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Journal Article

Is e‑democracy more than democratic? ‑ An examination of the implementation of socially sustainable values in e‑democratic processes  pp84-94

Gustav Lidén

© Oct 2012 Volume 10 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 94

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Abstract

A growing literature tries to contribute to a more balanced view of the concept of e‑democracy. However, one seldom discussed aspect is the concept’s inadequate dimension on what a desirable development of society consists of. By adding certain values, today most pronounced in the theory of social sustainability, this article examines the awareness of such in three e‑democratic projects in Swedish municipalities. This is carried out through a qualitative inquiry that uses different types of data and that regards social sustainability as an ongoing process that is suitable to be analysed in relation to other structures in society. The empirical part reveals different important topics. First it shows that the conscious¬ness of socially sustainable values varies between the examined cases. Second, this variation can be due to both the varying success of e‑democracy and to conditions inside the political organizations. In conclusion, this paper reveals that the consequence of adding a socially sustainable perspective to e‑democracy is that it provides adequate opportunities for analysing social development without missing out qualities that are desired in a democratic society.

 

Keywords: e-democracy, social sustainability, democratic theory, political participation, political equality, Sweden

 

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