Fostering Active Participation of Young People in Democratic Life: A Case Study Using the #ask Dashboard
In many democratic countries, including the European Union Member States, it is increasingly important that policy makers are aware of young people’s opinion. In this respect, the European Union prioritizes the discovery of new forms of participation in democratic processes and access to political decision-making through online and offline tools. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate and evaluate the idea of promoting young people’s participation in political decision-making by brokering discussions on Twitter. Towards this end, we present a case study that utilizes and makes a preliminary evaluation of the #ask Dashboard, a software solution for brokering and analyzing discussions on Twitter between policy makers and young people. In terms of the case study, we discovered Twitter handles of 74 policy makers and 229 young people interested in ten topics. We used the #ask Dashboard to broker more than 275 discussions about these topics. So far, we have achieved 367 replies, 15 retweets and 105 likes mostly from young people. Students who participated in brokered discussions for a month performed the evaluation of the case study. Although students believe that the case study gave them the opportunity to be active on political issues, they were sceptical on whether Twitter discussion brokering successfully reaches young people and policy makers.
KeywordseParticipation Twitter Policy making Youth
Disclaimer. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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