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DELIBERATION AND ONLINE PARTICIPATION: THE CASE OF THE SLOVENIAN PORTAL “I PROPOSE TO THE GOVERNMENT”

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Author(s): Tanja OBLAK-ČRNIČ | Jernej Prodnik | Nika Tržiban

Journal: Journal of Comparative Politics
ISSN 1337-7477

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 90;
Date: 2011;
Original page

ABSTRACT
In November 2009, the Slovenian government implemented a new participatory tool called “Predlagam vladi” (“I propose to the government”) in order to include citizens in the governmental policy process, which aimed to increase active citizen participation and connect citizens and civil society with the government. At a declarative level of the proponent (the government), the use of this e-tool promotes inclusion, openness, accessibility, and deliberative communication. Although the web portal received almost no publicity in the mass media, citizens largely grasped the new opportunity for broader access to the policy process. This study focuses mainly on the deliberative character of the governmental portal on three specific levels: structure and architecture, openness to citizens, and concrete proposals and comments. By critically evaluating deliberative communication and the role of new media in such practical projects, the authors explain how these new opportunities are limited and, by debating deliberation and public sphere, determine important obstacles that prevent such projects from being deliberately effective.
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