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Title: The British parliamentary e-consultation system : a case study of e-consultations
Author: Kim, Byoungju
ISNI:       0000 0004 2729 1805
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2012
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Democracy is being challenged by low public participation in the democratic process. This has resulted in low voter turnout and is therefore called a crisis of representative democracy. As a means of increasing citizens’ engagement with their representative bodies, Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) have been implemented to encourage public online participation. In particular, the British Parliament has adopted an e-consultation system, available on its website since 2007, as an electronic tool for online participation. As e-consultation is the only system which truly enables the public to engage the legislative process, it is worth assessing this system in order to determine its effectiveness and impact. To do this, it is necessary to conduct an analysis through case studies on past econsultations. Through this analysis, an aim of this thesis is to seek new methods by which to maximise the efficiency of the e-consultation system through the consideration and application of specific research questions. Answers to specific questions were sought by means of employing empirical studies on two e-consultation cases to determine levels of public participation: the successful topic of ‘Domestic Violence’ and the less popular topic of ‘e-Petitions.’ Analysis of the two e-consultation cases reveals that e-consultation provides the public with valuable opportunity to connect with its representatives and to engage the legislative process. However, in order to maximise the efficiency of the e-consultation system, several modifications are suggested including: adequate preparation and publicity on behalf of the organising body, a high rate of MP participation, active consideration of any contributions by the committee in charge, and the establishment of a parliamentary division unit specifically for the conduction of e-consultations.
Supervisor: Stoker, Gerard ; Kelso, Alexandra ; Musgrove, Edward ; Smith, Graham Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JN101 Great Britain ; QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science