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Participatory Constitutional Design: A Grassroots Experiment for (Re)Designing the Constitution in Greece

Part of the Public Administration and Information Technology book series (PAIT,volume 25)

Abstract

This chapter reports how participatory processes and ICT tools can go against rule-driven bureaucratic approaches to political participation and public deliberation, trying to defy strict procedural norms in favor of more flexible formats for citizen mobilization, political co-thinking, and sustained social innovation in the area of constitutional building. After describing key theoretical issues on trends and perspectives of public participation in constitution building processes, we review arguments in favor of ICT and social media use in constitutional building and then discuss an ongoing Greek bottom-up experiment named Syntagma 2.0 that introduced an innovative co-creative process for the production of a new Constitution for Greece, to be delivered by the citizens for the citizens. Based on the results of the aforementioned project so far, we present success factors for such initiatives.

Keywords

  • Social Medium
  • Public Participation
  • Public Deliberation
  • Constitutional Reform
  • Constitution Building

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.

The original version of this chapter has been revised: Article note has been removed from the opening page. The erratum to this chapter is available at https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-54142-6_20

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Using data covering all 132 new Constitutions in 118 countries between 1974 and 2011.

  2. 2.

    Available at https://www.constitucion.cdmx.gob.mx/constitucion-cdmx/#grupo-trabajo.

  3. 3.

    Available at https://peoples-constitution.yrpri.org.

  4. 4.

    See http://syntagma.politeia2.org/.

  5. 5.

    In 2012, Politeia 2.0 won the Audience Award at the EU Investment Bank Social Innovation Tournament. Politeia’s groundbreaking approach lies in involving citizens in all steps of the Constitutional reformation—people discuss, plan, draft, promote, and ratify their Constitution. Additionally, information campaigns, Web apps, educational trainings, cultural events, and social design laboratories aim to create new theories and applications of Democracy for Greece.

  6. 6.

    The World Café is a structured conversational process, theoretically paving the way for open and intimate discussion, ultimately accessing the collective intelligence in the room. Replying to a set of pre-posed questions, participants move between a series of tables where they continue the discussion. Apart from speaking and listening, individuals are welcome to write or doodle on a paper tablecloth. When people alternate between tables, they can see what previous members have expressed in either words or images. In the World Cafés, the objective is to boost discussion and hit collective targets surrounded not by a bureaucratic office atmosphere but a café ambience.

  7. 7.

    See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Azztf_FSSSI.

  8. 8.

    See available harvest reports at http://syntagma.politeia2.org/apotelesmata/.

  9. 9.

    See https://www.facebook.com/Politeia2/photos/a.217158848445457.1073741833.183452181816124/401591693335504/?type=3&theater.

  10. 10.

    Interview with Syntagma 2.0 team available at http://www.reloadgreece.com/en/blog/inspirational-stories/politeia-2-0-a-laboratory-for-democracy.

  11. 11.

    The account of Politeia 2.0 has 2.950 followers in Facebook.

  12. 12.

    Available in Greek at http://syntagma.politeia2.org/toolkit/.

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Correspondence to Evika Karamagioli .

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Karamagioli, E., Karatza, M., Xydia, S., Gouscos, D. (2017). Participatory Constitutional Design: A Grassroots Experiment for (Re)Designing the Constitution in Greece. In: Paulin, A., Anthopoulos, L., Reddick, C. (eds) Beyond Bureaucracy. Public Administration and Information Technology, vol 25. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-54142-6_10

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