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Journal Article

e‑Participation and Governance: Widening the net  pp39-48

Lee Komito

© Jul 2005 Volume 3 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 58

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As a solution to declining political and civic participation, many governments are seeking to increase the number of citizens who participate in policy‑making and governance. Contrary to early expectations, recent research suggests that new information and communications technologies (ICTs) may not increase participation rates in formal organisations, and so may not improve participation rates. The Mobhaile project in Ireland is an example of a local government initiative which combines service provision ('e‑government') functions and facilities for voluntary, community and business organisations that enhance social capital in local communities, while also enabling civic participation functions ('e‑ governance'), in a single web‑based geographical interface. Such projects enable citizens to access government services and encourages them, as part of this process, to also participate in local activities that build social capital in the community. The resulting mix can be an effective basis for greater political and civic participation.


Keywords: eInclusion, eParticipation, community politics, Ireland, governance, social capital


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