Policy making is a complex activity since it involves striking a balance between legal requirements, intended outcomes, the limits of scientific knowledge at any given time, and the public response to the policy. Whilst incorporating popular input into the process is crucial to the legitimacy and acceptability of the outcome, it is also desirable to match citizen’s expectations and demands to the policy.
Questions of great concern for policy makers then become how to base policy on the existing knowledge base? How to trust the sufficiency of data, its complexity and representation, as well as what extent the impact of a policy can be predicted before it is implemented? The full impact of policy decisions is not always obvious at the time the policy is formulated or enacted, and any short-comings of the policy become known when it is too late to change it. In this stage, policy makers and analysts alike wrestle with how to intelligently filter information according to relevance, relationship and provenance.
Editors: Aron Larsson, Mid Sweden University and Somya Joshi, Stockholm University
Online tools make large scale organisation of volunteer activities easier at the same time as the public sphere is becoming more difficult to navigate, demanding an ever higher level of digital literacy of those who want to participate. NGOs play an important role in creating and maintaining alternative public spheres by providing not only infrastructure, but by accommodating people’s need to belong, for recognition and for places to meet.
This special issue contains contributions from research that examines, in different ways, how the voluntary sector uses ICT to support both internally, its democratic structures, and externally, democracy in the community. The authors represented in this issue come from a variety of disciplines such as computer science, economics, political science and informatics, and the studies they present come from four different continents covering the use of online phenomena such as crowdsourcing, community journalism, blogging and social media.
Karin Hansson, Dept. of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University & Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm (email@example.com)
- Rowena Cullen, Professor Ph.D. Associate Dean, Research, Victoria Business School, University of Wellington
- Johannes W. Pichler Professor Ph.D. Chair Professor for European Legal Developments. Head of the Department, Dept. for European Legal Developments, Law Faculty, University of Graz
- Love Ekenberg Professor Ph.D. Dept. of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, and The International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis, IIASA.
- Jeremy Rose Professor Ph.D. Dept. of Communication and Information, University of Skövde
- Frank Bannister, Associate Professor Ph.D. School of Computer Science and Statistics, Trinity College Dublin
- Jakob Svensson, Associate Professor Ph.D. Dept. of Informatics and Media, Uppsala university
- Peter Parycek, Ph.D. Head of Centre, Centre for E-Governance, Danube-University Krems