E-democracy and the European Union: Input and output legitimacy through ICT

Call for papers for: Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy

Special issue call for papers from Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy

Guest Editor:

Dr. Cláudia Toriz Ramos – Universidade Fernando Pessoa, Porto, Portugal

Prof. Lise Rye - Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

Focus and rationale

The European Union is at present one of the political entities in the world that has fully recognised the vital role of information and communication technology (ICT) for politics, the public space, economy and welfare. At the same time, the EU is repeatedly accused of having a major democratic deficit vis-à-vis its citizens. To address this issue, the EU tends to make choices that concentrate on output legitimacy, i.e., policy results, rather than substantially fostering input legitimacy, in the form of citizens' participation and public debate. The Lisbon Treaty introduces ways of addressing these issues, yet, much more needs to be done to pre-empt the criticisms. In reckoning the importance of the digital age and, thus, fostering policies for adapting to it and adopting it, the EU and its member-states may be again playing on the side of policy outputs. At the same time, however, substantial opportunities on the policy inputs exist too.

The bid to democratise the EU is also a multilevel challenge as it includes both the EU institutions directly as well as the EU member-states and the initiatives they undertake as members of the EU.  In other words, democracy in the EU is ‘made’ at several levels, including the EU institutions (the meta-level), the member-states, regions, cities and villages.  The inroads of information and communication technology (ICT) suggest that new ways of ‘making’ democracy in the EU might be possible. This Special Issue seeks to explore this possibility.

The Editor welcomes articles on both EU policy outputs connected with digital technologies and on democratic inputs in the EU mediated by ICT, i.e. participation, transparency, accountability and public debate. Theoretical and conceptual approaches, as well as institutional standpoints, e.g. by the European Parliament or the European Commission, and case-studies are also welcome.

Context and aims

The debate on EU democracy deserves to be revisited since it is an unfinished question and since there are new resources that may substantially contribute to foster the input and output sides of democratic legitimacy. As a multilevel polity the EU is an ambitious construction and an experiment in politics that can gain from utilising new and sophisticated methods of information and communication.

The Special Issue thus aims to gather new or refocused research on the debate on the legitimacy and democracy of the European Union, in a technological age. A state of the art on achievements and ways ahead, on constraints and opportunities stemming from ICT for democracy in the European Union is the core idea guiding the publication.
Furthermore, for practitioners at the institutional level, but also for the citizens, this debate may contribute to critically assess practices and ways forward. Last but not the least, teaching and learning requires up-to-date tools, both conceptual and empirical, that this Issue can also gather.

Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

The Editor of this Special Issue invites conceptually-sound and empirically driven papers that address, but are not limited to, the following issues:

- European Union e-democracy: political participation

- European Union e-democracy: institutions communication with the citizens

- European Parliament elections and European parties: the role of ICT

- E-accountability

- E-transparency

- Policies for the digital age

- ICT and inclusion and exclusion in the EU: accessibility, infrastructure, awareness, affordability

- Democracy and smart cities and smart villages in the EU context

- Social networking sites and political contestation in the EU

- Case-studies

- ICT & democracy in the EU: risks and threats, including misinformation and propaganda

- ICT & democracy in the EU: opportunities, including ways of making the EU citizens resilient to undue influence

Deadline and submissions

The submission deadline for all papers is 31 October 2020.

Conference papers will be considered for publication in this Special Issue too.

To submit your research, please visit Scholar One manuscripts portal.

To view the author guidelines for this journal, please visit the journal's page

Contact the Guest Editor:

Dr. Cláudia Toriz Ramos, Universidade Fernando Pessoa, Porto, Portugal

Email: [email protected]

Prof. Lise Rye - Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

Email: [email protected]