Helen Margetts spoke at the London Conference on Cyberspace, organized by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 1-2 November. Although much of the conference was dedicated to the the darker side of the Internet—Internet threats and cybersecurity—some of the conference was dedicated to looking at the social benefits of the Internet and how they might be maximized. This session was chaired by Francis Maude, and other speakers included the President of Estonia, Toomas Ilves, and Neelie Kroes, the Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda.
Presented by Helen Margetts and Peter John at the European Consortium of Political Research (ECPR) general conference in Rejkavik on 26 August 2011.
Political scientists and economists commonly test for different kinds of social influence on collective action, particularly social pressure (visibility) and social information about the contributions of others (leading to conditional cooperation) but rarely in the same study design. This paper assesses the relative effect of these two kinds of social influence suggesting that their impact is best understood through hypothesizing for heterogeneous treatment effects based on personality.
This paper tests whether the social information provided by the internet affects the decision to participate in politics. In a field experiment, subjects could choose to sign petitions and donate money to support causes. Participants were randomized into treatment groups that received varying information about how many other people had participated and a control group receiving no social information.
We will begin a new three-year research programme on The Internet, Public Policy and Political Science: Collective Action, Governance and Citizen-Government Interactions in the Digital Era starting 1st April.
More information about this project is available in the OII press release, and project description page.
On Tuesday, 8th March, Helen Margetts (Oxford Internet Institute) acted as an expert witness to the House of Commons Public Administration Committee, which is running an investigation entitled Good Governance: The effective use of Information Technology. See the full post for a video of the committee meeting.
This book explores the unintended and unanticipated effects associated with 'modernization' projects and tackles the key question that they provoke - why do policy-makers persist in such enterprises in the face of evidence that they tend to fail?
These experiments explored the dynamics of collective action on-line and tested empirically how different information environments affect collective action decisions at various stages in a mobilization. Specifically, we wanted to examine the effect of different forms of real-time ‘social influence’ on people’s participatory decisions.
The Study on User Expectations of a Life Events Approach for Designing e-Government Services project for the European Commission investigated the new government landscape online and how eGovernment expectations among citizens and eGovernment services have changed. Project partners included: Deloitte, the Oxford Internet Institute, and Dear Media.