Investigating incidence of common ground and alternative courses of action in an online forum

Jess Kropczynski, Guoray Cai, John Carroll

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Online forums support civic discourses on local politics, but it is not clear whether they generate decision-relevant outcomes. Using deliberative democracy as a theoretical lens, this paper proposes a coding scheme for understanding the progress of citizens' deliberation through content analysis from a naturally occurring online discussion of a local planning project. By comparing patterns of this online discourse with normative views of deliberative dialogues, we found that important indicators of the deliberative ideal are missing. Our results show that citizens were not able to move towards advanced phases of deliberation as prescribed by deliberative democracy theory; and explain why it failed to develop common ground and joint assessment of alternative courses of action. We further explore possible causes of such patterns and identified a number of barriers that make online discussions less optimal to achieve common ground and collective judgment. Based on such findings, we suggest ways to improve deliberative outcomes by introducing active facilitation and advanced information support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationdg.o 2014 - Proceedings of the 15th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research - Open Innovations and Sustainable Development in Government
Subtitle of host publicationExperiences from Around the World
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages24-33
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450329019
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event15th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research, dg.o 2014 - Aguascalientes, Mexico
Duration: Jun 18 2014Jun 21 2014

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Other

Other15th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research, dg.o 2014
CountryMexico
CityAguascalientes
Period6/18/146/21/14

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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    Kropczynski, J., Cai, G., & Carroll, J. (2014). Investigating incidence of common ground and alternative courses of action in an online forum. In dg.o 2014 - Proceedings of the 15th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research - Open Innovations and Sustainable Development in Government: Experiences from Around the World (pp. 24-33). (ACM International Conference Proceeding Series). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/2612733.2612749