On-line Forums as an Arena for Political Discussions

  • Agneta Ranerup
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1765)


This text describes experiences of four on-line discussion forums that are used in a Swedish local government context. More precisely, these experiences come from a special kind of Digital Cities that are implemented and run by local government. The main issue that is treated in the following is how aspects such as the implementation of the forums, functional features of the forums, and activities to increase access to Internet affect the on-line debate. Lastly, three strategies for how the amount of debate in the on-line forums might be increased are outlined.


Local Government Civil Servant Political Discussion Virtual Community Local Politician 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Akrich, M.: The De-scription of Technical Objects. In: Bijker, W. E., Law, L. (ed.): Shaping Technology/Building Society. Studies in Sociotechnical Change. MIT Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, (1992) 205–224.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Aurigi, A.: Digital City or Urban Simulator. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (in this volume), Springer-Verlag, (2000).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Barber, B.: Strong Democracy. Participatory Politics for a New Age. University of California Press, Berkely (1984).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Benson, T. W.: Rhetoric, Civility, and Community. Political Debate on Computer Bulletin Boards. Communication Quarterly 44,3 (1996) 359–378.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Besselaar, P., Beckers, D.: Demographics and Sociographics of the Digital City. In: Ishida, T. (eds.): Community Computing and Support Systems. Social Interaction in Networked Communities. Springer, Berlin (1998) 108–124.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Buchstein, H.: Bytes that Bite: The Internet and Deliberative Democracy. Constellations 4,2 (1997) 248–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Castells, M.: The Information Age, Volume II. The Power of Identity. Blackwell Publishers, Oxford (1997).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Croon, A., Ågren, P-O.: Four Forms of Virtual Communities, (Fyra former av virtuella gemenskaper, In Swedish). Human IT 2 (1997) 9–20.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    De Cindio, F.: Community Networks for Reinventing Citizenship and Democracy. In: Papers for the EACN Workshop on Community Networking and the Information Society: Key issues for the New Millennium. European Association for Community Networks, Paris (1999) [19990516].Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Docter, S., Dutton, W. H.: The First Amendment Online: Santa Monica’ Public Electronic Network. In: Tsagarousianou, R., Tambini, D., Bryan, C. (eds.): Cyberdemocracy. Technology, Cities and Civic Networks. Routledge, London & New York (1998) 125–151.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Francissen, L., Brants, K.: Virtually Going Places: Square-hopping in Amsterdam’ Digital City. In: Tsagarousianou, R., Tambini, D., Bryan, C. (eds.): Cyberdemocracy. Technology, Cities and Civic Networks. Routledge, London & New York (1998) 18–40.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hallam, E., Murray, I.R.: World Wide Web Community Networks and the Voluntary Sector. The Electronic Library 16,3 (1998) 183–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
  14. 14.
    Howley, K.: Equity, Access, and Participation in Community Networks. Social Science Computer Review 16,4 (1998) 402–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    IT-commission.: Digital Democracy. A Seminar on Technology, Democracy, and Participation. Report number 2/97 (Digital demokrati. Ett seminarium om teknik, demokrati och delaktighet. IT-kommissionens rapport 2/97, in Swedish). Sweden (1997).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Johansson, L. et al.: The District Reform in Change. (Stadsdelsreform i utveckling, in Swedish). Report to the City Council of Göteborg 20th of August 1998. City of Göteborg (1998).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Jones, S.: The Internet and its Social Landscape. In: Jones, S. (ed.): Virtual Culture. Identity and Communication in Cybersociety. SAGE publications, London (1997) 7–35.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Jurnell, S. (1999).: Director of the Internet-supplier Utfors, private communication 16th February 1999.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Lievrouw, L. A.: Our Own Devices: Heterotopic Communication, Discourse, and Culture in the Information Society. The Information Society 14 (1998) 83–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Montin, S.: New Forms of Local Democracy (Lokala demokratiexperiment exempel och analyser, In Swedish). Demokratiutredningens skrift nr. 9, SOU 1998: 155. Stockholm (1998).Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Olsson, A. R.: Electronic Democracy (Elektronisk demokrati, in Swedish). SOU 1999:12. Stockholm (1999).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Poster, M.: Cyberdemocracy: The Internet and the Public Sphere. In: Holmes, D. (ed.): Virtual Politics. Identity and Community in Cyberspace. SAGE Publications, London (1997) 212–228.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ranerup, A.: Participatory Design through Representatives (Användarmedverkan med representanter, in Swedish, with Summary in English). Ph.D. Dissertation, Report 9. Department of Informatics, University of Göteborg (1996).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ranerup, A.: Contradictions when Internet is Used in Local Government. In: Heeks, R. (ed.): Reinventing Government in the Information Age. Routledge, London New & York (1999) 177–193.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ranerup, A.: A Comparative Study of On-line Forums in Local Government in Sweden. Department of informatics, Göteborg university (work in progress).Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Resnick, D.: Unequal Access: A Pressing Moral Problem? In: Proceedings of the 4th ETHICOMP International Conference on the Social and Ethical Impacts of Information and Communication Technologies. Luiss Guido Carli University/ De Montfort University/SCSU, Rome (1999).Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Robins, K.: Cyberspace and the World We Live In: Body & Society 123–4 (1995) 135–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Schuler, D.: New Community Networks: Wired for Change. Addison-Wesley, New York (1996).Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Smit, E. Y. M., Van Boeschoten, R. M.: Deliverable 3: Forum Workshop. Impressions and results. Forum: A Workshop on Public Debates on the Internet. ISPO 97066. Commission of the European Communities, Rotterdam (1998).Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Stolterman, E.: Technology Matters in Virtual Communities. Positioning Paper for the Workshop Designing Across Boarders: The Community Design of Community Networks. PDC’ 98/ CSCW’ 98, Seattle, Nov. 1998, USA (1998) [19990618].
  31. 31.
    Tambini, D.: Civic Networking and Universal Rights to Connectivity: Bologna. In: Tsagarousianou, R., Tambini, D., Bryan, C. (eds.): Cyberdemocracy. Technology, Cities and Civic Networks. Routledge, London & New York (1998) 84–109.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Tsagarousianou, R.: Back to the Future of Democracy? New Technologies, Civic Networks and Direct Democracy in Greece. In: Tsagarousianou, R., Tambini, D., Bryan, C. (eds.): Cyberdemocracy. Technology, Cities and Civic Networks. Routledge, London & New York (1998) 41–59.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Tsagarousianou, R., Tambini, D., Bryan, C. (eds.): Cyberdemocracy. Technology, Cities and Civic Networks. Routledge, London and New York (1998).Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Wilhelm, A. G.: Virtual Sounding Boards. In: Hague, B. N., Loader, B. D. (eds.): Digital Democracy. Discourse and Decision Making in the Information Age. Routledge, London & New York (1999) 154–178.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agneta Ranerup
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of informaticsGöteborg universityGöteborgSweden

Personalised recommendations