• Towards building an integrated perspective on e-democracy

      Parvez, Zahid; Ahmed, Pervaiz K. (Routledge (Taylor & Francis), 2006)
      This paper evaluates the dominant perspectives for understanding e-democracy in practice. It argues that although these, on their own, only provide static and partial accounts of the role and implications of e-democracy, nevertheless they should not be disregarded. The paper proposes an integration of their key positions to generate a more rounded and complete account of the role of e-democracy in practice. It suggests that Giddens's Structuration Theory provides a starting point in this direction. A structuration perspective is able to integrate many of the diverse perspectives whilst simultaneously avoiding technological and social determinism by focusing attention on the interplay of social structures and agency in e-democracy practices. This perspective assists in illuminating the underlying institutional arrangements and structures in which e-democracy practices are embedded, as well as the strategies employed by human actors. It focuses attention on structures of signification, domination and legitimation that surround e-democracy practices and also how individuals are both enabled and constrained in these practices. It is argued that more complete and balanced accounts which emerge from such an integrated perspective could assist in developing a more effective e-democracy policy.