This article describes the challenges facing a federal government–funded initiative to promote online deliberation to improve the public comment process by federal and state government agencies in the United States. The three year project met several difficulties. Some have been technical, but our primary obstacle has been in securing partnerships with government agencies. Due to institutional, legal, and organizational challenges, many government agencies are resistant to opening up the public comment process to a deliberative structure, although some change occurred following the Obama administration’s Open Government Initiative. This article describes the objectives of the original research project and details the challenges faced with the hope of guiding future deliberation research projects that aim to work with federal agencies in the U.S.
|Title of host publication
|Proceedings of the Online Deliberation Conference
|Number of pages
|Published - 2010