A typology for digital democracy

Since our definition is so broad, we’ve developed a typology for identifying different aspects of digital democracy. We wanted this typology to be grounded in practice so that it would be useful for practitioners, policymakers and citizens. It is based on different types of activity, but also takes into account issues of power (i.e. decision-making authority) and flows of communication. Within the field of digital democracy, relatively little research focuses on how our democratic institutions can make use of digital technologies and how citizens themselves can be involved in the practice of everyday democracy – such as raising specific concerns, developing and scrutinising legislative proposals, making decisions or holding public officials to account. The typology we set out below aims to set out these ‘everyday’ activities. We’ve also focused on activities which are organised or at least mediated by power centres – such as governments, parliaments and political parties – since one of our criticisms of the literature is that it has tended to focus on relatively broad and abstract concepts, such as democratising the public sphere, rather than the structures and practice of governance.