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 Issue
Volume 4 Issue 2 / Dec 2006  pp49‑94

Editor: Frank Bannister

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

Lasse Berntzen

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e‑Voting in the UK: A Work in Progress  pp55‑62

Mark Liptrott

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"Mobile" e‑Government Options: Between Technology‑driven and User‑centric  pp63‑70

Pierre Rossel, Matthias Finger, Gianluca Misurac

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

Michel Chevallier, Michel Warynski, Alain Sandoz

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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

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

Simon Stephens Paul McCusker David O'Donnell

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