Extending Engagement: Strategies for Promoting Online Deliberation with the Leeds Declaration

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Preprint of Extending Engagement Strategies for Promoting Online Deliberation with the Leeds Declaration
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 This is a preprint for comments only.  Please don't review or distribute. This article will submitted to the Journal of Information Technology and Politics. Title: Extending Engagement: Strategies for Promoting Online Deliberation with the Leeds Declaration. Abstract: A "Leeds Declaration" was proposed by the author of this paper at the Online Deliberation Conference at Leeds University in 2010. This paper proposes the idea of public declaration as a way to help motivate and cultivate a diverse set of online deliberative projects worldwide. These projects focus on peer-to-peer deliberation between citizens and citizen groups and deliberation between citizens and governments. It develops the case for the necessity of this work primarily because of various collaborative emergencies and the need for citizen involvement in these emergencies. This paper calls for increased and somewhat transformed engagement by social scientists in the shaping of new online venues, arguing for one thing that current circumstances (new opportunities afforded by the Internet and other information and communication technologies and the associated speed of change, for example) require this new approach. The paper proposes 16 tenets that could be used as guiding principles for a new, somewhat open-ended collaboration between social scientists, citizens and a variety of other stakeholders worldwide around the idea of online deliberation. Ultimately, these tenets could be used as the "spine" for an accessible declaration that could be used to help publicize the idea and help mobilize project resources.