A Quantitative Approach to Identify the Arguments that Support Decisions in E-Cognocracy

A Quantitative Approach to Identify the Arguments that Support Decisions in E-Cognocracy

Adrián Toncovich (University of Zaragoza, Spain), Alberto Turón (University of Zaragoza, Spain), Maria Teresa Escobar (University of Zaragoza, Spain) and José Maria Moreno-Jiménez (University of Zaragoza, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4157-0.ch006
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E-cognocracy (Moreno-Jiménez, 2003, 2004, 2006; Moreno-Jiménez & Polasek, 2003, 2005) is a new democratic system that adjusts traditional or representative democracy to meet the needs and challenges of the Knowledge Society. If e-democracy is understood as the government of the people by means of information and communication technology (ICT), e-cognocracy is the government of knowledge and wisdom by means of ICT. This “social wisdom” is created in a cognitive constructivist way through the network by all citizens interested in the resolution of the considered problem (García Lizana & Moreno-Jiménez, 2008). To extract and share the knowledge associated with the scientific resolution of public decision-making problems, e-cognocracy must identify the arguments that support decisions by analyzing the messages and comments provided by the actors involved in the decision-making process through the collaborative tools used in the discussion phase. Therefore, this paper presents different decisional tools based on the quantitative values corresponding to the decision makers’ preferences, which are oriented to the identification of the outstanding comments. The arguments supporting the decisions made by the different actors are obtained, in a further step, from these comments by using text-mining techniques.
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2. E-Cognocracy And Stages In Its Methodology

E-cognocracy (Moreno-Jiménez, Piles, Ruiz, Salazar, & Sanz, 2007) is a new democratic model that tries to make more ambitious use of democracy than the mere election of political representatives. In this regard, based on the evolution of living systems (only species that learn and adapt to the context are able to survive), e-cognocracy focuses on the extraction and social diffusion of the knowledge derived from the scientific resolution of highly complex problems associated with public decision making related with the governance of society. This is a new democratic system that combines representative democracy with participative democracy to address the limitations of both, particularly, the lack of transparency, control and participation of representative democracy and the populism and lack of global perspective in participative democracy.

This cognitive democracy seeks to convince citizens by means of arguments and not to defeat them (e-democracy) by means of votes. To this end, e-cognocracy aggregates the priorities obtained from political parties (representative democracy) and citizens (participative democracy) by assigning different weights (w1 and w2) depending on the context of the problem (local, regional, national or supranational) and the objectives of the system. Its characteristics can be seen in Moreno-Jiménez and Polasek (2005) and Moreno-Jiménez, Piles, Ruiz, Salazar, and Sanz (2007).

The key idea of this democracy of the knowledge society (e-cognocracy) is to educate people (intelligence and learning), promote relations with others (communication and coexistence), improve society (quality of life and cohesion) and construct the future (evolution) in a world of increasing complexity (Moreno-Jiménez & Polasek, 2005).

The stages followed in the e-cognocracy process (Moreno-Jiménez, Piles, Ruiz, & Salazar, 2008; Mamaqi & Moreno-Jiménez, 2009) are:

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