Usability and Sociability of Direct Democracy Projects Based on Online Groups

Andrea Hrckova


Digital media, in particular social media, are often perceived to be changing political participation. In this discourse, the Internet is seen as a new public sphere with promises of increased democratization and access to political information. The younger generation in particular is supposed to have become more politically active thanks to the Web. In this article, the psychological, sociological and technological factors influencing the deliberative participation in virtual communities are being explored to understand some of the reasons for active or passive participation in e-democracy projects based in online groups. Some examples of successful e-democracy activities in Brazil, Germany and Slovakia are also discussed. Finally, the chances for sustainable development of direct democracy projects with the help of new media are presented.


e-democracy, discussion groups, heuristic evaluation, usability, sociability

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