CITIDEP

Research Goals (1997 - 2002)


CITIDEP has as its primary objective to study participatory democracy, in particular through research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of new information technologies, of its impacts, and of ethical, social, political and planning frameworks that enable participatory mechanisms in the information society.

CITIDEP has a particular aptitude for applied research, based on national and multinational multidisciplinary teams. We face the challenge of combining research on technology and engineering with research on social sciences and humanities, keeping a focus on participatory democracy and information technologies; and the no lesser challenge of linking such research to concrete measures in support of the civil society.

At this time, CITIDEP has also to deal with the difficulties inherent to a start-up phase, particularly a chicken-and-egg kind of problem: without funding, we cannot reach critical mass for effective research, which in turn is required to obtain adequate funding. In order to address both (above mentioned) challenges and difficulties, CITIDEP adopted initially a three-prong strategy: a) a project-driven research strategy and corresponding research team organization structure; b) an initial emphasis on the D&D components of RD&D projects, easier to fund through service provision contracts with ad-hoc project teams; c) a sustained effort to build and refine CITIDEP research agenda, beginning with the best matches between research interests of our associates.

This strategy proved effective [doc. "Research Team Experience"], but also highlighted its limitations. We need now to complement project-driven research with a domain/cluster-driven research, able to develop and sustain an institutional memory regarding research efforts; and prepare a shift from D&D emphasis to a more balanced RD&D emphasis, only possible by becoming less dependent of funding from service provision contracts.


Consequently, CITIDEP is set on fulfilling the following goals over the next 6 years:


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