Deliberating online in a crisis: Yes we can (and why we should)

Rachel Thompson, Anna McKeon, Stephen Elstub, Oliver Escobar

Research output: Book/ReportOther report

Abstract

In times of crisis, opportunities for meaningful citizen participation are more important than ever. However, as in many other countries, the UK Government’s pandemic-era approach to public policy, from March 2020, has been conventional. It assumes that the public are there to be led, rather than to be part of the leadership effort, through (for example) deliberation about evidence, policy options and collective action.

We challenge the lack of public input. We offer evidence that despite the rapidity of responses, the technicality of Covid-19, and the inability to meet in person, the public can make a valuable contribution to policy. Where governments do not provide opportunities for public reasoning, the public sphere can generate them.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherThe Loop - ECPR
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • pandemic
  • deliberation
  • online
  • emotions
  • mini-publics

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