The battle for democracy has, since the seventeenth century, been a struggle to give dignity and autonomy to human voice. The right to speak in one’s own voice about any matter of social importance, invoking any facts, theories, or values, without governments having the right to censor or constrain open comment, has been the defining characteristic of democratic societies. Until as recently as the twentieth century, proponents of the right to speak freely were in an endangered minority. When Milton argued in 1644 that ‘the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience’ was the highest of all human liberties,1 he was dismissed as both a wild radical and an unworldly poet. More typical of pre-democratic attitudes to public voice was Edmund Burke’s stated opinion that the poor and less educated “ought to be totally shut out” from political discussion “because their reason is weak; because when once aroused, their passions are ungoverned; because they want information; because the smallness of the property, which they individually possess, renders them less attentive to the measures they adopt in affairs of moment.”2 When free speech did gain momentum in some societies as a democratic right, it was certainly not accorded to all. The right of men to speak freely and influentially was acknowledged long before it was ever accepted that women should be allowed to express their views in public. People with white skin were regarded as likely to have something to say long before people of color were deemed worthy of a place in the public sphere. Free speech for adults has rarely translated into the right of children to speak their minds. Voice, in the sense of being able to make a meaningful and influential mark in the public sphere, is still an unequally distributed political resource. Most people can say what they think, but some are much more likely to be heard and responded to than others.
The emergence of the Internet as a public medium has greatly increased the power of voices that were once unable to access the public domain or enter global spaces of communication. To be sure, there is much research to show that online communication replicates many of the inequalities of the offline public sphere,3 but few Internet researchers would disagree that the medium has opened up a more equal communicative space in two specific ways. Firstly, it has given relatively low-cost access to a public platform to many (but not all) people who have a story to tell or point of view to state.4 In the pre-online media system, many of these new, online voices would have been ignored, marginalized or misrepresented. In short, the Internet opens up a channel of unconstrained self-representation. In authoritarian or corrupt regimes (i.e. most of the world), this provides opportunities for whistleblowers to expose official wrongdoing, for journalists to overcome editorial strictures, for the least respected to share their experiences of the injuries associated with not being regarded as equal, and for unorthodox perspectives to be accorded their liberal right to a virtual soapbox.5
Secondly, the Internet makes it easier for people with similar interests and values to coordinate with a view to taking collective action.6 It has always been easier for richer, more powerful and confident people to find and stay in touch with one another (by flying to international conferences or paying administrators to keep them in touch with one another) than poorer, less powerful people. (Political scientists refer to this as the coordination problem: the most serious barrier to collective action7. Despite the claim that in democracies collective action is open to anyone and everyone, in reality the costs of finding and retaining association with others has been so much easier for some than others that the efficacy of political action has nearly always reflected social inequality. The low cost of entry to online space and the relative ease of creating and maintaining online networks reduce this coordination problem, making it much easier for social movements to stay together across national and global spaces, for communities of practice to share knowledge and maintain a common set of perspectives, and for social movements to connect with one another, sometimes through inadvertent encounters, so that single-issue campaigns turn into broader demands for social justice; and the lowered barriers make it possible for diasporas and well-wishers to assist those trapped in conditions of political tyranny.8
Neither of these new opportunities (a broader range of self-representations and easier collective action) means that voices have been equalized online. The power of media (and other) corporations, search engines, advertisers, and individuals willing to throw vast amounts of money towards a particular cause is still excessive, viewed from the normative perspective of discursive equality.9 The Internet is still a space of inequality, but it is far from the monopolistic concentration of power that has tended in the past to squeeze out critical voices from the mass-mediated public sphere.
Some scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers have argued that even if online communication cannot escape the structural inequalities of the global economy, it could be harnessed with a view to building stronger and more democratically satisfying relationships between citizens and their political representatives.10 Digital democrats are those who believe that online communication has potential to open up new ways of governing democratically by creating two kinds of conversation. The first is between citizens and the people they elect to act in their interests.11 Representative democracy was invented at a time when there were few practical possibilities for representatives to seek advice from or draw upon the local expertise of the citizens they represented. If the representative was hundreds or even thousands of miles away in a congress or parliament, that distance could become more than geographical. It became communicative and moral distance. People began to say, “These politicians don’t know what it’s like to be us.” Distance created suspicion.12 Technologies of synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous communication have potential to eradicate these feelings of distance.13 While nobody expects them to remove the need for representatives and establish push-button democracy (in which everyone votes on every single issues), they do have the potential to create a more direct, conversational form of democratic representation.
The second potential opportunity is to open up spaces of conversation and deliberation between citizens, so that those affected by policies and decisions can share their experience and knowledge and—most importantly—have a chance to initiate their own agendas for public discussion.14 Citizen-to-citizen communication has potential to diminish the control of the mass media over the agenda for civic discussion. In most countries of the world, mass-media agenda-setting is regarded as unbalanced and unaccountable.15 The media, as the main public sphere accessible to most people, is not a space buzzing with civic conversation and debate, but a raucous sequence of jarringly disconnected and inadequately explained headlines.
