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Local Democracy Online: An Analysis of Local Government Web Sites in England and Wales

Local Democracy Online: An Analysis of Local Government Web Sites in England and Wales
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Author(s): Lawrence Pratchett (De Montfort University, UK), Melvin Wingfield (De Montfort University, UK) and Rabia Karakaya Polat (Isik University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 17
Source title: Electronic Government: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Ari-Veikko Anttiroiko (University of Tampere, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-947-2.ch267

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Abstract

This report from the field analyzes the extent to which local authorities in England and Wales have responded to the e-democracy agenda by examining their Web sites and assessing their potential to deliver democracy. The analysis of Web sites provides a powerful insight into how local government is using the Internet to promote democracy. Two aspects of Web site use are particularly significant. First, the analysis reveals the overall commitment to e-democracy in local government, as it is a measure of actual behavior rather than simply an attitudinal survey. Second, it highlights the types of democratic structure being supported and the values being emphasized in the implementation of e-democracy. The research demonstrated that the potential of the Internet for enhancing democracy is not fully exploited by local authorities and there remain considerable variations between different authorities.

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