Browsing Faculty of Social Sciences by Subjects
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E-Democracy from the Perspective of Local Elected Members.Although efforts for developing e-democracy have been underway for over a decade, recent literature indicates that its uptake by citizens and Elected Members (EMs) is still very low. This paper explores the underlying reasons for why this is so from the perspective of local EMs in the context of UK local authorities. It draws on findings reported in earlier works supplemented with primary case study data. Findings are interpreted through the lens of Giddens structuration theory, which assists in drawing out issues related to three dimensions of human agency: communication of meaning, exercising power and sanctioning behaviour. The paper abstracts categories of agency from the findings and uses these to formulate eight propositions for creating an e-friendly democratic culture and enhancing EMs uptake of e-democracy. These propositions provide an indication for future e-democracy research direction.
Examining e-democracy through a double structuration loopThis paper develops a structurational framework for examining e-democracy. This framework draws on the Giddens structuration theory, Owanda Orlikowski's Structurational Model of Technology (SMT) and her technology-practice lens, to bring into focus democratic practices facilitated by Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). An examination of social practices mediated by technology assists in uncovering the underlying structures that enable and constrain actors in democratic engagement. The framework ties together the technology-shaping process and technology-use process, that both act on each other to shape the emergent role of e-democracy. It sensitises researchers to the dialectic interaction of institutional mediation structures, technology mediation structures and human agency. In particular, this framework draws attention to 11 key social structures and agency issues that need to be explored by researchers for building a deeper understanding of how the role of e-democracy is enacted and its impacts moderated in the democratic process. This paper argues that this framework provides a useful lens for analysing social issues surrounding e-democracy.
Performance Monitoring and Accountability through Technology: E-government in Greece.The paper provides an account of the likely consequences that performance monitoring systems have on public service accountability. The research draws upon an in-depth empirical study on Citizens Service Centres, one of the biggest projects of the Greek e-government strategy. Specifically, we outline the rationale for introducing performance monitoring technology in Citizens Service Centres, the use the central government ministry made of the system and the ways in which Citizens Service Centre staff responded to such performance monitoring. Drawing upon studies on e-government and the critical literature on performance monitoring systems, we argue that performance monitoring technology is a limited tool for ensuring accountability. This is due to the effects of the monitoring and performance standards, which increase staffs concerns and are likely to encourage irresponsible and unaccountable practices.