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

e‑Citizens : Blogging as Democratic Practice Associate Professor  pp199-210

Mary Griffiths

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

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Abstract

Bloggers are able to publish political commentary online, without having to deal with traditional media gatekeepers, such as news editors and other media professionals. Networked blogging is impacting on political life as individual politicians and citizen‑journalists go online in the newest media genre. The blogosphere helps construct citizen‑users' democratic literacies and participation in new ways. Using a governmental framework and selected examples, I analyze the generic features of the political blog, and the nature of the relationships and capacities formed by the personal modes of address in specific virtual publics. Blogs are obviously more than ways of "preaching to the choir" (Lenhart, qtd in AFP, 2003) ƒ but what is the nature of the e‑governance work they are doing?

 

Keywords: Blogs, democratic literacies, participation, governmentality, political marketing

 

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Journal Article

A Prospective View of e‑Government in the European Union  pp83-90

Clara Centeno, Rene van Bavel, Jean-Claude Burgelman

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

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Abstract

Emerging trends in Europe suggest that current thinking on e‑Government, focusing on greater quality and efficiency in public services should be reviewed, especially when taking a European and prospective approach. The paper proposes a prospective view, which defines e‑Government in the EU as a tool for better government in its broadest sense. It places e‑Government at the core of public management modernisation and reform, where technology is used as a strategic tool to modernise structures, processes, regulatory frameworks, human resources and the culture of public administrations to provide better government, and ultimately increased public value. According to this view, e‑ Government needs to be more knowledge‑based, user‑centric, distributed, and networked.

 

Keywords: e-Government, public value, knowledge creation, knowledge use, user-centric government, user participation, public -- private partnerships, networked government

 

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Journal Article

Oxygen Government Practices  pp177-190

Mary Griffiths

© Jan 2008 Volume 5 Issue 2, ECEG 2007, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp95 - 224

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Abstract

How well are government intranets modelling the participatory protocols needed to develop the skills for effective government‑citizen engagement? Does the inclusion of social media forms and user‑generated content (chat, collaboration work, content sharing) add or detract value from the interactive online space at work? This paper presents work on a small Australian case study drawn from a comparative study of e‑participation projects within government in Australia and New Zealand. This paper focuses on the development of, and everyday practices in, a password‑only, subscription‑based intranet Oxygen, which has been operating since December 2006 in the South Australian public service. Specially developed through funding gained in an internally‑competitive round, Oxygen is designed by, and for, a specific demographic of young media‑savvy professionals. The research includes initial interviews with managers, intranet peer‑managers, online observation of the 'virtual village' conducted at periods throughout 2007, data collected from Oxygen's external site‑builders, and an analysis of logins and page hits. A user‑questionnaire was emailed to selfselecting Oxygen subscribers. In its use of dedicated pages and protocols for social networking, the government intranet demonstrates that, in targeted demographics, the peer‑management of online space can further develop existing professional behaviours, and encourage new collaborative ones which have the potential to be transformative of peer and manager attitudes to leadership, cooperation and the reinvention of organisational behaviour within the service. The research also assesses the popular features of the intranet's design, and the most successful peer‑practices, in order to gauge their potential transferability to e‑participation protocols and projects in interactive citizen‑government domains.

 

Keywords: peer-managed intranets, e-participation, UGC, transferability, civic domains, online protocols, virtual village

 

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Journal Article

Critical Factors in an Electronic Democracy: a Study of Municipal Managers  pp23-30

Tony Carrizales

© Apr 2008 Volume 6 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 64

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Abstract

Amid the growing research of e‑Government, prominent e‑democracy practices have been regulated to sporadic, largely populated municipalities, throughout the world. This article examines the various factors that support and deter the practices of an electronic democracy. Factors which potentially challenge and support the progress of online democratic practices are explored. These factors include budgetary constraints, form of government, and ideological perspectives of municipal managers. Chief administrative officers were surveyed on their views of e‑ Government, with specific focus on the function of e‑democracy. The data reviews online practices of municipalities in New Jersey, and through ordinal regression it becomes evident what are some critical factors for the future potential of an e‑democratic society.

 

Keywords: e-democracy, e-Government, citizen participation, municipal managers

 

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Journal Article

Internet Voting, Turnout and Deliberation: A Study  pp71-86

Michel Chevallier

© Jan 2009 Volume 7 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 122

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Abstract

Analysis of the profile and motives of internet voting users in Geneva (Switzerland) shows that the common explanations of political participation ignore a subjective — or affective — dimension of political participation. This emotional dimension is the driver of internet vote use. Coincidentally, iVoting is mostly used by citizens who describe themselves as irregular voters or abstainers. This points to invisible barriers to political participation, as these citizens do not lack resources or knowledge, but the desire to participate by the common paper‑based channels. For them, political participation is a self‑centered process. Ultimately, this reflects a deep shift in the political life, from class‑based choices to individual choices in the realm of public affairs. The present‑day common good is defined by an aggregation of individual wills.

