The Internet, Policy & Politics Conferences

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Dennis Friess, Christiane Eilders: A model for assessing online deliberation. Towards a more complex approach to measure and explain deliberativeness online

Dennis Friess, Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf

Prof. Dr. Christiane Eilders, University of Düsseldorf


This article proposes an empirical model for the analysis of online deliberation. While most em-pirical studies exclusively focus on measuring the degree of deliberativeness in a given text, this paper adopts a more comprehensive perspective on online deliberation by considering the condi-tions and outcomes of deliberation in addition to the measurement of deliberativeness. The em-pirical model of online deliberation draws on existing theoretical and empirical work. It includes assumptions on three levels: the conditions fostering deliberation (institutional input level), the parameters of the communication process itself (communicative throughput level) and the ex-pected benefits of deliberation (productive outcome level). Every level addressed in the model is both rooted in deliberative theory and complemented by empirical findings. For every level a set of empirical dimensions is developed accordingly. The model is intended to serve as a framework for experimental research investigating relationships between input, throughput and outcome of deliberation.

Dennis Friess, Christiane Eilders