Local Democracy Shaping e-Democracy
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This paper offers a fresh perspective to study the role and implications of information and communications technologies (ICT) in processes of local democracy. It moves away from earlier perspectives that have given privilege to information flows, information technology features or strategies employed by human actors in their accounts. The paper proposes a theoretical framework, derived from Giddens theory of Structuration. This framework suggests that the material technology cannot be understood in isolation from the way it is appropriated in social processes. It brings to the forefront technologically enabled social practices rather than the technology itself or the actions of human actors and thus avoids technological or social determinism. It highlights the importance of the interplay of the context, social structures and agency factors in the technologically enabled social practices. When applied to processes of local democracy, it brings forward a number of important insights for policy makers and ICT designers.
KeywordsLocal Authority Social Process Social Practice Institutional Context Local Governance
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