Digital Media for Participation research group

http://www.media.uoa.gr/~gouscos/digitalmedia4participation

 

The Digital Media for Participation research group of the Laboratory of New Technologies in Communication, Education and the Mass Media, Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, University of Athens, focuses on technologies and services of electronic governance and digital deliberation, mostly in terms of operational, usage and communication aspects, in conjunction with social media and civic media in general that can be used to develop participatory communication services and communities. The group has developed collaborations with research groups in Greece and abroad such as E-Government Laboratory (University of Athens), Information Systems Laboratory (University of Macedonia), Center for European Public Administration (Danube-Krems University), DEMO-net eParticipation Network of Excellence.

The Digital Media for Participation research group is co-ordinated by Assistant Professor Dimitris Gouscos, Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, University of Athens, and comprises a number of doctoral researchers including Eleni-Revekka Staiou, Aspasia Papaloi and Evika Karamaggioli, postgraduate students, as well as affiliated researchers from other faculties.

 

selected research and education activities

International Journal of Electronic Governance

The International Journal of Electronic Governance (IJEG, http://www.inderscience.com/ijeg), Inderscience Publishers, is published in 4 issues per year and is currently in its 5th year of publication. IJEG is a fully refereed inter-disciplinary research journal covering the theory, applications and impact of using the internet, the world-wide web and digital communication media as governance channels. The journal focuses on the use of electronic and information technologies in deliberation over democratic policy and decision making processes, community governance as well as governance in non-political domains such as corporate, open project, online community and social network contexts. IJEG also explores the relations between electronic governance, digital communication and digital inclusion, novel technologies for electronic governance such as governance games and simulations, and the political, organizational, social, psychological and cognitive aspects of electronic governance.

The issues published include, among others, special issues on One-Stop Government (guest editors E. Tambouris & K. Tarabanis, 2008), eParticipation Systems and Services in Converging Regions (guest editors Y. Charalambidis, M. Wimmer & G. Misuraca, 2008), Delivering Electronic Government (guest editor G.P. Sahu, 2009), Users and uses of electronic governance (guest editors S. Wojcik & G. Moss, 2009), Methodologies, Technologies and Tools enabling e-Government (guest editors F. Corradini & A. Polzonetti, 2010), (Re)Creating Public Sphere, Civic Culture and Civic Engagement: Public Service Media vs. Online Social Networks (guest editors P. Iosifidis & M. Meimaris, 2011), Deliberation in the participatory web: prospects and challenges (guest editors D. Milioni & V. Triga, 2012).

Assist. Prof. Dimitris Gouscos serves as IJEG Editor, whereas members of the Digital Media for Participation research group contribute in editorial assistance roles.

 

postgraduate course on Participatory Digital Communication and Governance

The Digital Media for Participation research group offers teaching support for the postgraduate course on Participatory Digital Communication and Governance of the Master’s Programme on Communication and Media Studies, Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, University of Athens (2nd semester, 3 hours/week, acad. years 2009-10 and onwards).

This course is focused on presenting (a) theoretical background, (b) methodology principles and (c) technological tools for applying digital media to public participation and public deliberation. Emphasis is placed on the participation and deliberation potential of the internet, Web 2.0 tools, social media, mobile and location-based applications, on the potential of open and interoperable public data as platforms for participation and deliberation, as well as on human rights, trust, user literacy, user acceptance and security and privacy issues.

 

Organosi 2.0 (Organizing 2.0) online database

This research project is focused on deploying an online-accessible database for the mutual social aid and solidarity grassroots movements currently self-organized in Greece by the citizens themselves, as a response to the problems of economic crisis. This database can be used for citizen awareness and promotion of the self-organized movements, whereas perspectives include offering support for collective discussion and interaction/brainstorming for new ideas of self-organization, as well as research on the ways in which social media can serve as a platform for self-organized citizen actions. The Organosi 2.0 platform is freely accessible online at http://organosi20.gr.

 

Obstacles and opportunities for the adoption of participatory digital communication services and e-governance

This research has been funded by the Kapodistrias Programme of the Special Account of Research Grants of the University of Athens and focused on the obstacles and opportunities for the adoption of participatory digital communication services and e-governance.

Modern capabilities for participatory and peer-to-peer digital communication, through symmetric interaction media such as online social networks, blogs and user-generated content on platforms like wikis, filetubes and podcasts are rapidly developing over the internet. At the same time, their social penetration is delimited by traditional problems of lack of digital access and technological literacy, which force large groups of populations to the role of observers, rather than active participants, for these developments. These new services, on the other hand, offer themselves to the development of applications for multi-way, multi-correspondent communication which are especially required in domains such as that of electronic governance, to be understood in the broader sense of electronic participation of the public to the commons, besides and on top of conventional e-administration services. Schemes for the electronic implementation of democratic processes, such as e-consultations, can have some essential benefits from their osmosis with these technological capabilities for participatory digital communication.

