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Consulting the British Public in the Digital Age: Emerging Synergies and Tensions in the Government 2.0 Landscape

Chapter
Part of the Public Administration and Information Technology book series (PAIT, volume 3)

Abstract

Over the last two decades, public confidence and trust in government has declined visibly in several Western liberal democracies owing to a distinct lack of opportunities for citizen participation in political processes, and has given way instead to disillusionment with current political institutions, actors and practices. The rise of the Internet as a global communications medium has opened up huge opportunities and raised new challenges for government, with digital technology creating new forms of community, empowering citizens and reforming existing power structures in a way that has rendered obsolete or inappropriate many of the tools and processes of traditional democratic politics. Through an analysis of the No. 10 Downing Street ePetitions Initiative based in the United Kingdom, this chapter seeks to engage with issues related to the innovative use of network technology by government to involve citizens in policy processes within existing democratic frameworks in order to improve administration, reform democratic processes and renew citizen trust in institutions of governance.

Keywords

e-Democracy Digital democracy e-Consultation e-Petition Democracy Governance 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Politics and International RelationsUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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