Tackling Biases and Bubbles in Participation (BIBU)

Public description of the goals at the beginning of the project

The consortium Tackling Biases and Bubbles in Participation (BIBU) explores how the current global flux – economic restructuring, urbanisation and migration – affects citizens’ political capacities, interests and emotions. BIBU also finds out how the political system responds to citizens’ interests in policies that define the future of the Nordic model. BIBU also combats the inequalities and the fragmentation in participation – the biases and bubbles – to make the political system more inclusive and responsive to citizens’ interests. BIBU embeds relevant information into policy-making, and co-creating knowledge with civil society, interest groups, political decision-makers, the business sector and civil servants. BIBU also develops participatory innovations, such as digital platforms for law making, digital diplomats, citizen and public dialogues, and courses for decision makers, and profiles Finland as an innovative democracy incubator of international standing.

Public description of the results at the end of the project

BIBU studied the political implications of economic restructuring and showed how citizens affected by structural changes often support populist parties. On the other hand, political polarization is not sharp in Finland: the policy views of the candidates in the election had not sharpened, nor was affective polarization particularly strong. The project also used qualitative research to find out the experience of different groups in society. Citizens belonging to the wealthiest 0,1% presented quite harsh criticism of the welfare model, but in other social groups, the model still enjoys support. The structural changes in the economy seem to be a pressing a “great squeeze” in the lives of Finns, which hampers faith in society, especially among the lowest-income groups. BIBU also explored different options for the Nordic welfare model and the preparation of decisions, especially the health and social services reform. In addition, BIBU developed innovations that strengthen democracy: participatory budgeting, digital consultation, citizen data management, and ways to tackle hate speech.

More information

  • Consortium's website
  • Consortium PI Anu Kantola, Professor, University of Helsinki, firstname.lastname(at)helsinki.fi

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