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E-Government and e-Participation : City Web Sites – the Case of Croatia


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Bebić, Domagoj and Vučković, Milica. (2011). E-Government and e-Participation : City Web Sites – the Case of Croatia. In: 3rd International Conference "The Future of Information Sciences: INFuture2011 – Information Sciences and e-Society", 9-11 November 2011, Zagreb.

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Relying on the Kang and Gearhart study about the content-specific relationship between citizens' use of city web sites and civic engagement, this study examines the relationship between specific content categories on city Web sites and civic engagement in Croatia. Building upon Kang and Gearhart’s theoretical arguments about motivational communication theories, web site functions, and civic engagement in a new technology context (e.g., Coleman, Lieber, Mendelson, 2008; Jeffres and Lin, 2006; Norris, 2003), this study examined the role of the city web sites in e-participation by surveying citizen users of city web sites. A web based volunteer survey was conducted in 33 Croatian cities, with more than 600 citizens participating. Furthermore, building on Norris’s concept of democratic divide we have content analyzed the web sites of cities that participated in the online survey. The results of content analysis of the city web sites indicate that there is democratic divide (Norris, 2001) in Croatian local government. Secondly, the comparison of the findings obtained by the public opinion web based survey with the results of the content analysis study supports Scott’s (2006) findings about city web sites’ potential for citizens’ civic engagement. Thirdly, the results support Kang and Gearhart’s findings which exhibit a clear indication that city web sites can actively promote civic engagement among citizens. In other words, this study demonstrates that citizens are willing to engage online if the government provides them with an adequate platform.

Item Type: Published conference work (Lecture)
Uncontrolled Keywords: e-participation, civic engagement, e-government, city web sites, direct democracy, democratic divide
Subjects: Information sciences
Departments: Department of Information Science
Date Deposited: 19 May 2017 09:25
Last Modified: 19 May 2017 09:25

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