Electronic Democracy at the American Grassroots

Electronic Democracy at the American Grassroots

Donald F. Norris (University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-283-1.ch008
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In this chapter, I examine the delivery of electronic democracy (e-democracy) by U.S. local governments through their e-government activities. In particular, I examine three issues related to local e-democracy through data from focus groups with officials from 37 municipal and county governments across the U.S. The issues are: (1) why local governments decided to adopt e-government, and whether e-democracy was among the reasons for its adoption; (2) whether e-government has produced or affected local e-democracy; and (3) what plans, if any, local governments have with respect to e-democracy in coming years. My principal findings are that e-government at the local level was adopted principally to deliver governmental information and services and to provide citizen access to governmental officials; that e-government does not operate in a manner that either produces or impacts local e-democracy (at least as the term is broadly defined herein); and that e-democracy is not on the radar screens of most American local governments for future deployment.

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