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‘Electronic democracy’ is a concept with a relatively long history. It has been a central feature of the technological Utopias since the 1960s. Today, the trend is spreading worldwide, as public funding is made available for the exploration of the potential of new technologies to provide new channels of access to political information and participation in decision-making. Nevertheless, whereas e-democracy in Western nations is a tool for resolving the perceived crisis of liberal democracies, in the developing countries it is a tool to build democracy. This assumption is clearly important in the action plans and policies of International Organizations (World Bank, OECD, United Nations) which have assumed a leadership role in the reform of political institutions. This paper will focus on theoretical and methodological issues, such as the prevalent meaning(s) of e-government and e-democracy and their ideological roots in the context of political development.
Date Posted: 27 February 2014