A review of research on participation in democratic decision-making presented at SiGChi conferences: Toward an improved trading zone between political science and HCI

Matti Nelimarkka*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a review of 80 papers representing efforts to support participation in democratic decision-making mostly related to local or national governments. The papers were published in leading human–computer interaction (SIGCHI conferences) venues. Most of this literature represents attempts to support assembly-oriented participation, wherein decisions are made through discussion, although referendum-type participation, involving decision-making based on voting, has gained attention too. Primarily, those papers addressing agenda-setting have examined organization-led forms, in which the agenda is controlled by those issuing the call for participation. Accordingly, the authors call for more research into support for representative models and participant-driven agenda-setting. Furthermore, the literature review pinpoints areas wherein further interdisciplinary engagement may be expected to improve research quality: in political science, HCI-informed methods and new ways of using physical input in participation merit more research, while, from the HCI side, cultivating closer relationships with political science concepts such as democratic innovations and calculus of voting could encourage reconsideration of the research foci. These observations speak to the benefits of a new research agenda for human–computer interaction research, involving different forms of participation, most importantly to address lack of engagement under the representative model of participation. Furthermore, in light of these findings, the paper discusses what type of interdisciplinary research is viable in the HCI field today and how political science and HCI scholars could usefully collaborate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number139
Pages (from-to)1-32
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Volume3
Issue numberCSCW
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Assembly democracy
  • Citizen participation
  • Civic engagement
  • Democratic participation
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Political science
  • Politics
  • Representative democracy
  • Trading zones

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