These two new kinds of relationship envisioned by digital democrats (citizen-to-representative and citizen-to-citizen) are not utopian aspirations. Exploring how the Internet might enable more effective ways of connecting public voice to institutional democracy is one of the most pressing challenges facing contemporary democracies. Done well, new forms of civic communication could help to rescue politics from its seeming detachment from everyday experience and authentic voice.
Listening in to the Public Sphere
But there is a problem. While contemporary democracies are noisier and more talkative than they used to be, with billions of messages and conversations buzzing around the Internet every day, the chances of them being heard by the people they hope to address are slim. Some online content reaches vast numbers of recipients. Most, however, is lost, unheeded or likely to reach only parochial attention. The Internet is a space of many voices, but how many of them are being heard? A world in which everyone has a right to blog about the news, make YouTube videos about issues that concern them, and contribute their views to discussion forums might bear a resemblance to democracy, but unless these acts are noticed and heard by the neighbors and strangers who share the earth with us they will amount to little more than the hollow vibrations of an echo chamber.
Democracy entails listening, not just passively, but with real attention. Without such deep listening, democracy degenerates into the tyranny of the loudest voice;16 communicative signals become meaningless noise; voice and echo become indistinguishable. Failure to listen is a powerful means of closing down voices. As Dryzek has astutely observed, “the most effective and insidious way to silence others in politics is a refusal to listen.”17 For, only by listening can speakers sense their position in relation to one another: “Knowing one’s place as an interlocutive subject—staying in it and keeping track of it—has undeniably real political and personal consequences.”18 If democracy is to be conceived as an authentic relationship between citizens and their representatives, those who wield social power can no longer get away with talking to themselves or speaking over the voices of the less powerful. As Couldry (2010) writes, “Governments cannot any longer say they don’t hear.”19 How, then, can representative institutions listen deeply to the voices of hundreds of thousands—or even hundreds of millions—of the people they claim to represent?
There are two principal barriers to hearing the countless voices, perspectives, and experiences that circulate daily within the Internet. The first is practical and technical. In a world filled with billions of voices competing to be heard, it is impossible to listen to each of them individually, however motivated one might be to give everyone the benefit of a hearing. If digital democracy is to be characterised by a culture of deep listening, technologies will be needed that help people to find their way around and make sense of the vast and ever-expansive public conversations that surround them. The second barrier to listening is ideological. One way of not listening to someone else’s voice is to brand it as worthless, foolish or empty. Turning sense into noise is a political tactic and, as Rancière has shown in his brilliant studies of political sensibility, the easiest way to discredit another person’s words is not to gag them, but to declare them to be meaningless. One of the most offensive conceits of modern political culture has been a tendency to discard or disparage certain voices by dismissing them as “unhearable” babble.20
The next two sections of this article address these two barriers to online democratic listening. We first discuss techniques and technologies that make it easier to navigate and follow public discourse and critically consider the claims that they can somehow simplify the hard work of democratic listening. We then turn to ways of overcoming deeply embedded cultural resistances to certain kinds of voices and experiences and consider a project designed to nurture the democratic efficacy of public expression.
Technologies of Hearing
We do not need to invent new technologies and techniques for making sense of multi-vocality. They already exist. Let us consider three of them.
The first approach is known variously as Computer-Supported Argumentation Visualisation (CSAV), Discourse Architecture, or Argument Mapping.21 Its roots go back to the work of researchers who attempted to use graphical hypertext to record and make accessible complex arguments around which people took different positions.22 Brown (1986) contrasts the linearity of conventional argument representation with the possibility of using graphical hypertext to show conceptual and semantic connections between different discursive positions:
Current communications tools and methods force the crafting of complex arguments into linear form for presentation, so that the web-like connections among ideas is hidden from view, making it difficult to see alternate interpretations and points of view…. As a result many of the underlying ideas, arguments and assumptions either remain implicit or are lost altogether. But consider the possibility of crafting new information tools to capture not just conclusions and the view of matters that supports them, but to allow the explicit representation of underlying assumptions and argument structures.23
A promising example of argument visualisation is DebateGraph, pioneered by David Price and Peter Baldwin.24 This tool seeks to represent all pertinent issues, positions, arguments, evidence, and scenarios relating to a policy debate within a single visual structure. Furthermore, it seeks to open this process to anyone wishing to explore or interact with the ongoing discursive mapping. The process entails three stages: the policy issue is broken down into meaningful parts; discursive relationships between these different parts are plotted; the parts and their relationships are represented visually.25
Figure 1 shows an example from a Debategraph visualization of a public discussion about the options open to the international community in response to Iran’s pursuit of nuclear technology.26 A specific policy option—zero domestic enrichment in return for offshore supply—is identified and an argument in support of this position is summarized. A large DebateGraph map comprises a vast number of these thought boxes, each of which can be edited and rated by debate participants, who can also add new boxes (issues, arguments, and positions, etc.) to the map. Underlying each box is an in-depth display to which images, charts, tables, full-length essays, free form comments, and links to external documents can be added. As well as forming part of a vertical tree structure, the boxes can be semantically linked to any other box, so that patterns of discursive connection are revealed. Wiki-like collaborative editing of the maps across the web makes it possible for the collective knowledge and insights distributed across the entire community of interested participants to be disclosed. The idea is that, in accordance with the norms of public deliberation, initial seed maps evolve (and can be seen to evolve) towards mature and comprehensive accounts of available positions, their rationales and their connections.
