Digital Innovation in Latin America: How Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru have been experimenting with E-participation

Overcoming state dependence may be crucial for digital innovations to transform democracy by engaging more citizens in the political process.

The LATINNO Project at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, which investigates democratic innovations that have evolved in eighteen countries across Latin America since 1990, has just completed a study of new digital institutional designs that promote e-participation aimed at improving democracy. This post gives a first insight into the results.

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Does digital democracy improve democracy?

Digital innovations may change the quality of participation and the nature of democracy. Español

The advancement of tools of information and communications technology (ICT) has the potential to impact democracy nearly as much as any other area, such as science or education. The effects of the digital world on politics and society are still difficult to measure, and the speed with which these new technological tools evolve is often faster than a scholar’s ability to assess them, or a policymaker’s capacity to make them fit into existing institutional designs.

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The Game is not over: There is more than Protests and Football going on in Brazil

All eyes are now turned to Brazil, the „country of football“, which happens to host this year’s World Cup. Weeks before the start of the tournament, international newspapers were already filling their pages with articles about Brazil’s purported many problems: inequality, poverty, criminality, corruption, and massive protests all over. Television programs also featured infrastructure deficiencies everywhere, making the audience wonder whether international football stars would get stuck on unfinished roads and airports, besides facing the poor living conditions supposedly faced by Brazilian people every day. The sunny beaches and the beautiful tropical landscape have surely also been broadcasted, contrasted with sad images from the country’s many favelas and slums. In almost all means of communications, journalists spent weeks doing political analysis just as well as they did football predictions. Weiterlesen