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Ian Johnson

CDT Student

Ian Johnson

I draw on political theory and deliberative democracy research to examine the role of civil society and other forms of active citizenship in shaping their communities. I am particularly interested in exploring how social theory ideals are enacted through sociotechnical interventions.

My work involves taking a participatory action research approach to collaboration with a range of community organisations, carrying out ethnographic field work and designing, deploying and evaluating novel consultation technologies, concentrating on the role of stakeholders, and the meaningfulness and validity of data as part of campaigning, consulting, and everyday life.

My research, published in CHI and CSCW, has investigated into the role of the researcher, and stakeholder power and influence during technology deployments related to local decision-making, explored the interplay between data, knowledge and evidence in local-level policymaking, on the creation of spaces for civic discourse, and on the way citizen-led organisations can create resources for democratic action through configuring participation during local consultation.

Thesis title

Exploring the role of sociotechnical systems to support deliberative localist decision-making

After the PhD

Innovation Fellow working as part of the Centre for Digital Citizens


  • Banardos
  • Amble Development Trust
  • Meadowell Connected
  • Big Local
  • Edinbrugh Council
  • Nest


The Digital Civics CDT is made possible by EPSRC funding under the project code EP/L016176/1