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Communication and digital democracy: comparative study about the conversation on portals VOTENAWEB and OPENCONGRESS

Grant number: 15/23669-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2016
Effective date (End): October 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Communications
Principal Investigator:Danilo Rothberg
Grantee:Pedro Luis Bueno Berti
Home Institution: Faculdade de Arquitetura, Artes e Comunicação (FAAC). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Bauru. Bauru , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The internet has been explored by initiatives which contribute to the projection and the circulation of ideas and opinions on public management, fostering citizenship as the exercise of civil and political rights. Web portals that encourage the expression of citizens can be considered as a proper object of research assessing the characteristics of online public conversation in the current scene. This project proposes to investigate two similar initiatives in different countries: VotenaWeb (Brazil) and OpenCongress (United States), which encourage closer ties between voters and the formal political institutions, welcoming the expression of preferences through symbolic votes and comments on draft law before Parliament. The specific aims are: a) to identify the virtual conversation characteristics and indicate possible conditions favorable to deliberation present in the each analyzed portal, according to the specialized literature; b) to provide a general framework on the use of the characteristics of the two portals, as a platform for political expression, verifying how the conversation satisfies relevant criteria for the quality of online deliberation c) to point out possible differences in the exposition of opinions and in the use of sources of information by citizens of each country.