Does E-Government Use Contribute to Citizen Engagement with Government and Community?
34 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 13 Jul 2014
Date Written: July 15, 2011
Is e-government changing patterns of interaction between citizens and government? Does it support civic engagement by citizens, with government and with each other? After discussing theories of civic engagement and possible links to e-government, we examine different types of e-government use (service users and policy researchers), and the relationships between these types of use on the one hand, with various kinds of civic engagement on the other: contacting through email, offline interactions with government, online participation in public affairs, and online and offline discussion with neighbors regarding community affairs. Using data from a recent national survey from the Pew Internet and American Life Project (December 2009), we find that policy researchers are more likely to engage in all of these activities, both online and offline. Those who use e-government for services, however, are also more likely than non-e-government users to engage in some of these activities. This suggests multiple ways in which e-government may be assisting in the transformation of governance, not only through service delivery but also through more informed and engaged citizenship.
Keywords: e-government, civic engagement, online participation
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