A second approach to making sense of the vast number of voices online is known as sentiment analysis.27 If argument visualisation attempts to map the reasons that people give in support of the positions they take in an argument, the sentiment analysis approach seeks to capture people’s feelings by “analysing real-time reactions to political events (i.e. as they happen, not as they are recalled) by measuring and aggregating the emotional content of opinions voluntarily expressed over time and on a large scale.”28 The essential contribution of sentiment analysis is towards understanding the affective dispositions that frame public arguments. For politicians, as well as for commercial businesses, it is often more important to grasp how people “feel” about them and what they stand for than how they articulate reasoned arguments.29 Arvidsson (2012) explains how corporations are using sentiment analysis to sense how potential customers are responding to their brand images:
Brand valuation service such as Radian or Sysomos, for example use sentiment analysis to determine whether a branding campaign has generated a shift in the positive or negative intensity of affect invested in the brand on the part of the public, or, to use the current term, in sentiment. Similarly, sentiment analysis is growing in importance as a component of information systems for financial operators and other kinds of asset valuators. The company Streambase, for example, generates trading recommendations on the basis of a sentiment analysis of online news. Covalence mines a wide range of sources on Corporate Social Responsibility and subjects them to a sentiment analysis, the output of which is presented as an indicator of the “ethical status” of an asset.30
In principle, representative governments could do the same thing. Rather than ask opinion-poll-style questions designed to obtain snapshot pictures of what people claim to think about a particular issue, they could attempt to drill into the many public discussions that are taking place online with a view to exploring the dispositions, values, and emotions that underlie and motivate people’s thinking.
A third approach to understanding multi-vocal discourse is to create mini-publics. These are scientifically selected representative samples of the mass public, brought together with a view to providing a microcosmic image of the public at large.31 For example, Fishkin’s deliberative polls have been run over a number of years, first offline, but now also online. In these polls a representative sample of the population is brought together (physically when conducted offline; virtually when online) and polled on their views regarding specific policy issues. Then, over a period of two or three days, they are exposed to expert information and to one another’s experiences and opinions. They deliberate together. At the end of this process they are polled again and their views often change. Having heard from and questioned experts and fellow citizens with different experiences from their own, their perspectives shift.32
Deliberative polls are a test of what happens to a population if it is given a chance to deliberate democratically.33 Other experiments with mini-publics include citizens’ juries, consensus conferences, and visioning exercises. Proponents of these initiatives claim that they are more than merely experimental exercises; they are observable illustrations of how people come to accept or reject argument and of how the wider public might think if it were given the same deliberative opportunities.34
From the perspective of democratic listening, minipublics open up two potentially important opportunities. Firstly, instead of having to listen to millions of voices, one is able to listen to a limited number of voices that are socio-demographically representative of the rest. Secondly, the conditions in which mini-publics meet are designed to enhance meaningful debate and reduce the fragmented and disjointed claim-making, name-calling or off-message distractions that mar much public talk.35 Inevitably, there is a risk that such filtering can assume a disciplinary form, squeezing out contributions from people whose voices are not acknowledged as worthy of a hearing. But, in practical terms, mini-publics reduce debate to manageable proportions, allowing busy listeners to follow citizens in focused discussion from beginning to end without feeling overwhelmed by too much data.
Each of these three ‘listening technologies’ could be helpful in allowing elected representatives and governing institutions to tap into the vastness of online discussion. Argument visualisation is particularly valuable when a range of divergent positions are being stated. It provides a map of public discourse that clarifies how different positions in an argument are related. Sentiment analysis has less to offer in relation to people’s reasoned claims and statements, but could be of some value in tracking public mood. Mini-publics offer a counterfactual model of the talking public, reduced in size but representative in form. In one sense, we might refer to all of these as new technologies of representation. If parliaments, congresses and parties were old technologies, designed to make the absent public present by speaking on their behalf, the aim of these technologies is to re-present the online public by going directly to the raw data of public discourse and trying to reduce its complexity by tracing patterns that exemplify its meaning.
