Answer or publish - An online tool to bring down the barriers to participation in modern democracies

Miklós Antal, Dániel Mikecz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Enhanced communication between citizens and decision makers furthering participation in public decision making is essential to ease today's democratic deficit. However, it is difficult to sort out the most important public inputs from a large number of comments and questions. We propose an online solution to the selection problem by utilising the general publicity of the internet. In the envisioned practice, decision makers are obliged either to answer citizens' questions or initiatives or to publish the letter received on a publicly accessible web page. The list of unaddressed questions would mean a motivation to consider public inputs without putting unnecessary burdens on decision makers - due to the reliance on the public, their workload would converge to the societal optimum. The proposed method is analysed in the context of existing Hungarian e-ractices. The idea is found valuable as a restriction for representatives and a relief for some other officials. Copyright © 2013 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-141
JournalInternational Journal of Public Policy
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2013


  • Answer or publish
  • Communal decision making
  • Electronic democracy
  • Inclusive governance
  • Online communication
  • Online participation
  • Public deliberation
  • Public input
  • Public policy


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