‘Mind the Gap’: e-Government and e-Democracy

  • Ailsa Kolsaker
  • Liz Lee-Kelley
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4084)


It is claimed that Internet technology offers governments the opportunity to engage citizens online and bridge the growing gap between citizens and the state. In the current climate of citizen disengagement this is a potentially important prospect. Academic studies into e-government tend to follow a well-trodden path of technology acceptance, citizens’ willingness and ability to use public services online and the digital divide. Where issues of e-democracy are considered, studies generally highlight opportunities rather than measuring any actual changes in citizen behaviour. This study examines citizens’ perceptions, attitudes and behaviour, seeking specifically to expose whether citizens feel that e-government enhances democratic participation and brings them closer to government and the machinery of the state. In this paper we present the results of the pilot study which suggest that citizens perceive some moderate value in using e-government as a means of keeping themselves informed and communicating with the state, but little value in e-government as a tool of democratic participation.


Public Service Public Participation Democratic Participation Usage Intensity Political Dialogue 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Fang, Z.: E-Government in the Digital Era: Concept, Practice and Development. International Journal of the Computer, the Internet and Management 10(2), 1–22 (2002)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ling, T.: Delivering Joined-up Government in the UK: Dimensions, Issues and Problems. Public Administration 80(4), 615–642 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Coleman, S.: Connecting Parliament to the Public via the Internet. Information, Communication and Society 7(1), 1–22 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gerald, G.: Realizing the Promise of Electronic Government. Journal of Global Information Management 13(1), 1–5 (2004)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    United Nations. Global e-Government Readiness Report, New York (2005) Available from,
  6. 6.
    European Commission Directorate General for Information Society and Media. Online Availability of Public Services: How is Europe Progressing?, Fifth Measurement, Capgemini (2005) Available from,
  7. 7.
    Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Two Years On: Realising the benefits from our investment in e-government. ODPM Publications, London (2005)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Barnes, M., Newman, J., Knops, A., Sullivan, H.: Constituting the public in public participation. Public Administration 81(2), 379–399 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Biasiotti, M.A., Nannucci, R.: Learning to Become an E-citizen: The European and Italian Policies. In: Wimmer, M.A. (ed.) KMGov 2004. LNCS, vol. 3035, pp. 269–280. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Coleman, S.: Connecting Parliament to the Public via the Interne. Information, Communication and Society 7(1), 1–22 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Cavanaugh, J.: E-Democracy: Thinking About the Impact of Technology on Civic Life. National Civic Review 89(3), 229–234 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    International Council for Information Technology in Government Administration (ICA), e-Government in the Service of Democracy, ICA Information No. 74 (2001), Available from,
  13. 13.
    Lenihan, D.: Realigning Governance: from e-Government to e-Democracy, OECD Centre for Collaborative Government. (2002), Available from,
  14. 14.
    Touraine, A.: What is Democracy (tr. by D. Macey). Westview Press, Colorado (1997)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hoff, J., Lofgren, K., Torpe, L.: The state we are in: e-democracy in Denmark. Information Polity 8(1/2), 44–69 (2003)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Line, M.: Democracy and information: transmitters and receivers. Library Management 24(8/9), 386–392 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Joint, N.: Democracy, eLiteracy and the internet. Library Review 54(2), 80–85 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lee-Kelley, L., James, T.: e-Government and Social Exclusion. Journal of Electronic Commerce in Organisations 1(4), 1–16 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jensen, J.: Virtual democratic dialogue? Bringing together citizens and politicians. Information Polity 8(1/2), 29–48 (2003)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Young, I.M.: Justice and the politics of difference. Princetown University Press, Princetown (1990)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mahrer, H., Krimmer, R.: Towards the enhancement of e-democracy: identifying the notion of the middleman paradox. Journal of Information Systems 15(1), 27–42 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Shaohan, C., Minjoon, J.: Internet users’ perceptions of online service quality: a comparison of online buyers and information searchers. Managing Service Quality 13(6), 504–520 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Piccoli, G., Brohman, M.K., Watson, R., Parasuraman, A.: Net-Based Customer Service Systems: Evolution and Revolution in Web Site Functionalities. Decision Sciences 35(3), 423–456 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kolsaker, A., Lee-Kelley, E., Choy, P.C.: The Reluctant Hong Kong Consumer: Purchasing Travel Online. International Journal of Consumer Studies 28(3), 295–305 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Chen, L.-D., Tan, J.: Technology Adaptation in E-commerce: Key Determinants of Virtual Stores Acceptance. European Management Journal 22(1), 74–87 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Meng-Hsiang, H., Chiu, C.-M.: Internet self-efficacy and electronic service acceptance. Decision Support Systems 38(3), 369–382 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Douglas, A., Muir, L., Meehan, K.: E-quality in the e-services provision of legal practices. Managing Service Quality 13(6), 483–491 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kuo, Y.-F.: Integrating Kano’s Model into Web-community Service Quality. Quality Management and Business Excellence 15(7), 925–940 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Meuter, M.L., Ostrom, A.L., Roundtree, R., Bitner, M.J.: Self-Service Technologies: Understanding Customer Satisfaction with Technology-Based Service Encounters. Journal of Marketing 64(3), 50–65 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Szymanski, D.H., Hise, R.T.: e-Satisfaction: An Initial Examination. Journal of Retailing 76(3), 309–323 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    OECD Public Administration Group (PUMA), Citizens as Partners: Information, Consultation and Public Participation in Policy-Making, Paris, OECD (2001)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ailsa Kolsaker
    • 1
  • Liz Lee-Kelley
    • 1
  1. 1.School of ManagementUniversity of SurreyGuildfordUK

Personalised recommendations