Useful as they may be as ways of simplifying and summarizing online public talk, there are at least three grounds for being skeptical about these technologies. Firstly, each of them can only hope to capture one dimension of public discourse. Argument visualisation illuminates reasoned claims but not the values and affects that shape them. Sentiment analysis tries to capture mood but has little to say about the structure of arguments or claims that arise in response to it. Deliberative mini-publics help to explain the dynamics of preference shifting but say little about how preferences were formed in the first place and whether the values underlying them change or remain static. Perhaps a combination of all three approaches would be most fruitful. Perhaps, on the other hand, all of these technologies should be seen as over-claiming their capacities to make sense of what the online public is really saying.
Secondly, each of these technologies is surrounded by ethical challenges. Argument visualisation is based upon the assumption that there is an objective rationality to all arguments and that software tools and graphical designs can do justice to all relevant positions. It operates on the basis that politics can be explained by logic. But political logic is not always explicable in purely rational terms: powerful interests often drown out, distort, or discredit arguments put forward by competing interests; some arguments are not framed in terms of reason, but are still politically motivating forces; and sometimes reasonable claims are dishonestly presented as a veneer for self-interested and unreasonable objectives.36 Assumptions that politics entails an innocent search for Truth could lead to disappointment. The proponents of argument visualisation need to demonstrate that they are aware of these peculiarities of political debate.
Similarly, those employing sentiment analysis claim that they can read between and under the lines of public talk to reveal how people feel.37 This involves a degree of intrusion into conversations and interactions that, while not strictly private, might not be regarded by participants as public acts. Should sentiment analysts be allowed to mine interpersonal online communications in order to serve corporate or political interests? Do people chatting on Facebook or on Twitter want their sentimental pulse taken by people with whom they have entered into no contract? Can sentiment analysts be trusted to define sentiments in a non-manipulative fashion? What is to stop someone with a particular interest from using sentiment analysis as a means of trying to shape mass sentiment? And do we have a sufficiently nuanced language of sentiments to be able to describe the public’s various moods without falling back upon crude generalizations? Sentiment analysis could be regarded as a technology of emotional surveillance, less like a listening tool than a voyeuristic invasion.
In the case of mini-publics, there are ethical challenges surrounding who defines the sample, what sort of questions participants are asked before and after participating, the range of experts and information to which participants are exposed, and whether short-term effects of being involved in a deliberative mini-public are likely to lead to long-term changes of opinions or underlying values. In short, just as with any system of representation, the right to claim that “this is what people are really saying” calls for a degree of ethical commitment and possible regulation that does not currently apply to the operators of these listening technologies.
A third concern about these technologies of listening stems from a normative democratic perspective. Advocates of methods for making sense of what the online public is saying by observing what the minority of Internet users who currently speak out in the online public sphere are saying fail to notice that most people’s voices are never heard in these exchanges.38 The voices that dominate most online discussion replicate the inequalities of the offline public sphere.39 What of the vast majority of people who lack the literacy, confidence, or technical access to make their voices heard online? What about the unheard voices of those who are too scared to state their views online because they fear state or economic reprisals? What of those who spend a great deal of time reading what others are saying online but have convinced themselves that they are too unimportant to contribute to the debate themselves? By only listening to what’s out there at the moment, governments and elected representatives will only learn how people talk about civic issues in a culture where political talk is an alienating and risky activity, largely dominated by an unrepresentative minority of the population. What would the online public sphere look like if the expectation of being heard became the norm, if speaking was less about stating opinions louder than anyone else and more about sharing ideas with everyone else, if the rooted inequalities of voice that make contemporary political debate so unrepresentative were overcome?
The Politics of Voice
Inequality begins before speakers even open their mouth, pick up their pen, post their message, or upload their video. The expectations we have of others determine whether we are likely to pay attention to what they have to say—and the quality of that attention.40 Unequal expectations are commonly based on class, race, gender and age-related prejudices. In all cases, they degrade the act of listening. And, in turn, they weaken democratic efficacy.
As the French theorist Pierre Bourdieu has observed, inequalities come to be internalized. People who are rarely listened to begin to think that their voices were not made to be respected. Many of these injuries to voice occur when people are young, before they are able to participate fully as active citizens. By the time they do become legally recognized citizens, civic confidence is already shattered.41 One aspect of the literacy that citizens require if they are to become ‘netizens’ of digital democracy is a capacity to express themselves in public in the expectation that their voices will be respectfully acknowledged.
One attempt to develop such a capacity was made within a United Kingdom-based action research project that I led in 2011-12. The Youth Amplified program was designed to enhance the civic communicative awareness and confidence of eleven- to eighteen-year-olds. It came about through a collaboration between researchers at the Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds, the Speakers’ Corner Trust (http://www.speakerscornertrust.org), and the digital design agency, Bold Creative (http://www.boldcreative.co.uk/). It was funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. The project set out to understand how young people experienced speaking in public, how they evaluated their own strengths and weaknesses, and how they articulated their needs for training and support.42 As we explored with groups of young people the kinds of issues they wanted to speak about and the many barriers they experienced in making themselves heard and understood by others, the emphasis remained at all times upon how they made sense of communicative situations rather than how we, the communication experts, defined “appropriate” forms of expression within civic contexts.
