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Explaining variations in the implementation and use of e-petitions in local government
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Communication, Quality Management, and Information Systems (2023-). Department of Informatics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1337-0479
2023 (English)In: Information Polity, ISSN 1570-1255, E-ISSN 1875-8754, Vol. 28, no 4, p. 503-521Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

E-petitions constitute a promising method of increasing public participation and engagement in government processes. However, there is a lack of knowledge of why some government entities implement e-petitions, while others do not. Moreover, it is unknown why some organizations may receive many e-petitions while others receive relatively few. Thus, in this paper, we aim to fill these gaps by investigating the implementation and use patterns of e-petitions based on data from Swedish local governments. Through statistical analysis of data related to demography, economy, technology, and democracy, our findings unveil variations in municipalities’ implementation of e-petitions and citizens’ use of them. The results reveal that municipalities with a relatively large population and established modes of local democracy are more inclined to implement e-petitions than smaller jurisdictions. However, we also found that the number of incoming e-petitions per capita is negatively correlated with population size. Thus, the presence of institutionalized work structures related to local democracy is an important precursor for the implementation of e-petitions, while previous experience with communication technologies had a positive effect on the number of incoming petitions. In addition to these findings, the novelty of our study lies in the use of several official data sources to seek explanations for the implementation and use of e-petitions in local government. By doing so, this study has paved the way for similar research in other contexts. The paper concludes with implications for both research and practice as well as suggestions for future studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. Vol. 28, no 4, p. 503-521
Keywords [en]
e-petitions, e-democracy, digital democracy, local government
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-48343DOI: 10.3233/ip-220033ISI: 001111137500005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85178580323OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-48343DiVA, id: diva2:1758112
Available from: 2023-05-22 Created: 2023-05-22 Last updated: 2023-12-22Bibliographically approved

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Karlström, DavidLidén, GustavSundberg, Leif

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