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Enabling eParticipation of the Youth in the Public Debate on Legislation in Austria: A Critical Reflection

  • Sabrina Scherer
  • Christoph Neuroth
  • Günther Schefbeck
  • Maria A. Wimmer
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5694)

Abstract

Legislation formation is an area of democracy, in which participation of target groups (citizens, companies, interest groups, experts) plays a crucial role. With the emergence of the Internet and the growing maturity of more recent technologies a new potential emerged for supporting participation in the legislation process. The use of ICT does, however, not automatically enhance the participation in democratic processes and may even impose new [technically based] barriers. Therefore, software development of legislative eParticipation applications should carefully investigate and bear in mind the specific targeted users. It is not feasible to just provide the necessary ICT and the legislative documents in order to start a consultation, especially with young citizens. When introducing not only a new tool but even a new procedure, the whole process needs to be planned in detail and accompanied by an expert team. In this respect, the paper at hand describes the implementation of a pilot within the LEX-IS project that aimed to facilitate and enable participation of the youth in the public debate on legislation in Austria. The subject of online discussion via the platform was a ministerial draft bill and the formulation of a comment statement based on the previous discussions to be uploaded on the Austrian Parliament’s platform. The paper introduces the evaluation methodology and the results of the pilot regarding the use of the argumentation support system, participation of the youth and potential impact on the Austrian legislature. Finally, concluding remarks are provided.

Keywords

eParticipation legislative debate eConsultation 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabrina Scherer
    • 1
  • Christoph Neuroth
    • 1
  • Günther Schefbeck
    • 2
  • Maria A. Wimmer
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Koblenz-LandauKoblenzGermany
  2. 2.Austrian Parliamentary AdministrationViennaAustria

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