Moving away from an essentialized notion of speaking, we sought to break down the work of public expression into a number of discrete capacities. As we worked with young people, we identified six aspects of public expression that they found particularly challenging:
- feeling confident about speaking in front of strangers, some of whom might be authority figures;
- projecting and modulating their voices effectively;
- negotiating about matters of difference and disagreement;
- listening to other voices and sensing what they are trying to say;
- forming and structuring argument with a view to saying what they meant to say;
- and persuading others to see the value of what they are saying.
Researchers recruited four groups of approximately twenty-five eleven- to eighteen-year-olds through two schools, a local council youth services, and a youth theater group, all in Yorkshire. We ran five two-hour workshops, led by a trained applied drama practitioner, with each group and used these workshops to develop the six expressive capacities listed above whose definitions, produced with participants, can be seen in the “Learn” section of the Youth Amplified site. We also devised a series of exercises with a view to identifying and working upon each of these capacities.43
Researchers collaborated with the award-winning digital design agency, Bold Creative, to produce a specification for a suite of web-based educational tools that could be used in classrooms and other youth-related settings. As the project was committed to stakeholder participation, we organized events with a view to seeking maximum design input from both teachers and students—two seminars for teachers and a one-day event involving 30 young people selected from the four workshop groups. Participants attending this event offered detailed comments on the design and branding of the Youth Amplified educational resources and recorded accounts of their speaking experiences and challenges, several of which have been used as video stories on the Youth Amplified website. These can be seen in the “Stories” section of the site.
The Youth Amplified website (www.youthamplified.com) was launched in May 2012. In October 2012, CD-ROMs containing lesson plans to accompany the website were distributed to several hundred schools and youth groups across the United Kingdom.44 The Teachers’ Guide also sets out a systematic approach to charting young people’s progress in relation to each of the six key capacities. It is too early to evaluate the use of these resources, but some general comments can be made about why initiatives of this kind could contribute to a more vibrant democracy.
Firstly, we need to pay attention to effective public expression because the Internet is not simply a technical space. The Internet is one part of a wider social culture. As that culture has long been characterized by inequalities of voice, we would be naïve to expect it to be otherwise when people try to make themselves heard online. Many of the commentaries about online discussion have been rather condescendingly sniffy about the quality of online public talk, dismissing it as “ranting” or “empty noise.”45 To the extent that much online talk is uncivil, this is because it is framed by taken-for-granted attitudes of disrespect. The best way to overcome such attitudes is for people who have not in the past felt very confident about making their voices heard to command respect by becoming more communicatively aware and self-confident.
Secondly, few citizens choose to talk just for the sake of talking, whether online or offline. Most public talk is geared toward making a difference.46 When people speak up, they usually do so in the hope that their words will lead to some kind of action or change. Even with the relatively low cost of entry to the Internet, citizens will soon become tired of making their voices heard online if there is no connection between what they say and what eventually happens in relation to the subjects about which they speak.47 If the Internet is to remain a potentially democratic space, talk must be connected to decision-making. And that is only likely to happen if (a) citizens understand better how to make themselves recognized and respected by decision-makers and (b) decision-makers come to regard public talk online as a valuable resource when they are forming policies and making decisions.
Thirdly, if we are to take media literacy seriously, and not regard it as being primarily related to the critical reception of mass-mediated messages, we need to make online expression a key capacity of the digitally literate. That means more than knowing how to use computers, keyboards, screens, phones, and digital televisions. It means acquiring and refining capacities of civic expression. The art of democracy entails the creative use of voice. One aspect of such creativity is making effective the demand to be heard. Another aspect is demonstrating a generous capacity to both listen and hear. Digital democracy, if it is to be more than a catchphrase, depends upon the development of such vocal arts.
“Listen” thumbnail image by Ky Olsen, via Creative Commons.
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Kenski, Kate, and Natalie Jomini Stroud. “Connections between Internet Use and Political Efficacy, Knowledge, and Participation.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 50, no. 2 (2006): 173-192.
Kuran, Timur. “Insincere Deliberation and Democratic Failure.” Critical Review 12, no. 4 (1998), 529-544.
Langman, Lauren. “From Virtual Public Spheres to Global Justice: A Critical Theory of Internetworked Social Movements.” Sociological Theory 23, no. 1 (2005): 42-74.
Mancini, Clara, and Simon J. Buckingham Shum. “Modelling Discourse in Contested Domains: A Semiotic and Cognitive Framework.” International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 64, no. 11 (2006): 1154-1171.
