Deliberao online em consultas pblicas? O caso da assembleia legislativa de Minas Gerais Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • This paper utilizes deliberative democratic theory to analyze an online public consultation forum about political reform implemented by Minas Gerais State Legislature (ALMG), Brazil. Six topics guided the discussion of the 752 posts from this forum: (1) inclusiveness; (2) provisions of reasons; (3) reciprocity; (4) mutual respect; (5) orientation as it relates to the common good; and (6) articulation between arenas. The results point to (1) an over-representation of male participants and of dwellers of the Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte, although no participant monopolized the discussion; (2) the prevalence of on topic posts that present some form of justification for positions advocated; (3) very low levels of reciprocity between posts and of interactivity markers; (4) extremely high levels of respect; (5) different forms of articulating the common good; and (6) low impact in decision-making but interesting connections with the broader public sphere, specially through a story published by a newspaper. The findings of this study indicate a low probability of internal dialogue, which is contrary to the outcome desired by the supporters of deliberation. However, the potential for deliberative debates still exist if broader lenses are adopted. Tabulations between variables suggest that people tend to provide more reasons when commenting on more controversial discussions, although they tend to be less reciprocal in these situations. Thus, the hypothesis that suggests a preference for participation in conversations among like-minded discussants is supported by the analyzed data.

author list (cited authors)

  • Mendonça, R. F., & De Lima Amaral, E. F.

publication date

  • January 1, 2014 11:11 AM