11041 - Online Political Participation and Civil Society in Brazil

The purpose of this paper is to discuss certain democratic innovations concerning political participation through the Internet. New possibilities for extended citizen participation in the political process have arisen with the development of the Web. Three experiences of participation, through the use of the Internet, in the elaboration processes of public policies in Brazil are presented: the Ministry of Culture blogs (MinC), Nossa Sao Paulo Network (RNSP) and the Digital Participative Budget of Belo Horizonte (OPD-BH). The MinC blogs created platforms so that users could elaborate proposals for the Ministry’s cultural policies. The RNSP aggregates more than 600 entities from various sectors of the organized civil society, articulated through the presentation of demands directed towards the relevant public bodies, as well as the promotion of debates about public policies, governmental transparency and other topics. The Network also provides a dada base for economic, social and cultural indicators for the city of Sao Paulo. The OPD-BH is Belo Horizonte’s city hall policy aimed at promoting civil society participation in the process of suggestion, discussion and deliberation concerning public investments and its accountability. What all these experiences have in common is the use of the Internet in the articulation and mediation between civil society and the institutionalized political power, and allow for the foundation of new grounds for public debate, deliberation and elaboration of social policies. Thus, this paper analyses the proposed methods, of both the organized civil society and the public power, in its specificities. Certain points are also highlighted to stimulate contemplation regarding the promotion of political democratization of society through citizen participation, as well as the risks and limitations of such actions. Authors: Claudio L. C. Penteado; Marcelo Burgos Santos; e Rafael Araujo  

Keywords: online political participation; civil society; democratics innovations; Internet; Brazil

Author: Penteado, Claudio (Universidade Federal do ABC, Brazil / Brasilien)
Co-Author: Santos, Marcelo (PUC/SP, São Paulo, Brazil / Brasilien); Araujo, Rafael (PUC/SP e FESP, São Paulo, Brazil / Brasilien)


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