Online Citizens - Does the Net Add Something New to the Local Public and Local Politics?
AbstractThe article discusses the skeptical view that on-line forms of politial participation have thus far had only little importance for democracy. Based on an analysis of the interplay between the supply of, and the demands for, e-tools for political informaiton and deliberation at the local level in Denmark, it is concluded that the skeptical view is con- firmed to some extent; however, It is also shown that something more - as well as something new - is added to the local political public, both in terms of the citizens involved and the topics discussed. Further- more, the case study indicates that online deliberations have had a number of minor effects on local political opinionformation and deci- sion-making. Thus, the overall conclusion is that a local forum of digital deliberations has the potential to form an alternative channel for raising issues and forming a vehicle for involving more citizens in politics, including citizens with weak resources.
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