Determine the Workload of the Structural Implementation of E-Democracy: Local Government Policy Issues, Policy Cycle and Styles of Citizenship Combined

Published on: 20/01/2012
Last update: 12/05/2016
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ICT applications are powerful tools for increasing involvement of citizens in public policy-making, and as such a sound investment in better public policy. Citizens are inclined to participate more often if governments use digital tools. This paper describes preliminary research conducted at the municipality of The Hague (The Netherlands). The research categorized the issues using the policy cycle and styles of citizenship. Results show the treatment of issues by the city council and its committees over the course of 3 years. After correcting the numbers the findings show that a Dutch city with a population of around 450.000 inhabitants is run using approximately 300 democratic issues per annum. In the case of the broad adoption of e-democracy with full digital support for current democratic activities that would mean setting up and maintaining those 300 democratic dialogues online. The research shows that around 60% of this city’s inhabitants might be interested in participating on some of the democratic issues. This research also revealed a marked difference between the population of The Hague (the seat of government) and the general population, which might indicate that democratic participation is sensitive in its context and would have to be determined in each city again.

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