Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Department of Social Sciences - Berlin Graduate School of Social Science

Ana Luisa de Moraes Azenha

Ana Luisa de Moraes Azenha

BGSS Generation 2017



Assessing the effects of crowdlaw initiatives: Experiences from Latin America



Prof. Dr. Hanna Schwander



As trust in democracy declines (Edelman Trust Barometer, 2022), along with the global scores for the quality of democracy (Bertelsmann Transformation Index 2022), traditional forms of lawmaking in which politicians and experts discuss and draft legislation behind closed doors are being contested. With the promise of improving the quality and legitimacy of the lawmaking process and its outcomes (Alsina and Martí, 2018), crowdlaw or “the practice of using technology to engage the public in lawmaking, including the crafting of regulations, policies, and legislation initiatives” (Noveck, 2021) emerges as a potential means to enhance trust in democratic institutions, as well as bolster active citizenship and democratic culture. In-depth studies that go beyond assessing the internal, process-related results of e-participation tools and crowdsourcing legislation projects to evaluate their wider impacts on policy- and lawmaking are, however, scarce. This Ph.D. project aims to address the above-mentioned claims and contribute to this research gap by mapping (1) the different process-related results of crowdlaw initiatives, (2) state responsiveness to the recommendations they offer, and (3) their broader effects on the conventional lawmaking process. Furthermore, this Ph.D. attempts to identify the factors that can enable or hinder state responsiveness. This qualitative, multiple case study is based on the analysis of three Latin American experiences: the first online consultation on the Brazil Civil Rights Framework for the Internet, the DemOS initiative in the Buenos Aires Legislature, and the Chilean #TuConstitución platform. The research project will be carried out through the inspection of documentary evidence and a series of semi-structured interviews with the main stakeholders of the initiatives and experts.