On the Duality of E-Participation – Towards a Foundation for Citizen-Led Participation
What remains unclear after a decade of e-Participation research and practice is the extent to which the social web and informal channels have empowered citizens in government-citizen interactions where government determines what, where and how to discuss. Lately, attention has shifted to how these informal channels could be better harnessed as part of a holistic e-Participation solution. However, this implicit notion of duality of e-Participation is yet to be explored or conceptualized. This paper provides a first step towards understanding the duality of Government-led and Citizen-led e-Participation based on structuration and dynamic capabilities theories. We employ structuration theory to understand how dynamics of power between government and citizen in deciding what is important for the society and the solutions to adopt could tilt towards the side of citizens through citizen-led deliberations. Through the dynamic capabilities theory, we determine additional capabilities required by governments to meaningfully exploit and sustain citizen-led e-participation as a part or a holistic e-participation framework. We show through a case study how our resulting analytical tool could be employed in identifying salient technical, organisational and political issues in an on-going Irish e-Participation initiative planning to adopt citizen-led deliberation.
Keywordse-Participation citizen-led e-Participation e-Participation framework
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