The quadrivium of online public consultation: Policy, culture, resources, technology

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Australian Journal of Political Science, 2010, 45 (2), pp. 227 - 244
Issue Date:
2010-06-01
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Concerned by declining interest, trust, and participation by citizens in democratic politics, governments and political institutions worldwide are turning to the internet in attempts to revitalise democracy through online public consultation and citizen participation, referred to as e-democracy or 'government 2.0'. This paper reports research into the planning and conduct of a series of online public consultation trials launched by the Australian federal government in late 2008, and it compares and contrasts Australian experiences with international e-democracy developments, including the Obama presidential campaign and findings of the Digital Dialogues review of online technologies to enhance citizen engagement in the UK, the UK Power of Information Task Force review, and experiments conducted as part of the MIT Deliberatorium. This paper presents qualitative analysis of findings in 10 areas, which it argues can be further grouped into four main areas of management focus of which technology, often the major topic of discussion, is important but less significant than policy, culture and resources. © 2010 Australian Political Studies Association.
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