Local Democracy Online: An Analysis of Local Government Web Sites in England and Wales
Lawrence Pratchett (De Montfort University, UK), Melvin Wingfield (De Montfort University, UK) and Rabia Karakaya Polat (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.