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The British parliamentary e-consultation system: a case study of e-consultations

The British parliamentary e-consultation system: a case study of e-consultations
The British parliamentary e-consultation system: a case study of e-consultations
Democracy is being challenged by low public participation in the democratic process. This has resulted in low voter turnout and is therefore called a crisis of representative democracy. As a means of increasing citizens’ engagement with their representative bodies, Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) have been implemented to encourage public online participation. In particular, the British Parliament has adopted an e-consultation system, available on its website since 2007, as an electronic tool for online participation.

As e-consultation is the only system which truly enables the public to engage the legislative process, it is worth assessing this system in order to determine its effectiveness and impact. To do this, it is necessary to conduct an analysis through case studies on past econsultations. Through this analysis, an aim of this thesis is to seek new methods by which to maximise the efficiency of the e-consultation system through the consideration and application of specific research questions. Answers to specific questions were sought by means of employing empirical studies on two e-consultation cases to determine levels of public participation: the successful topic of ‘Domestic Violence’ and the less popular topic of ‘e-Petitions.’

Analysis of the two e-consultation cases reveals that e-consultation provides the public with valuable opportunity to connect with its representatives and to engage the legislative process. However, in order to maximise the efficiency of the e-consultation system, several modifications are suggested including: adequate preparation and publicity on behalf of the organising body, a high rate of MP participation, active consideration of any contributions by the committee in charge, and the establishment of a parliamentary division unit specifically for the conduction of e-consultations.
Kim, Byoungju
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Kim, Byoungju
f3606214-750e-4e1c-823d-5cb5cd16b153
Stoker, Gerard
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KELSO, ALEXANDRA
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Musgrove, Edward
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Smith, Graham
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(2012) The British parliamentary e-consultation system: a case study of e-consultations. University of Southampton, School of Social Sciences, Doctoral Thesis, 306pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Democracy is being challenged by low public participation in the democratic process. This has resulted in low voter turnout and is therefore called a crisis of representative democracy. As a means of increasing citizens’ engagement with their representative bodies, Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) have been implemented to encourage public online participation. In particular, the British Parliament has adopted an e-consultation system, available on its website since 2007, as an electronic tool for online participation.

As e-consultation is the only system which truly enables the public to engage the legislative process, it is worth assessing this system in order to determine its effectiveness and impact. To do this, it is necessary to conduct an analysis through case studies on past econsultations. Through this analysis, an aim of this thesis is to seek new methods by which to maximise the efficiency of the e-consultation system through the consideration and application of specific research questions. Answers to specific questions were sought by means of employing empirical studies on two e-consultation cases to determine levels of public participation: the successful topic of ‘Domestic Violence’ and the less popular topic of ‘e-Petitions.’

Analysis of the two e-consultation cases reveals that e-consultation provides the public with valuable opportunity to connect with its representatives and to engage the legislative process. However, in order to maximise the efficiency of the e-consultation system, several modifications are suggested including: adequate preparation and publicity on behalf of the organising body, a high rate of MP participation, active consideration of any contributions by the committee in charge, and the establishment of a parliamentary division unit specifically for the conduction of e-consultations.

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More information

Published date: February 2012
Organisations: University of Southampton, Faculty of Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 341939
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/341939
PURE UUID: bd9a6ed1-5c5e-4780-a810-df1145e8e1c7

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 14 Nov 2012 13:45
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:31

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Contributors

Author: Byoungju Kim
Thesis advisor: Gerard Stoker
Thesis advisor: ALEXANDRA KELSO
Thesis advisor: Edward Musgrove
Thesis advisor: Graham Smith

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