Title: Taking stock: local e-democracy in Europe and the USA

Authors: Michael N. Peart, Javier Ramos Diaz

Addresses: Zentrum für Demokratie Aarau (ZDA), University of Zurich, Kuttigerstrasse 21, CH5000 Aarau, Switzerland. ' e-Democracy Centre (ZDA), and Unidad de Investigacion de Salud Laboral, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Parc de Recerca Biomedica de Barcelona, Dr. Aiguader, 88 – 08003 Barcelona, Spain

Abstract: Advances in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are changing democracy yet scholars lack an adequate understanding of what e-democracy means in practice. To that end, we target the most basic unit of democracy, the local level, and take stock of the ways in which governments employ ICTs. We argue that it is useful to classify into three groups the many e-techniques that constitute the practice of e-democracy. This highlights the e-techniques with the most potential to address the problems faced by democracy today and to draw out the theoretical implications. Finally we address the three major criticisms of e-democracy.

Keywords: e-democracy; e-techniques; fragmentation; political community; Europe; USA; transparency; participation; deliberation; electronic democracy; local democracy; United States; ICT.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEG.2008.022069

International Journal of Electronic Governance, 2008 Vol.1 No.4, pp.400 - 433

Published online: 17 Dec 2008 *

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