Managing Uncertainties in Digital Democracy Experiments: A Case Study of the Management of the Stem Van West Experiment in Amsterdam-West, the Netherlands

Vidar Stevens


Can we use digital tools to increase and deepen citizen participation in open and democratic policy-making processes? That is the main question this article aims to address. Today, there is a global effort to foster democracies through online digital tools. However, for many governmental officials and scholars it is still a challenge to decipher how online digital tools technically function and operate, what effects such tools have on the users of the platforms, and how it impacts the practices of governmental organizations and politics. In our view, practices of digital democracy deserve more governmental attention. Anno 2018, we already do our banking, tax-payment, and data sharing online. Nonetheless, our democracy remains decidedly analogue; the activity of casting a vote requires citizens to go the local polling booth, queue up, and tick a box on a paper voting slip. As such, the aim of this article is to shed more light on this new way of thinking about democracy in the digital era. Furthermore, we want to show the readership how in a time where there is growing disillusionment with the political institutions of advanced Western democracies, online tools provide new ways of involving citizens in political decision-making. Therefore, in this article we explore the possibilities of digital tools regarding citizen participation and democracy, and particularly, focus on how to manage these political experiments.

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Journal of Public Administration and Governance  ISSN 2161-7104


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