What’s There Not to ‘Like’? Sustainability Deliberations on Facebook

  • Roy Bendor ACT Lab / School of Communication, Simon Fraser University
  • Susanna Haas Lyons Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia
  • John Robinson Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia
Keywords: e-participation, democratic legitimation, social media, dialogism, deliberation, sustainability, technical affordances

Abstract

Social media are considered ideal means to promote inclusive political participation by “reaching citizens where they are” in scalable and cost-effective ways. However, with all the excitement about the new virtual public sphere, little attention is given to the technical mediation itself – the affordances of e-deliberation platforms and the kind of interactions they support. In response, this paper aims to thicken the account of the interrelated political and technological contexts of e-deliberation. Using recent Facebook deliberations on sustainable transportation in Vancouver as our example, we argue that different rationales for public participation in policymaking animate different approaches to discourse, which, in turn, inform and are affected by different design and use strategies for e-deliberation platforms. Our argument suggests that the design affordances of e-deliberation represent opportunities to promote or curtail certain visions of a political culture of sustainability.
Published
2012-10-18
How to Cite
Bendor, R., Haas Lyons, S., & Robinson, J. (2012). What’s There Not to ‘Like’? Sustainability Deliberations on Facebook. JeDEM - EJournal of EDemocracy and Open Government, 4(1), 67-88. https://doi.org/10.29379/jedem.v4i1.94
Section
Special Issue: Research Papers