Mansbridge, Jane. “Conflict and Self-Interest in Deliberation.” In Deliberative Democracy and its Discontents. Edited by Samantha Besson and José Luis Martí, 107-132. Hampshire, UK: Ashgate, 2006.
McChesney, Robert W. The Problem of the Media: U.S. Communication Politics in the Twenty-First Century. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2004.
Milton, John. Aeropagitica: A Speech For The Liberty Of Unlicensed Printing To The Parliament Of England (1644). Project Gutenberg, 2006. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/608/608-h/608-h.htm.
Nisbet, Matthew C., and Dietram A. Scheufele. “Political Talk as a Catalyst for Online Citizenship.” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 81, no. 4 (2004): 877-896.
Olson, Mancur. The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1965.
Prahalad, C.K., and Stuart L. Hart. “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid.” Revista Eletrônica de Estratégia & Negócios 1, no. 2 (2008): 1-23. http://portaldeperiodicos.unisul.br/index.php/EeN/article/view/39.
Rancière, Jacques. Disagreement: Politics and Philosophy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004.
———. Hatred of Democracy. London: Verso, 2006.
Renton, Alastair, and Ann Macintosh. “Computer-Supported Argument Maps as a Policy Memory.” The Information Society 23, no. 2 (2007): 125-133.
Rittel, Horst. “The State of the Art in Design Methods.” Design Research and Methods 7, no. 2 (1973): 143-147.
Rojas, Hernando. “Strategy Versus Understanding: How Orientations Toward Political Conversation Influence Political Engagement.” Communication Research 35, no. 4 (2008): 452-480.
Sack, Warren. “Conversation Map: A Content-Based Usenet Newsgroup Browser.” In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, 233-240. New York: ACM, 2000.
Schlozman, Kay Lehman, Sidney Verba, and Henry E. Brady. “Weapon of the Strong? Participatory Inequality and the Internet.” Perspectives on Politics 8, no. 2 (2010): 487-509.
Sobkowicz, Pawel, Michael Kaschesky, and Guillame Bouchard. “Opinion Mining in Social Media: Modeling, Simulating, and Forecasting Political Opinions in the Web.” Government Information Quarterly 29, no. 4 (2012): 470-479.
Tacchi, Jo A. “Finding a Voice: Digital Storytelling as Participatory Development in Southeast Asia.” In Story Circle: Digital Storytelling around the World. Edited by John Hartley and Kelly McWilliam. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. doi: 10.1002/9781444310580.
Thelwall, Mike, Kevan Buckley, and Georgois Paltoglou. “Sentiment in Twitter Events.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 62, no. 2 (2011): 406-418.
Van Laer, Jeroen, and Peter Van Aelst. “Internet and Social Movement Action Repertoires: Opportunities and Limitations.” Information, Communication & Society 13, no. 8 (2010): 1146–1171. http://www.academia.edu/26203/Internet_and_Social_Movement_Action_Repertoires_Opportunities_and_Limitations
- John Milton, Aeropagitica: A Speech For The Liberty Of Unlicensed Printing To The Parliament Of England (1644). (Project Gutenberg, 2006), http://www.gutenberg.org/files/608/608-h/608-h.htm.↵
- Edmund Burke, “The Roman Catholics Of Ireland: A Letter To Sir Hercules Langrishe (1792),” in Party, Parliament and the American Crisis, 1766-1774, ed. Paul Langford. Vol. 2 of The Writings and Speeches of Edmund Burke (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981), 172.↵
- Kay Lehman Schlozman, Sidney Verba, and Henry E. Brady, “Weapon of the Strong? Participatory Inequality and the Internet,” Perspectives on Politics 8, no. 2 (2010): 487-509; Paul DiMaggio and Eszter Hargittai, “From the ‘Digital Divide’ to ‘Digital Inequality’: Studying Internet Use as Penetration Increases” (working paper, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, 2001); Bruce Bimber, “Measuring the Gender Gap on the Internet,” Social Science Quarterly 81, no. 3 (2000): 868-876.↵
- Richard Heeks, “Development 2.0: The IT-Enabled Transformation of International Development,” Communications of the ACM 53, no. 4 (2010): 22-24; C.K. Prahalad and Stuart L. Hart, “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid,” Revista Eletrônica de Estratégia & Negócios 1, no. 2 (2008): 1; Glynda A. Hull and Mira-Lisa Katz, “Crafting an Agentive Self: Case Studies of Digital Storytelling,” Research in the Teaching of English 41, no. 1 (2006): 43-81; Jo A. Tacchi, “Finding a Voice: Digital Storytelling as Participatory Development in Southeast Asia,” in Story Circle: Digital Storytelling around the World, eds. John Hartley and Kelly McWilliam (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), doi: 10.1002/9781444310580.↵