This project has produced a number of publications (3 conference papers, plus one edited volume chapter) and research results on the above issues. The project has also organized a thematic session on “Open Governance and Participatory Discourse: towards an effective digital collectivity?”, within the 5th annual series of lectures Communication Issues 2009-2010 (Athens, April 2010).

The project has been implemented during academic years 2008-09, 2009-10 και 2010-11 and completed in July 2011, by an interdisciplinary research group comprising Prof. Panagiotis Georgiadis, Faculty of Informatics and Telecommunications, Prof. Andreas Papandreou, Faculty of Economics, Doctoral Candidate Chara Delopoulos, Joint Masters Programme on Economics and Administration of Telecommunication Networks, and Doctoral Candidate Eleni-Revekka Staiou, Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, University of Athens.

 

selected publications

book chapters, peer-reviewed

-      Aspasia Papaloi, Eleni-Revekka Staiou & Dimitris Gouscos, “Blending social media with parliamentary websites: just a trend, or a promising approach to e-participation?” in Web 2.0 Technologies and Democratic Governance: Political, Policy and Management Implications, Christopher Reddick & Stephen Aikins (eds), Springer, 2012, online available at http://www.springerlink.com/content/jt08p67u61587177/.

-      Eleni-Revekka Staiou & Dimitris Gouscos, “Open Governance, Civic Engagement and New Digital Media, in Active Citizen Participation in E-Government: A Global Perspective, A. Manoharan & M. Holzer (eds.), IGI Global, 2012, online available at http://www.igi-global.com/chapter/open-governance-civic-engagement-new/63383.

-      Aspasia Papaloi & Dimitris Gouscos, “An Overview of E-Parliament Services: Designing for Citizen Awareness and Participation”, in E-Parliament and ICT-Based Legislation: Concept, Experiences and Lessons, Mehmet Zahid Sobaci (ed.),  IGI Global, 2012, online available at http://www.igi-global.com/chapter/overview-parliament-services/60630.

-      Dimitra Florou & Dimitris Gouscos, “Social media-based communities of practice for education in citizenship and sustainability”, in Public Sector Reform Using Information Technologies: Transforming Policy into Practice, Thanos Papadopoulos & Panagiotis Kanellis (eds), IGI Global, 2011, online available at http://www.igi-global.com/chapter/social-media-based-communities-practice/56390.


-      Eleni Staiou and Dimitris Gouscos, “Socializing E-Governance - A Parallel Study of Participatory E-Governance and Emerging Social Media”, in Comparative E-Government: An Examination of EGovernment Adoption across Countries, Christopher G. Reddick (ed), Springer Integrated Series in Information Systems, 2010, online available at http://www.springerlink.com/content/g01414588226pk0x/.

 

book chapters, by invitation

-      Manolis Kalikakis, Dimitris Gouscos, Costas Vassilakis and Panagiotis Georgiadis, “An Approach for Re-engineering the Taxation Process to Support Participatory Decisions on Tax Budget Allocation”, in Participatory Budgeting: Concepts and Country Experiences, Jayshree Bose (ed), Icfai University Press, Hyderabad, India, 2008, ISBN 978-81-314-1559-7, pp.48-63.

 

journal papers, peer-reviewed

-      Aspasia Papaloi & Dimitris Gouscos, “E-Parliaments and Novel Parliament-to-Citizen services”, eJournal of eDemocracy and Open Government (JeDEM), Vol. 3, No. 1, 2011, online available at http://www.jedem.org/article/view/53.

-      (in Greek) D. Gouscos, “Social Digital Media, Electronic Governance, Electronic Deliberation: towards a new synthesis”, Epistimi kai Koinonia (Science and Society) journal, special issue on Deliberation, No. 24, Spring 2010, online available at http://www2.media.uoa.gr/sas/issues/24_issue/index.html.

-      (in Greek) D. Gouscos & E. Staiou, “Elements of evaluating operational development of the OpenGov.gr website”, Epistimi kai Koinonia (Science and Society) journal, special issue on Deliberation, No. 24, Spring 2010, online available at http://www2.media.uoa.gr/sas/issues/24_issue/index.html.

-      M. Kalikakis, D. Gouscos and P. Georgiadis, “A participatory architecture for taxation and budgeting”, International Journal of Electronic Business, Vol. 6, No. 6, 2008, pp.611-630, online available at http://www.inderscience.com/search/index.php?action=record&rec_id=21877&prevQuery=&ps=10&m=or.

-      D. Gouscos, M. Kalykakis, M. Legal, S. Papadopoulou, “A General Model of Performance and Quality for One-Stop e-Government Service Offerings”, Government Information Quarterly Journal 24 (2007), January 2007, pp.860-885, online available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0740624X06001699.

-      D. Stamoulis, D. Gouscos, P. Georgiadis & D. Martakos, “Revisiting Public Information Management for Effective e-Government Services”, Information Management & Computer Security Journal, vol. 9, no. 4, 2001, pp.146-153, online available at http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=862797.