Reaching in? The potential for E-petitions in local government in the United Kingdom

Bochel, Catherine and Bochel, Hugh (2017) Reaching in? The potential for E-petitions in local government in the United Kingdom. Information, Communication and Society, 20 (5). pp. 683-699. ISSN 1369-118X

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


This article considers the extent to which petitions and e-petitions might allow citizens to ‘reach in’ to local authorities in the United Kingdom. It examines how e-petitions sit against wider debates about the use of technology and digital democracy and the extent to which petitions systems might align with traditional approaches to representative democracy. It highlights that, as with many other participative initiatives, digital or otherwise, there are a variety of issues and risks associated with e-petitions, including those associated with broad socio-economic factors, and others that are more specifically related to the use of e-petitions. However, drawing on existing examples of e-petitions systems in the UK, it suggests that, designed well, they may have potential value, not simply in terms of enabling ‘voice’ and participation, but also in helping educate and inform petitioners about local democracy and decision-making.

Keywords:e-petitions, local government, participation, digital democracy
Subjects:L Social studies > L222 Democracy
L Social studies > L230 UK Government/Parliamentary Studies
L Social studies > L200 Politics
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
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ID Code:23241
Deposited On:05 Jun 2016 17:52

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