D-CENT: Results of the data analysis

bcn2015v2The latest deliverable of D-CENT project has been released: D2.3 Results of the data analysis. The document contains the results of the analysis of digital data related to Barcelona Comú, an emerging grassroots movement-party that won the 2015 Barcelona City Council election. In the first part of this report we detail some of the technopolitical processes involved in developing Barcelona en Comú as a citizen-led electoral coalition, and the role of the D-CENT tools (Democracy OS, Participa ) in this construction effort. As we show, both played key roles in the online-offline process of building Barcelona en Comú. When the electoral campaign started in May 2015, social networks became central for the communication and organisation of Barcelona en Comú.

Sourcehttp://dcentproject.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/D2.3-results-of-the-data-analyses1.pdf

Disclaimer: This report is currently awaiting approval from the EC and as such cannot be not considered as final version.

Executive Summary:

Barcelona en Comú (BeC) is an emerging grassroots movement-party that won the 2015 Barcelona City Council election. The candidacy was devised by activists involved in the 15M movement (Monterde, Toret, Serrano, & Calleja-López, 2015) in order to turn citizen outrage into institutional and deeper social change. Building Barcelona en Comú was a laborious process of around a year. Started in June 2014, it involved grassroots organizations, some political parties (among them Initiative for Catalonia-Greens, Equo, and Podemos) as well as individual activists and citizens.

In the first part of this report we detail some of the technopolitical processes involved in developing BeC as a citizen-led electoral coalition: the drafting and validation of an ethical code, the validation of the electoral candidacy, the elaboration of the electoral program, and more. In order to detail the role of the D-CENT tools in this construction effort, we have subdivided the first part of this report into two halves, one for each technical platform used: the first devoted to Democracy OS, and the second to Participa. As we show, both played key roles in the online-offline process of building BeC. When the electoral campaign started in May 2015, social networks became central for the communication and organisation of BeC.

In the second part of this report we analyse the innovative structures of those social networks, which both inherit structures and practices from the 15M movement while departing from them on many respects. On the one hand, the 15M movement is based on a decentralized structure. On the other hand, political science literature postulates that parties historically develop oligarchical leadership structures. This tension motivated us to examine whether BeC preserved a decentralized structure or adopted a conventional centralized organization. We analyse the Twitter networks of the parties that ran for this election by measuring their hierarchical structure, information efficiency and social resilience. Our results show that in BeC two well-defined groups co-exist: a cluster dominated by the leader and the collective accounts, and another cluster formed by the movement activists. While the former group is highly centralized like the other major parties, the latter one stands out for its decentralized, cohesive and resilient structure.

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