- Yaman Akdeniz, “Anonymity, Democracy, and Cyberspace,” Social Research: An International Quarterly 69, no. 1 (2002): 223-237; Bernie Ebbers, The Fall of WorldCom and Rise of Corporate Whistleblowing; Nick Couldry and James Curran, eds., Contesting Media Power: Alternative Media in a Networked World (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003); Shanthi Kalathil and Taylor C. Boas, “The Internet and State Control in Authoritarian Regimes: China, Cuba, and the Counterrevolution,” First Monday 6, no. 8 (2001); Jason P. Abbott, “Democracy@ internet.asia? The Challenges to the Emancipatory Potential of the Net: Lessons from China and Malaysia,” Third World Quarterly 22, no. 1 (2001): 99-114.↵
- Jeroen Van Laer and Peter Van Aelst, “Internet and Social Movement Action Repertoires: Opportunities and Limitations,” Information, Communication & Society 13, no. 8 (2010): 1146–1171, http://www.academia.edu/262038/Internet_and_Social_Movement_Action_Repertoires_Opportunities_and_Limitations; W. Lance Bennett and Alexandra Segerberg, “The Logic of Connective Action: Digital Media and the Personalization of Contentious Politics,” Information, Communication & Society 15, no. 5 (2012): 739-768.↵
- Mancur Olson, The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1965); J. Craig Jenkins, “Resource Mobilization Theory and the Study of Social Movements,” Annual Review of Sociology 9 (1983): 527-553; Lauren Langman, “From Virtual Public Spheres to Global Justice: A Critical Theory of Internetworked Social Movements,” Sociological Theory 23, no. 1 (2005): 42-74.↵
- Shanthi Kalathil and Taylor C. Boas, Open Networks, Closed Regimes: The Impact of the Internet on Authoritarian Rule (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2003); Philip N. Howard, The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Information Technology and Political Islam: Information Technology and Political Islam (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010); Harry H. Hiller and Tara M. Franz, “New Ties, Old Ties, and Lost Ties: The Use of the Internet in Diaspora,” New Media & Society 6, no. 6 (2004): 731-752; Myria Georgiou, “Diasporic Communities On-line: A Bottom Up Experience of Transnationalism,” in The Ideology of the Internet: Concepts, Policies, Uses, eds. Katherine Sarikakis and Daya K. Thussu (New York: Hampton Press, 2006), 131-145.↵
- Robert W. McChesney, The Problem of the Media: U.S. Communication Politics in the Twenty-First Century (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2004).↵
- Stephen Coleman, “Connecting Parliament to the Public via the Internet,” Information, Communication & Society 7, no. 1 (2004): 1-22.↵
- Dennis W. Johnson, Congress Online: Bridging the Gap between Citizens and Their Representatives (New York: Routledge, 2004).↵
- Stephen Coleman and Vincent Price, “Democracy, Distance, and Reach: The New Media Landscape,” in Connecting Democracy: Online Consultation and the Flow of Political Communication, eds. Stephen Coleman and Peter M. Shane (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012), 23-44.↵
- McChesney, The Problem of the Media.↵
- Andrew Dobson, “Listening: The New Democratic Deficit,” Political Studies 60, no 4 (2012): 843-859.↵
- John S. Dryzek, Deliberative Democracy and Beyond: Liberals, Critics, Contestations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 149.↵
- Leonard C. Hawes, “Becoming-Other-Wise: Conversational Performance and the Politics of Experience,” Text and Performance Quarterly 18, no. 4 (1998).↵
- Nick Couldry, Why Voice Matters: Culture and Politics after Neoliberalism (London: Sage Publications, 2010).↵
- See Jacques Rancière, Disagreement: Politics and Philosophy (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004); Jacques Rancière, Hatred of Democracy (London: Verso, 2006).↵
- Warren Sack, “Conversation Map: A Content-Based Usenet Newsgroup Browser,” in Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (New York: ACM, 2000), 233-240; Judith Donath, “A Semantic Approach to Visualizing Online Conversations,” Communications of the ACM 45, no. 4 (2002): 45-49; Clara Mancini and Simon J. Buckingham Shum, “Modelling Discourse in Contested Domains: A Semiotic and Cognitive Framework,” International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 64, no. 11 (2006): 1154-1171; Alastair Renton and Ann Macintosh, “Computer-Supported Argument Maps as a Policy Memory,” The Information Society 23, no. 2 (2007): 125-133.↵
- Douglas Engelbart, “Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework (1962),” in Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality, ed. Randall Packer and Ken Jordan (New York: WW Norton & Company, 2001), 64-90; Horst Rittel, “The State of the Art in Design Methods,” Design Research and Methods 7, no. 2 (1973): 143-147.↵
- John Seely Brown, “From Cognitive to Social Ergonomics and Beyond,” in User Centered System Design: New Perspectives on Human-Computer Interaction, ed. Donald A. Norman and Stephen W. Draper (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1986), 60.↵
- See www.debategraph.org/home.↵
- A range of DebateGraph argument maps can be explored here: http://debategraph.org/poster.aspx?aID=65. And other models of argument visualisation can be seen here: Cohere: http://cohere.open.ac.uk/#home; Delibatorium: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAD9s9NVbyE&feature=youtu.be; PolicyCommons: http://policycommons.leeds.ac.uk/#debates.↵
