Volume 3 (2011)
Volume 2 (2010)
Volume 1 (2009)
Most Downloaded Articles
- Fundamental Policy Considerations for the Regulation of Internet Cross-Border Privacy Issues by Svantesson, Dan J.B.
- eHealth: What is Needed at the Policy Level? by Crutzen, Rik and Gao, Guodong (Gordon)
- A Public-Private Partnership Model for National Cybersecurity by Shore, Malcolm/ Du, Yi and Zeadally, Sherali
- What Are the Police Doing on Twitter? Social Media, the Police and the Public by Crump, Jeremy
- The Trouble with Transparency: A Critical Review of Openness in e-Government by Bannister, Frank and Connolly, Regina
Online Public Engagement in the Obama Administration: Building a Democracy Bubble?
1University of Central FloridaUniversity of Central Florida
Citation Information: Policy & Internet. Volume 3, Issue 4, Pages 1–22, ISSN (Online) 1944-2866, DOI: 10.2202/1944-2866.1135, November 2011
- Published Online:
Following the Bush administration, the Obama team enhanced access for citizens to participatory venues primarily through online mechanisms. Developing such channels gives citizens opportunity to develop their citizenship skills, potentially influence policy, and become more connected to community life. The administration can be applauded for participatory innovations, but needs to proceed strategically to ensure the innovations do not produce more harm than good and to ensure that the real change they are producing is sustainable into the next administration. This article develops the idea of a democracy bubble as the intersection of open access to participatory venues and inflated citizen expectations for what the participatory processes can deliver. It develops related ideas of a democracy crater, democracy dropouts, and democracy demand. Three fully online or online-mediated Obama administration participation initiatives are assessed for their potential to lead to a democracy bubble: the development of Open Government Plans, the Electronic Town Hall meeting, and co-produced community forums on health care and job creation. A primary finding is that the administration can do a better job establishing and managing expectations for what can be achieved through participation in its various initiatives.