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José L. Martí, Universitat Pompeu Fabra: Barcelona Legitimate and Illegitimate Crowdsourced Governance

The idea of CrowdLaw and, more generally, of crowdsourcing governance is one of the most interesting innovative contributions of the last few years in the area of legislation, policy-making and governance. It promises to take advantage of the spectacular potential of digital technologies at the service of collective intelligence and ultimately of strengthening our democratic systems of governance. However, not any kind of crowdsourcing is democratically legitimate. When correctly understood, the idea of CrowdLaw associates with the possibility of improving the quality of our public decision making as well as to deepening its democratic legitimacy by allowing forms of citizen engagement that strengthen collective intelligence and self-government. A misconception of such an ideal might bring some to defend any form of citizen engagement or any result of it. This paper claims that there are legitimate and illegitimate forms of understanding crowdsourced governance, and that it is crucial that we distinguish them adequately.

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