 

Keywords: Internet voting, Switzerland, turnout, eDemocracy, public participation, disenfranchisement

 

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Journal Article

Citizens4Citizens: Mapping Participatory Practices on the Internet  pp99-112

Albert Meijer, Nils Burger, Wolfgang Ebbers

© Jan 2009 Volume 7 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 122

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Abstract

Many important forms of public participation take place in interactions between citizens. Studying these interactions is crucial for understanding e‑governance, defined as steering in the public domain. The new forms of public participations can be labeled Citizens2Citizens interactions (C2C). Citizens use the Internet to facilitate policy participation (meant to support or undermine government policies), political participation (directed at influencing political decision‑making and agenda‑setting) and social participation (to increase social capital). Attention for these forms of digital participation coincides with the rise of a new set of Web applications which are grouped under the label 'Web 2.0'. This paper is an attempt to conceptualize and categorize the wide variety of types and forms of C2C to provide a basis for a further development of this new research field. We do not claim that our exploration will lead to a final and complete description of C2C; we merely aim to present an overview of the diversity of forms of C2C initiatives that are taking place in the digital world. The argument we are putting forward is that new technologies offer new venues for participating and that these new practices will constitute both a replication of and an addition to existing offline practices of public participation. Our explorative research of C2C initiatives results in a map of political, policy and social participation. This map of C2C initiatives can provide insights in the variety of Internet practices and help subsequent researches in their selection of initiatives for in‑depth studies. Additionally, our research results in an exploration of the implications the analyzed initiatives can have for participation in the public sector.

 

Keywords: political participation, policy participation, social participation, e-governance

 

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Journal Article

Singing from the Same Hymnsheet? The Impact of Internal Stakeholders on the Development of e‑Democracy  pp155-162

Ailsa Kolsaker, Liz Lee-Kelley

© Apr 2009 Volume 7 Issue 2, ECEG 2007, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp123 - 208

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Abstract

Early interest in e‑government focused on technological convergence, system interoperability and data sharing. After a slow start, there are signs that provision is improving; 2006 figures show that across Europe 67.8% of basic G2B services and 36.8% of basic G2C public services are fully developed. As provision has improved, e‑government ontologies have broadened, moving beyond information provision and service delivery to embrace facets of governance such as transparency, dialogue, shared decision‑making, collaborative policy‑ formulation and partnership. Active citizenship has long been recognised as a key component of a healthy, functioning democracy and the both the European Commission and individual European nations are keen to exploit the networking opportunities presented by the Web to engage more closely with their citizens. Despite somewhat lofty ambitions, the European Commission itself has recently acknowledged that the Web is not yet operating as an effective facilitator of democratic inputs into policymaking, let alone the more ambitious mandates. The empirical research reported in this paper explores the reasons why. Our paper presents the findings of a study of the extent to which internal stakeholders of a local government authority (Borough Council) in the UK share a sense of purpose in developing an e‑government portal as a vehicle for e‑democracy. It addresses whether lack of progress is related to a mismatch between theorised and actual stakeholder motivations, preferences and behaviours. As well as the officials tasked to bring to fruition the concept of online services and e‑democracy, politicians have a key role to play in promoting e‑government development. Accordingly, two main groups of stakeholders are in focus; elected Councillors and Borough Council employees (or 'officers'). It explores whether the political decision makers and those responsible for online delivery share a common sense of purpose and understanding of the potential value of Web‑enabled participation both for the local authority and citizens. Finally, it evaluates whether a lack of shared vision may be hindering progress towards e‑democracy. The findings expose a number of pertinent and long‑standing issues and challenges. In general there is a lack of shared purpose and motivation and a view that the added value of Web‑enabled participation may be theoretical rather than real. As such, the study is of interest not only to academic colleagues, but also to policy‑makers and local authorities tasked with delivering public services online and engaging citizens more extensively in the processes of democracy.

 

Keywords: e-democracy, e-participation, engagement, UK, local e-government, internal stakeholders

 

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Journal Article

Competent Electronic Participation Channels in Electronic Democracy  pp195-208

Dimitrios Zissis, Dimitrios Lekkas, Anastasia-Evangelia Papadopoulou

© Apr 2009 Volume 7 Issue 2, ECEG 2007, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp123 - 208

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Abstract

Electronic Democracy is appearing in political agendas across countries and boarders. This paper refers to electronic participation channels implemented to digitalize decision processes in an electronic democracy. Electronic participation includes the sub processes of information acquisition and formation of an opinion. The function of efficient electronic participation in electronic democracy is crucial and indispensable. Electronic Democracy provides citizens with the opportunity to engage efficiently in democratic processes. Current technology can be perceived as an evolution of traditional communication linkages between political representatives and citizens. These can provide an "extensive library" of information and a "meeting point" for political debate. A surplus of existing technologies provides the means to enhance the unidirectional and bidirectional communication paths between citizens and involved political entities. Such a technological deployment though must meet a number of requirements ranging from usability issues to electronic security. An in depth analysis and review of social and technical requirements of such channels is provided in this paper. Solutions are presented which meet previously identified needs and through their comparison the fulfilment of the requirements will be met. This papers objective is to identify the custom design for efficient and competent electronic participation channels in electronic democracy. This goal will be achieved through a comparison of the current technological tools used in e‑participation, called e‑methods. For each one of these e‑methods a SWOT analysis will be provided, listing the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, that this particular tool may have. Eventually a comparison is made after the establishment of criteria regarding many aspects such as: security, privacy, accessibility, user's or developer's viewpoints. Proficiently deployed technological infrastructures which enhance the bidirectional communication pathways will lead to engaged and better informed citizens, and evidently to a stronger democracy. Findings of this paper should be considered by parties interested in deploying electronic democracy infrastructures and fellow researchers in the field.

 

Keywords: e-democracy, e-voting, e-participation, e-methods comparison

 

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