical possibilities and constraints of achieving legislative transparency. On the basis of this overview, it is attempted to highlight some causal relationships between parliamentary openness, legislative transparency and parliamentary information visualization, and discuss the potential and limitations of PIV not only in terms of technical solutions but also with respect to human factors and political aspects that need to be considered as further determining the success or failure of PIV efforts. In this line of thought, the concluding section of the article provides a discussion on the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats that can be identified for parliamentary information visualization, as well as on dimensions and specific checkpoints that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of PIV efforts, as regards the end objective of citizen empowerment.

Author Biographies

Aspasia Papaloi, University of Athens, Greece
PhD Candidate, Laboratory of New Technologies in Communication, Education and the Mass Media, Faculty of Communication and Mass Media Studies, University of Athens, Greece
Dimitris Gouscos, University of Athens, Greece
Assistant Professor, Laboratory of New Technologies in Communication, Education and the Mass Media, Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, University of Athens, Greece
Published
2013-12-15
How to Cite
Papaloi, A., & Gouscos, D. (2013). Parliamentary Information Visualization as a Means for Legislative Transparency and Citizen Empowerment?. JeDEM - EJournal of EDemocracy and Open Government, 5(2), 174-186. https://doi.org/10.29379/jedem.v5i2.222
Section
Research Papers