Information and communication technologies (ICTs) offer opportunities for greater civic participation in democratic reform. Government ICT use has, however, predominantly been associated with e-government applications that focus on one-way information provision and service delivery. This paper distinguishes between e-government and processes of e-democracy, which facilitate active civic engagement through two-way, ongoing dialogue. It draws from participation initiatives undertaken in two case studies. The first highlights efforts to increase youth engagement in the local government area of Milton Keynes in the United Kingdom. The second is Iceland’s constitutional crowdsourcing, an initiative intended to increase civic input into constitutional reform. These examples illustrate that, in order to maintain legitimacy in the networked environment, a change in the culture of governments to facilitate open and responsive e-democracy practices is required. Moreover, when coupled with traditional participation methods, processes of e-democracy enable wide civic involvement and emphasise that e-democracy should not be separated from the everyday operations of government. While online democratic engagement is a slowly evolving process, initial steps are being undertaken by governments that enable e-participation to shape democratic reform.
|Title of host publication||CeDEM13: Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government|
|Editors||P Parycek, N Edelmann|
|Place of Publication||Austria|
|Publisher||Edition Donau-Universitat Krems|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
|Event||International C onference for E-Democracy and Open Government - Krems, Austria|
Duration: 22 May 2013 → 24 May 2013
|Conference||International C onference for E-Democracy and Open Government|
|Period||22/05/13 → 24/05/13|
FREEMAN, J., & Quirke, S. (2013). is E-Democracy a Myth? Civic Participation and Democratic Reform. In P. Parycek, & N. Edelmann (Eds.), CeDEM13: Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government (Vol. 2013, pp. 31-43). Edition Donau-Universitat Krems.