The Electronic Journal of e-Government publishes perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Government

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Journal Article

The potential contribution of ICTs to the political process  pp31-39

Briony J Oates

© Mar 2003 Volume 1 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 62

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Abstract

This paper discusses the potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to help engage people in all parts of the political process: obtaining information, engaging in deliberation and participating in decision‑making. It also discusses limitations or barriers to using ICTs in these ways. Despite these limitations ICTs are likely to be increasingly tried in the political process. It is therefore important that we educate our young people for participation in an e‑enabled political process. The paper therefore reports on an educational project that demonstrated using ICTs in the political process and introduced some 13‑14 year olds to citizenship and electronic democracy, concentrating on a local mayoral election. The responses of the participants raise interesting issues about how to use ICTs in education and the desirability, or otherwise, of electronic electioneering. The paper contributes to our understanding and experience of citizenship education, e‑democracy and the use of ICTs in the political process.

 

Keywords: e-democracy, e-government, e-electioneering, citizenship education

 

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Journal Article

MIDEM. Models for Interactive Decision Making  pp55-64

Auli Keskinen

© Jun 2004 Volume 2 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 74

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Abstract

This article is a broad reflection on e‑Democracy models used in several countries throughout the last 20 years. It is based on hands‑on experience gained through experiments and projects with local authorities conducted since the days of videotex. In essence, ICT can be utilised to radically transform the shape of political decision making into a citizen‑oriented vision. The realisation of this vision must involve the participation of people and continuous deliberation between citizens and political decision makers. Although e‑Democracy is considered a way for creating genuine dialogue between interest groups in a society in the future, the technology needs motivated communities to ensure self‑ governance is developed. If used properly ICT will transform our understanding of political action.

 

Keywords: e-Democracy, decision making, ICT, deliberative poll, televote, electronic town meeting, funnel model, citizen jury, referendum

 

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Journal Article

Ethical Problems for e‑Government: An Evaluative Framework  pp179-188

Hilary Mullen, David Sanford Horner

© Oct 2004 Volume 2 Issue 3, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp147 - 218

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Abstract

This paper assesses the assertion that there is a lack of well understood and developed rules and models for ethical behaviour in e‑Government. A framework is proposed to evaluate the extent to which types of moral wrongdoing are related specifically to the technologies used. It identifies four categories of ethical issues: those related to electronic environments; those dependent on electronic environments; those determined by electronic environments; and those specific to electronic environments. Furthermore, it suggests the policy perspectives, which governments may need to consider.

 

Keywords: e-Government Democracy Ethics Information and Communication Technology Trust

 

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Journal Article

The Ethical Problem of Framing e‑Government in Terms of e‑Commerce  pp73-82

Bernd Carsten Stahl

© Dec 2005 Volume 3 Issue 2, Issue on e-Democracy, Editor: Mary Griffiths, pp59 - 98

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Abstract

This paper discusses one aspect of the relationship that the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in business has with the use of ICT in government and administration. It argues that democracies rely on their ethical legitimacy and that framing e‑Government and e‑Democracy in commercial terms can jeopardise this legitimacy. For this purpose the paper distinguishes between e‑Government as service delivery and e‑Democracy as the more radical use of ICT for democratic deliberation and policy formulation. It argues that the commercial paradigm can support some of the moral values underpinning democracy but it can also have a negative effect on them by equating customers and citizens, by likening the political and the economic system and by promoting hidden agendas and ideologies. The conclusion argues that democratic decision makers need to pay attention to these relationships. Otherwise they not only endanger the success of e‑Government and e‑Democracy but may even threaten the basis of the moral legitimacy of democratic forms of government.

 

Keywords: e-Government, e-Democracy, e-Commerce, legitimacy, ethics, morality

 

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Journal Article

Using Business Process Re‑engineering (BPR) for the Effective Administration of Electronic Voting  pp91-98

Alexandros Xenakis, Ann Macintosh

© Dec 2005 Volume 3 Issue 2, Issue on e-Democracy, Editor: Mary Griffiths, pp59 - 98

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Abstract

This paper proposes the use of Business Process Re‑engineering (BPR) methods and analysis tools to address the issues arising in the implementation of electronic voting. We consider the electoral process as one which has to be re‑designed in order to effectively accommodate e‑Voting technology. We identify the key areas of e‑Voting where the use of BPR can provide beneficial results.

 

Keywords: e-Voting, e-Democracy, e-Government, elections, procedural security, responsibility

 

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Journal Article

Experiences with Video Streaming of Norwegian Local Government Meetings  pp49-54

Lasse Berntzen

© Jan 2007 Volume 4 Issue 2, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp49 - 94

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Abstract

Video streaming of local government meetings offers transparency. After an experimental phase, video streaming has now become a regular service in several Norwegian municipalities. This paper describes the design, development and implementation of one such video streaming service for a consortium of twelve municipalities. One important goal of this project was to deliver rich user experience without putting additional workload on municipal administrators. Our solution is able to deliver multiple video streams originating from different video sources (cameras), and the user may choose which video streams to view. Video streams are stored and made available for later viewing. An administrative application facilitates linking items on the agenda to relevant video content. A search engine makes it possible to search for video content across municipal borders. The paper also reports on a recent survey conducted among initial users of the video streaming service. The results are discussed, and some areas of future research are proposed.

 

Keywords: transparency, accountability, e-democracy, video streaming, webcasting

 

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Journal Article

Success Factors of Geneva's e‑Voting System  pp71-78

Michel Chevallier, Michel Warynski, Alain Sandoz

© Dec 2006 Volume 4 Issue 2, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp49 - 94

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Abstract

In eight official votes between January 2003 and April 2005 authorities in Geneva invited up to 90 ,000 citizens to test a remote e‑Voting system as a complement to traditional voting methods. Multidisciplinary teams composed of legal, political, PR, security and computer science specialists, strongly supported by the Government, participated in creating the system which will be appraised by the Geneva Parliament en 2006. This paper reports on the project, its results in terms of numbers and socio‑political profile of e‑Voters, and its success factors. All three authors were directly or indirectly involved in the project from the beginning and are currently working on the deployment of Geneva's e‑ Government platform.

 

Keywords: remote e-voting, direct democracy, project success factors

 

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Journal Article

Using SMS Texting to Encourage Democratic Participation by Youth Citizens: a Case Study of a Project in an English Local Authority  pp79-86

David Griffin, Philippa Trevorrow, Edward Halpin, Edward Halpin

© Dec 2006 Volume 4 Issue 2, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp49 - 94

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Abstract

Public administrations across Europe take the view that using digital media for consultation with citizens will help to increase their democratic participation. In the UK, the Government has encouraged local authorities to experiment with new electronic communication channels for this purpose. This paper presents a case study in which one such medium, the mobile phone, is being used in an attempt to raise participation amongst young people. It evaluates a project set up to use SMS text messaging as a means of electronic consultation with young people by a council in the North of England. Specifically, it examines the effect of text messaging on democratic participation by the young and the effect of this type of consultation on the processes of the political administration. This case study identifies a number of organizational, social and cultural issues that may limit the scope for using this technology to increase youth participation and change the relationship between young people and their local elected representatives. Based on the initial evidence from this case study, we take the cyber‑sceptic stance. We suggest that the mobile phone is not the 'silver bullet' for invigorating consultation with young people by the local public administration. We identify a series of potential barriers to increasing participation by youth and changing the relationship between the elected politicians and their constituents.

 

Keywords: e-Democracy, e-Consultation, local government, young people, mobile telephony, case study

 

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