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Citizen participation and effectiveness of e‐petition: Sutharyakeralam – India

Citizen participation and effectiveness of e‐petition: Sutharyakeralam – India Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of electronization in improving the effectiveness of citizens' democratic participation in the context of e‐petitioning. With this aim, the current study worked to ascertain what influences citizens' offline and online petitioning and the extent to which electronization empowers citizens for effective e‐petitioning. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses a case study from Sutharyakeralam meaning “Transparent Keralam” to determine the extent to which e‐petitioning worked for protecting a public irrigation canal in Kerala (India). Data were obtained through in‐depth interviews with relevant government officials, journalists and petitioners who reside near the canal. Secondary data used for the case analysis consist of petitioners' documents. Using a content analysis, this paper assesses citizens' ability to participate and influence decision making. Findings – Findings illustrate adequate citizen participation before and after the electronization of the grievance redress mechanism. Results also show if there are adequate publicizing facilities, e‐petitions can empower citizens to engage effectively in efforts to fight for their human rights. Research limitations/implications – The scope of the study is limited to exploring the determining parameters that may improve democratic participation in an issue of environmental pollution. Results imply that adequate policies to ensure the involvement of participants are essential to enable e‐government initiatives to deliver on the ideals of e‐democracy for equity and justice. Originality/value – Earlier studies on e‐participation were less adequate in explaining the influence of electronization on citizens' capability for effective e‐petitioning. The current study attempts to explore the enablers of effective e‐petitioning. Drawing on the canal case study, arguments are presented that explain the possible success and failure of e‐petitioning initiatives in India. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy Emerald Publishing

Citizen participation and effectiveness of e‐petition: Sutharyakeralam – India

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1750-6166
DOI
10.1108/17506161211267536
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of electronization in improving the effectiveness of citizens' democratic participation in the context of e‐petitioning. With this aim, the current study worked to ascertain what influences citizens' offline and online petitioning and the extent to which electronization empowers citizens for effective e‐petitioning. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses a case study from Sutharyakeralam meaning “Transparent Keralam” to determine the extent to which e‐petitioning worked for protecting a public irrigation canal in Kerala (India). Data were obtained through in‐depth interviews with relevant government officials, journalists and petitioners who reside near the canal. Secondary data used for the case analysis consist of petitioners' documents. Using a content analysis, this paper assesses citizens' ability to participate and influence decision making. Findings – Findings illustrate adequate citizen participation before and after the electronization of the grievance redress mechanism. Results also show if there are adequate publicizing facilities, e‐petitions can empower citizens to engage effectively in efforts to fight for their human rights. Research limitations/implications – The scope of the study is limited to exploring the determining parameters that may improve democratic participation in an issue of environmental pollution. Results imply that adequate policies to ensure the involvement of participants are essential to enable e‐government initiatives to deliver on the ideals of e‐democracy for equity and justice. Originality/value – Earlier studies on e‐participation were less adequate in explaining the influence of electronization on citizens' capability for effective e‐petitioning. The current study attempts to explore the enablers of effective e‐petitioning. Drawing on the canal case study, arguments are presented that explain the possible success and failure of e‐petitioning initiatives in India.

Journal

Transforming Government: People, Process and PolicyEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 5, 2012

Keywords: E‐participation; E‐petition; Effectiveness; Sutharyakeralam; India; Decision making; Human rights; Electronic media

References