A1 Journal article (refereed)
The People’s Assembly : Testing the Collaborative (e)-Democracy (2020)

Toode, Ü. (2020). The People’s Assembly : Testing the Collaborative (e)-Democracy. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 10(2), Article e202005. https://doi.org/10.29333/ojcmt/7836

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Toode, Ülle

Journal or series: Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies

eISSN: 1986-3497

Publication year: 2020

Publication date: 17/03/2020

Volume: 10

Issue number: 2

Article number: e202005

Publisher: Bastas Publications

Publication country: Cyprus

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29333/ojcmt/7836

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/76165


This paper aims to critically analyse the Estonian People’s Assembly (EPA), a crowdsourcing initiative carried out from 2013 to 2014. During the project, citizens could participate in decision-making and make proposals for laws and policies on a dedicated web-platform. Additionally, some people were invited for a traditional off-line debate. In that way, the project combined virtual communication tools with traditional discussion to apply the principles of collaborative e-democracy, in which governmental stakeholders and non-governmental stakeholders (such as local communities) join in a deliberative debate. The purpose of this paper is to observe, both, gains and problems of this crowdsourcing initiative. The analysis considered the design of the online space, if people had equal access to it, and the kind of issues proposed. It also applied critical discourse analysis (following Fairclough, 1995) and the index Quality of Understanding (Klinger & Russmann, 2015). As a conclusion, the paper suggests that virtual platforms can increase the quality of deliberative decision-making. However, they can also be seen as regulated “top-down” initiatives (Pellizzoni, 2012). In a wider perspective, the paper aims to contribute to knowledge on, both, positive and negative stances of deliberative crowdsource initiatives in a post-web society.

Keywords: e-democracy; deliberative democracy; political decision making; government bills; crowdsourcing; online discussion; public discussion

Free keywords: e-democracy; e-government; web-forums; deliberative platforms

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

Preliminary JUFO rating: 0

Last updated on 2022-17-06 at 11:02