Fagan, Honor and Stephens, Simon and McCusker, Paul and O'Donnell, David and Newman, David R.
On the Road from Consultation Cynicism to Energising e-
The Electronic Journal of e-Government, 4 (2).
A major concern in recent political discourse is that government has become both isolated from and
unresponsive to its citizens. Democracy, by definition, demands a two-way flow of communication between government
and civil society. ICTs have the potential to facilitate such improved flows of communication â hence, e-democracy and
e-consultation. This paper initially draws on focus group discussions on the theme of e-consultation conducted amongst
activist citizens on the island of Ireland. High levels of frustration, scepticism and cynicism were expressed on the form, nature and process of extant consultation processes. In follow-up demonstrations, however, the preliminary findings are much more positive suggesting that the potential exists for using e-consultation technologies to enhance democratic processes.
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