Online Deliberation Between the Weak and Strong Public Sphere

Tanja oblak črnič, Jernej Amon Prodnik

Abstract


The paper challenges the theoretical assumptions of deliberative communication in online contexts of two empirical case studies in the Slovenian Web sphere: a governmental portal Predlagamvladi.si (I proposetothegovernment.si) and a citizen portal Danesjenovdan.si (Todayisanewday.si). A common denominator of both portals, which were developed for online gathering of public proposals directly from the citizens, is in the combination of public dialogue and polling, the former preceding the latter, the whole process resulting in a final decision regarding the proposal. However, a more detailed analysis and comparison of both portals help to explain also the crucial differences between the institutional or strong public sphere on the one hand and the civic or weak public spheres on the other, which consequently limit the deliberation potentials in the digital context.

 


Keywords


online deliberation, public sphere, citizen portal, government online

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