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Transnational Digital Identity as an Instrument for Global Digital Citizenship: The Case of Estonia’s E-Residency

  • Piia TammpuuEmail author
  • Anu Masso
Article

Abstract

Digital identity systems appear as part of the digital infrastructure that enables individuals to participate in society as digital citizens. This paper examines the implications of Estonia’s e-residency, the transnational digital identity scheme implemented by the Estonian government in order to give non-residents of the country remote access to Estonia’s digital infrastructure and e-services, for global digital citizenship. We explain the adoption of e-residency by analyzing how individual motives to apply for a digital identity are affected by both individual-level socio-demographic characteristics and macro-level characteristics measuring digital and economic development in applicant’s country of origin. The findings suggest that individual motives to adopt e-residency vary depending on both the citizenship of applicants and the level of e-government development in the country of origin. Although attracting more citizens from digitally advanced countries, individual motives indicate that e-residency can compensate certain digital disadvantage to citizens of countries with lower levels of e-government development.

Keywords

Digital identity Digital citizenship Virtual mobility Digital inequality E-government E-residency 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The preparation of this article was supported by the grants from the Estonian Research Council (PUT1624, IUT 20-38) and by the developmental programme ASTRA of Tallinn University of Technology for years 2016-2022 (2014-2020.4.01.16-0032). The authors would like to thank Estonian Police and Border Guard Board for the cooperation in issuing the data for this research.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Social StudiesUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia
  2. 2.Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and GovernanceTallinn University of Technology12618 TallinnEstonia

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