Interesting event at UC Berkeley This Wednesday: Tanja Aitamuro, Research Exchange: Crowdsourcing in Policy-Making: The Impact of Blended Expertise on Law-Making Process
This talk reports on a study about the impact of crowdsourcing on a law-making process in Finland. In the studied process, the off-road traffic law reform was opened for public participation in Finland by the Ministry of the Environment. The citizens were first asked to share their experiences and problems with off-road traffic and the regulating law on an online platform.
Then the participants were asked to share solutions for those problems. Crowdsourcing resulted into 500 ideas, over 4,000 comments and 24,000 votes, which were analyzed and evaluated both by the crowd by using a new tool called CrowdConsensus and by a globally distributed expert panel. The talk discusses deliberative aspects in crowdsourcing and the usefulness of blended expertise, i.e. the mixture of the crowd’s and experts’ knowledge, in law-making. Furthermore, the talk discusses the concepts of representation and legitimacy in a crowdsourced policy-making process.
The Finnish experiment is one of the first empirical studies about crowdsourcing in legislative processes. Such democratic innovations hold the potential to improve citizen empowerment and participation in the age of democratic recession and deteriorating political institutions. More about the Finnish experiment here: http://thegovlab.org/seven-lessons-from-the-crowdsourced-law-reform-in-finland/
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