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Digital Democracy in Belgium and the Netherlands. A Socio-Legal Analysis of Citizenlab.be and Consultatie.nl

April 28, 2017 by Koen Van Aeken

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The research question is how technologies characterized by ubiquitous Web 2.0 interactivity may contribute to democracy. Following a case study design, two applications were evaluated: the Belgian CitizenLab, a mobile, social and local private application to support public decision making in cities, and the Dutch governmental website Internetconsultatie. Available data suggest that the Dutch consultation platform is mainly visited by the ‘usual suspects’ and lacks participatory functionalities. In contrast, CitizenLab explicitly aims at policy co-creation through broad participation. Its novelty, however, prevents making sound empirical statements.