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Journal Article

On the Road from Consultation Cynicism to Energising e‑Consultation  pp87-94

Simon Stephens Paul McCusker David O'Donnell

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

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Abstract

A major concern in recent political discourse is that government has become both isolated from and unresponsive to its citizens. Democracy, by definition, demands a two‑way flow of communication between government and civil society. ICTs have the potential to facilitate such improved flows of communication „ hence, e‑democracy and e‑consultation. This paper initially draws on focus group discussions on the theme of e‑consultation conducted amongst activist citizens on the island of Ireland. High levels of frustration, scepticism and cynicism were expressed on the form, nature and process of extant consultation processes. In follow‑up demonstrations, however, the preliminary findings are much more positive suggesting that the potential exists for using e‑consultation technologies to enhance democratic processes.

 

Keywords: consultation, e-consultation technologies, e-democracy, e-government

 

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