- Katherine Butler, “Iran, Russia, and the Missile Chess Game,” Independent, Sept. 25, 2009, http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/katherine-butler-iran-russia-and-the-missile-chess-game-1792904.html.↵
- Examples of political sentiment analysis can be found here: http://vimeo.com/42738704; http://politics.twittersentiment.org/streams/; http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/rorycellanjones/2010/04/online_sentiment_around_the_pr.html ↵
- Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon, Andreas Kaltenbrunner, and Rafael E. Banchs, “The Structure of Political Discussion Networks: A Model for the Analysis of Online Deliberation,” Journal of Information Technology 25, no. 2 (2010): 12.↵
- Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (New York: Pantheon, 2012), 299.↵
- Adam Arvidsson, “General Sentiment: How Value and Affect Converge in the Information Economy,” The Sociological Review 59, no. s2 (2012): 201.↵
- Archon Fung, “Recipes for Public Spheres: Eight Institutional Design Choices and Their Consequences,” Journal of Political Philosophy 11, no. 3 (2003): 339.↵
- See James S. Fishkin, “Deliberative Polling®: Executive Summary,” Center for Deliberative Democracy, http://cdd.stanford.edu/polls/docs/summary/.↵
- Examples of online deliberative polls can be found here: http://news.stanford.edu/pr/03/onlinepoll129.html; http://www.pbs.org/newshour/btp/articles/events_dop.html.↵
- James S. Fishkin, Democracy and Deliberation: New Directions for Democratic Reform (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991).↵
- Fung, “Recipies for Public Spheres,” 340-41.↵
- Timur Kuran, “Insincere Deliberation and Democratic Failure,” Critical Review 12, no. 4 (1998), 529-544; Jane Mansbridge, “Conflict and Self-Interest in Deliberation,” in Deliberative Democracy and its Discontents, eds. Samantha Besson and José Luis Martí (Hampshire, UK: Ashgate, 2006), 107-132.↵
- Mike Thelwall, Kevan Buckley, and Georgois Paltoglou, “Sentiment in Twitter Events,” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 62, no. 2 (2011): 406-418; Pawel Sobkowicz, Michael Kaschesky, and Guillame Bouchard, “Opinion Mining in Social Media: Modeling, Simulating, and Forecasting Political Opinions in the Web,” Government Information Quarterly 29, no. 4 (2012): 470-479.↵
- Anne Geniets and Rebecca Eynon, “Breaking Out or Breaking Off? Discontinued Internet Use of Young People in the UK: A Literature Review” (draft process document, part of the “Lapsed Use of the Internet Amongst Young People” research project at Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford, UK, 2011), accessed January 28, 2013, http://www.nominettrust.org.uk/knowledge-centre/articles/breaking-out-or-breaking.↵
- Kevin A. Hill and John E. Hughes, Cyberpolitics: Citizen Activism in the Age of the Internet (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998).↵
- Nick Crossley, “On Systematically Distorted Communication: Bourdieu and the Socio-Analysis of Publics,” The Sociological Review 52, no. s1 (2004): 88-112.↵
- See Pierre Bourdieu, Language & Symbolic Power, ed. John B. Thompson (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991); Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron, Reproduction in Education, Society, and Culture, 2nd ed. (London: Sage Publications, 1990).↵
- Youth Amplified, “About Youth Amplified,” http://youthamplified.com/us/.↵
- Details of the workshop exercises can be accessed here: http://youthamplified.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Youth-Amplified-Teachers-guide-11-05-12.pdf.↵
- Copies of the lesson plans are also available in “The Staff Room” on the website: http://youthamplified.com/blog/.↵
- Richard Davis, The Web of Politics: The Internet’s Impact on the American Political System (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999).↵
- Hernando Rojas, “Strategy Versus Understanding: How Orientations Toward Political Conversation Influence Political Engagement,” Communication Research 35, no. 4 (2008): 452-480; Stephen Coleman and Karen Ross, The Public, Politics, and the Spaces Between: Election Call and Democratic Accountability (London: Hansard Society for Parliamentary Government, 2001); Matthew C. Nisbet and Dietram A. Scheufele, “Political Talk as a Catalyst for Online Citizenship,” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 81, no. 4 (2004): 877-896.↵
- Stephen Coleman, David E. Morrison, and Simeon Yates, “The Mediation of Political Disconnection,” in Political Communication in Postmodern Democracy, eds. Kees Brants and Katrin Voltmer (Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 215-230; Kate Kenski and Natalie Jomini Stroud, “Connections between Internet Use and Political Efficacy, Knowledge, and Participation,” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 50, no. 2 (2006): 173-192.↵