Local Democracy Online: An Analysis of Local Government Websites in England and Wales
Lawrence Pratchett (De Montfort University, UK), Melvin Wingfield (De Montfort University, UK) and Rabia Karakaya (Isik University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2008
This report from the field analyzes the extent to which local authorities in England and Wales have responded to the e-democracy agenda by examining their Web sites and assessing their potential to deliver democracy. The analysis of Web sites provides a powerful insight into how local government is using the Internet to promote democracy. Two aspects of Web site use are particularly significant. First, the analysis reveals the overall commitment to e-democracy in local government, as it is a measure of actual behavior rather than simply an attitudinal survey. Second, it highlights the types of democratic structure being supported and the values being emphasized in the implementation of e-democracy. The research demonstrated that the potential of the Internet for enhancing democracy is not fully exploited by local authorities and there remain considerable variations between different authorities.