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2nd ESF-TED European Summer School on E-democracy
July  4-8, 2005, Aranjuez, Madrid, Spain

Registration site (in Spanish)

Democracy is the basis of modern Western society. Its basis in freedom, fairness and equity has been cherished and fought for over the centuries. Now it faces a new challenge, a positive one. The growth of the Internet and pervasive telecommunications is promising an era of electronic democracy, e-democracy for short. There are moves across Europe and elsewhere to explore new ways of voting, initiatives to develop mechanisms of e-government and generally there is an expectation that our democratic institutions will evolve within the new Information Society.

Despite the excitement brought by the technology, many of the current visions for its use are almost entirely conventional: political discussion and debate may become more inclusive of all the electorate through the growth of electronic discussion forums; opinion polling easier, faster and cheaper via the web; voting may not involve a cross on a piece of paper, but rather a click on a web-site or the sending of a text message. To a large extent e-democracy is simply envisioned as articulating the political and democratic procedures of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries through modern information and communications technology.

Yet there are mechanisms that enable a much more substantive implementation of democratic ideals. It is now possible for the public to be involved in societal decision making in many more ways. It is this broader vision that this Summer School will explore, contributing to the increasing debate on how Information Technology may affect the relationships between governors and governees.

This Summer School follows the success of the previous edition in Varenna ( Italy), providing a multidisciplinary vision from the legal, political, information technology and decision support perspectives.


  • Review methods, concepts and applications of IT used in the relations between governors and governees
  • Debate their usefulness, advantages and shortcomings
  • Analyze successful implementations
  • Identify future research lines

The legal and political perspectives (July 4, Monday)

  • David Ríos. URJC. Course overview
  • Alfonso Martínez. UCM and Crete Foundation. Myths and realities about Athens democracy

  • David Ortega. URJC. A political overview on democracy
  • Antonio Troncoso. Data Protection Agency. Privacy, E-Government and E-democracy

Technological perspectives (July 5, Tuesday)

  • Eugenio Fernández. URJC. Internet usage, Information Society and e-government initiatives
  • David Gil. DMR Consulting. An overview on Internet security
  • Robert Krimmer. U. Vienna. Myths and realities about e-voting

Some successful applications (July 6, Wednesday)

  • Ignacio Arsuaga. Hazteoir.org eLobbying. The case of Hazteoir.org
  • Gerard Cervelló. SCYTL. eVoting: The case of de Madrid Participa
  • Joaquin Alonso, Fundacion Madrid+d Designing the regional science plan through the web
  • David Casacuberta. UA Barcelona. Promoting democracy: Edemocracia.com

Decision support tools (July 7, Thursday)

  • Simon French. U. Manchester. Decision analysis and decision support
  • Simon Wilson. Trinity College. Forecasting and modelling beliefs
  • Fabrizio Ruggeri. IMATI. Sensitivity Analysis
  • Miroslav Karny. Czech Academy of Sciences. Dynamic Decisions

    ROUND TABLE: Research Opportunities in edemocracy

Group decision support through the web (Friday, July 8)

  • D. Ríos. URJC Negotiation Analysis
  • Jesús Rios. URJC. The QUIXOTE project
  • Gregory Kersten. Concordia U. The InterNeg project