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Decidim, a Technopolitical Network for Participatory Democracy

Philosophy, Practice and Autonomy of a Collective Platform in the Age of Digital Intelligence

  • Explains the philosophy, design principles, and community organization of Decidim

  • Serves as a useful resource and handbook for the use of Decidim

  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

Part of the book series: SpringerBriefs in Political Science (BRIEFSPOLITICAL)

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Softcover Book USD 49.99
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Table of contents (5 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xvi
  2. Decidim: A Brief Overview

    • Xabier E. Barandiaran, Antonio Calleja-López, Arnau Monterde, Carol Romero
    Pages 1-33Open Access
  3. The Political Plane: Decidim and the Vision of a Radically Democratic Society

    • Xabier E. Barandiaran, Antonio Calleja-López, Arnau Monterde, Carol Romero
    Pages 35-63Open Access
  4. The Technopolitical Plane: Decidim as a Democratic Software Paradigm

    • Xabier E. Barandiaran, Antonio Calleja-López, Arnau Monterde, Carol Romero
    Pages 65-101Open Access
  5. The Technical Plane: The Fabric of an Infrastructure

    • Xabier E. Barandiaran, Antonio Calleja-López, Arnau Monterde, Carol Romero
    Pages 103-118Open Access
  6. A Technopolitical Network for Participatory Democracy: The Future of a Collective Platform

    • Xabier E. Barandiaran, Antonio Calleja-López, Arnau Monterde, Carol Romero
    Pages 119-133Open Access

About this book

This Open Access book explains the philosophy, design principles, and community organization of Decidim and provides essential insights into how the platform works. Decidim is the world leading digital infrastructure for participatory democracy, built entirely and collaboratively as free software, and used by more than 500 institutions with over three million users worldwide.

The platform allows any organization (government, association, university, NGO, neighbourhood, or cooperative) to support multitudinous processes of participatory democracy. In a context dominated by corporate-owned digital platforms, in the era of increasing social structuring via Artificial Intelligence, Decidim stands as a public or community owned platform for collective human intelligence. Yet, the project is much more than its technological features. Decidim is in itself a crossroad of the various dimensions of the networked society, a detailed practical map of its complexities and conflicts. The authors distinguish three general dimensions of the project: (1) the political - shedding light on the democratic model that Decidim promotes and its impact on public policies and organizations, (2) the technopolitical - explaining how this technology is democratically designed and managed to produce and protect certain political effects, and (3) the technical - presenting the conditions of production, operation, and success of the project.

This book systematically covers those three levels in an academically sound, technologically consistent, and politically innovative manner. Serving as a useful resource and handbook for the use of Decidim, it will not only appeal to students and scholars interested in participatory and digital democracy but also to professionals, policy-makers, and a wider audience interested in learning more about the Decidim platform.

This is an open access book.

Authors and Affiliations

  • IAS-Research Center for Life, Mind, and Society, Department of Philosophy, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Donostia – San Sebastián, Spain

    Xabier E. Barandiaran

  • Open University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain

    Antonio Calleja-López, Arnau Monterde

  • Localret Consortium, Barcelona, Spain

    Carol Romero

About the authors

Xabier E. Barandiaran is a philosopher of biological, cognitive, and social sciences, focusing on complex systems modelling working at the IAS-Research Centre for Life, Mind, and Society. He holds an Associate Professor position at the Department of Philosophy of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and has previously worked as a visiting researcher and postdoctoral fellow at various prestigious institutions. He is author and editor of over 50 publications (including three books) on cognitive science, technopolitics, complex systems and philosophy of life and mind. Xabier was co-founder of the Decidim project and coordinator of the Barcelona City council’s directorate for Democratic Innovation 2016-2018, and is now a member of Decidim’s coordination committee.

Antonio Calleja-López is a philosopher, sociologist, and political scientist studying the intersections of science, technology, and society. Calleja-López holds a research position at the Communication Networks and Social Change group of the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Catalonia's Open University), where he coordinates the Technopolitics research unit. He has been a Fulbright fellow, researched at different universities in the US and Europe, and collaborated with public institutions and grassroots organisations in various local, national and international projects, including the birth of Decidim and its current coordination committee.

Arnau Monterde is an academic who holds a PhD in Information and Knowledge Society from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). Since 2018, he has served as the Director of Democratic Innovation at the Barcelona City Council, where he oversees projects such as the decidim.barcelona participatory platform. Additionally, he is responsible for Canodrom, the Center of Digital and Democratic Innovation in Barcelona, which is a public laboratory for innovation and research that focuses on the intersection between technology, democracy, and society. Previously, he coordinated the tecnopolitica.net project at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3-UOC). He is actively involved in several programs and projects related to digital rights, technological sovereignty, open-source software, and the democratisation of network society.

Carolina Romero is a technologist with two decades of experience in information technology projects, specialising in digital transformation, open government, and networked interaction between administration and citizens. She began her career in the telecommunications sector and later worked as a freelance web developer and digital communication strategist. Romero holds degrees in Social Education from the Universitat de Barcelona and Urban Planning Projects and Topographical Operations from Escola del Treball, as well as a postgraduate degree in Digital Strategic Communication from Universitat Pompeu Fabra. She has been actively involved in various professional networks, including Xarxa IP, Catalunya Dades, the Transparent Government Network, and the Free Software Association Decidim, where she served as president between 2021 and 2023. She is currently the product manager of the Decidim project.

Bibliographic Information

Buy it now

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access