WIT Press

E-democracy And Citizen’s Empowerment: A Case Study Of The City Of Madrid


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WIT Press


J. M. V. Santos & Á. I. Alonso


One of the main concerns regarding democratic theory is dealing with the fostering of active citizen engagement in the making of public policies. With this in mind, in the year 2003 the local government of the city of Madrid (Spain) designed a broad Citizen’s Participation Policy. One of the main elements within this policy was the use of NICT and Internet in order to reinforce citizens’ participation and voice. This contribution examines structural democratic issues and how the NICT is used to enhance governance in this large European city. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications for future research and advice for politicians and public officials using e-participation as a strategy for enhancing local democracy and network governance as well as supporting greater citizen involvement in public decision making. This contribution is part of a Research Project on E-DEMOCRACY headed by David Ríos Insua and financed by the Madrid Regional Government under the IV Regional Plan for Scientific Research and Technologic Innovation (PRICIT). Keywords: democracy, e-democracy, e-governance, local government, new information technology. 1 Introduction E-democracy involves the use of information technologies to improve the relationships between the public and the government entities in terms of citizens’ participation and public service delivery [1]. It could be argued that the Internet and e-democracy are being used to improve both the engagement of citizens in


democracy, e-democracy, e-governance, local government, new information technology.