International Working Group on “Online Consultation and Public Policy Making” Meets in Boston

April 9, 2007

DGI Working Group

Members of the International Working Group on Online Consultation and Public Policy Making at their first meeting.

The first international working group to officially meet under the umbrella of CTG's international digital government initiative is the Working Group on Online Consultation and Public Policy Making. Co-chairs Peter Shane, Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University, and Stephen Coleman, University of Leeds, United Kingdom, organized a meeting of the members at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in Boston. This group of international researchers is one of four to receive funding to advance digital government (DG) research on issues that cross national boundaries, made possible through a $1 million grant to CTG from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Digital Research Program (DG).

"My colleagues and I are excited both by our specific project and by the opportunity it presents to help lay a firmer foundation for a robust international network of e-democracy researchers," said Dr. Shane. “We believe ours is the first project quite like it that is formally under transatlantic leadership, and we hope, through our initiative, to link up with networks of researchers, practitioners, and policy makers around the globe from whom we can learn and to whom our work may be useful."

The group devoted its inaugural meeting to a mini-symposium during which all members made presentations regarding their current research agendas, as well as to a deliberative session to formulate a working plan for its three-year research effort, "(R)E-Connecting Democracy." "(R)E-Connecting Democracy" will produce a multi-authored book on (a) how to evaluate the policy and other social impacts of online citizen consultation initiatives aimed at influencing actual government decision making, and (b) how the optimal design of such initiatives is affected by cultural, social, legal, and institutional context.

Other members of the working group include Oren Perez (Israel), Sungsoo Hwang (U.S., Korea), Scott Wright (UK), Jeffrey Lubbers (U.S.), Steven Balla (U.S.), Kerrie Oakes (Australia), Alicia Schatteman (U.S., Canada), Polona Pičman-Stefančič (Slovenia), Beth Noveck (U.S.), Laurence Monnoyer-Smith (France), David Lazer (U.S.), Andrew Chadwick (UK), Vincent Price (U.S.), Peter Strauss (U.S.), and Patricia Bertini (Italy).