Online Engagement from the Grassroots: Reflecting on over a Decade of ePetitioning Experience in Europe and the UK

  • Panagiotis Panagiotopoulos
  • Tony Elliman


Extensive debate on Internet and formal politics has concentrated on whether authorities should focus their efforts on high-volume activities such as petitioning or crowdsourcing. Those engagement tools seem to be consistent with the ambition of many networked citizens to influence policymaking through ad hoc and mostly single-issue movements. Therefore, certain interesting questions emerge: can authorities organise their engagement activities to respond and act upon this call? Can citizens indeed influence policymaking in a few clicks? This chapter draws together material from different uses of ePetitioning tools in Europe, mainly focusing on the integrated UK experience at national and local level. The analysis suggests that those initiatives can provide valuable feedback to authorities and be effectively complemented by other forms of deeper engagement. Yet, political organisations should pay close attention on how the public views such exercises and be prepared to support participants in different ways and on a regular basis.


Local Authority Discussion Forum Procedural Fairness Road Price Engagement Tool 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information Systems and ComputingBrunel UniversityWest LondonUK

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