Working in the field of online participation isn't always easy: critics often point out a lack of representation, trouble with user authentication or the problems with implementing delegated voting – and just so, there is still a lot to do in order to realize digital democracy's potential. And while we work on these issues every day, we don't often get the chance to talk about them in depth.
This is why we are quite excited about an interview our managing director Rouven Brües gave to Marco Deseriis, assistant professor in Media and Screen Studies at Northeastern University. With considerable sophistication, the two discuss the current challenges and possibilities for digital democracy.
Rouven makes a number of strong claims that make up the the groundwork of our everyday work. For instance, he talks about the challenge of reaching representativeness:
“So we argue that you have to advertise these participatory processes and establish them in the long run as possibilities to engage. For us, it is already a democratic achievement if you have the possibility to participate.”
One of his strongest points is probably about our understanding of the dialectical relationship between technology and democratic culture:
“…I argue that these technological affordances change the way we think about democracy. If we know that secret digital voting will be safe, then we are confronted with a whole new way of imagining democratic life. Such knowledge might change democratic processes even before the technology is implemented.”
Read the full interview here!