Trust and legitimation in the digital democracy

Supported by an online platform, citizens can help shape political decisions. The project examines which factors are central to decisions being perceived as trustwor-thy and legitimate.

  • Project description

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    Aarau residents can submit projects they would like to see implemented in the city via an online platform. After a feasibility check, the population votes on these projects. The projects with the most votes will be implemented within the framework of a budget made available. Before and after the so-called field phase in the first half of 2023, during which participatory budgeting takes place, the participants will be surveyed. We will investigate how the process and the use of the online platform affect the trust and legitimacy as well as the users’ competences.

  • Background

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    In order to meet today's complex, dynamic and interdependent challenges, we need a resilient society, such as one based on collective intelligence and co-evolution. Involvement of different perspectives can be a means to reach legitimate and trustworthy political decisions. This is in line with the current theory of democracy, which emphasises the involvement of all citizens.

  • Aim

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    Our aim is to investigate if and how a political decision-making process supported by an online platform has an impact on trust and legitimacy. As to the online platform, we plan to develop some of its features. Finally, we will emphasise the importance of value-based development, which means that the platform must be designed so that its use reflects the basic values of society.

  • Relevance

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    Our goal is to guarantee the legitimacy and the trustworthiness of political decisions that are in part made with the help of digital technologies. We also hope that our results will lead to innovation and to a higher awareness of value-sensitive design. In addition, our project aims to open up new perspectives for successful urban development.

  • Original title

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    Decision-making process supported by a participatory platform: Consequences on trust, on legitimacy of the political decision, and user skills