Dissertation Abstracts

e-Participation and Local Government in Catalonia: Analysis Items and Explanatory Factors

Author: Colombo, Clelia , cleliacolombo@gmail.com
Department: Political Sciences and Sociology
University: Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain
Supervisor: Joan Subirats
Year of completion: 2010
Language of dissertation: Catalan

Keywords: eParticipation , governance , local government , citizen engagement
Areas of Research: Political Sociology , Participation, Organizational Democracy and Self-Management , Science and Technology

Abstract

This doctoral research analyses the main explanatory factors in the impulse and development of citizen participation experiences in public decision-making, both online and offline. Thus, it analyses the possible differences and similarities in the promotion of participatory experiences in relation to the Internet use.

The research focuses the analysis in Catalonia, one of the geographic areas within Spain and the European Union which has led the impulse of citizens' participatory experiences in the public sphere. Specifically, the dissertation analyses the experiences promoted by local governments that have been leaders in promoting participatory experiences offline and online.

Despite the proliferation of participatory experiences promoted by local governments in recent years, its momentum has been very heterogeneous and data have not been collected in a systematic way.

Therefore, this research analyses which participatory experiences online and offline have been driven locally. Furthermore, it analyses possible explanatory factors of the impulse and development of these experiences. It analyses the Internet use in those experiences for participatory purposes and studies the differences in explanatory factors in terms of using (or not) the Internet for citizen participation.

In general terms, the analysis shows that political variables, such as the mayor's political party affiliation or electoral abstention rate of municipalities, explain the promotion of e-participation experiences, as well as municipal participatory context variables and population size.

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