Abstract

An e-Participation ecology is composed of five elements—actors, contents, traditional culture of participation, existing media skills and practices, and discourses in conflicts (establishment vs. antagonists)—and three macro-dimensions—cultural/traditional, political, and socio-technological–with which the five elements are interacting (Cavallo, 2010). Game theory can be used to understand how a certain actor or a group of actors can develop a successful strategy in/for each one of the three dimensions. Therefore, the concept of Nash equilibrium (Nash Jr., 1950), developed in physics and successfully applied in economy and other fields of study, can be borrowed also by e-Participation analysts/project managers to develop “Win-Win” scenarios in order to increase e-Participation projects’ chances of success and consequently reduce e-Participation’s “risk of failures,” especially in developing countries where they usually occur more frequently (Heeks, 2002). The Kenyan e-Participation platform, Ushahidi, generated a techno-discourse about the rise of African Cyberdemocracy and the power of crowd-sourcing that is probably more relevant than the real impact that these e-Participation platforms had or will have on the lives of normal citizens and media activists.

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2013