[Asis-l] Digital Civic Engagement and Democracy Literature Review

Steven Clift slc at publicus.net
Mon Oct 28 15:03:11 EDT 2013

I thought you might find this of interest.

On a related note, I am looking to link up researchers and
practitioners looking to document lessons on how to intentionally
raise new and more representative voices online (noting how "those who
already show up" appear to be even more dominate online with civic
participation online overall - http://bit.ly/pewcivic ). Drop me a
note: clift at e-democracy.org  -  In subject write "New Voices Research"

- Steven Clift, E-Democracy.org

Why We Engage
How Theories of Human Behavior Contribute to Our Understanding of
Civic Engagement in a Digital Era

Eric Gordon
Jesse Baldwin-Philippi
Martina Balestra

A Berkman Center for Internet & Society working paper:


>From Eric Gordon's blog post linked above:

"What happens when democratic processes are augmented by digital
communication? What are the political, civic and social conditions
that necessitate new tools and new approaches? How is trust generated
and distributed differently across digital networks than across
physical ones?

These questions fundamentally cut across disciplines. So we set out to
review the literature on human behavior and civic engagement across
multiple fields in the social sciences, including communications,
social psychology, behavioral economics and sociology, with the goal
of establishing a groundwork on which the field of civic media can be
built. Despite our grand aspirations, however, the document we
produced did not end up defining a field; but it does, I hope, bring
together some foundational research and terms that can spark debate in
what is clearly an emerging field. This literature review is meant to
clarify common questions and concerns, and provide some background
into the rich literature that preceded our current moment of crisis
where we are collectively confronted with the need to understand how
digital media is transforming democracy and civic life."

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